Criminal Defense Lawyer
Kleptomania is a disorder that is not well understood, but for those who have this condition, it can destroy their personal and professional lives. Kleptomania was first identified as a psychiatric condition in 1816, and is considered an impulse control disorder. In layman’s terms, it is a person’s inability to stop themselves from stealing.
The impulse is so strong that it often has nothing to do with trying to make money by selling the stolen goods or for personal use of the stolen items. Whether or not you have been arrested for theft recently or in the past, you may suspect that you suffer from kleptomania. There is no shame in realizing this, and the best thing you can do for yourself, your future, and your family is to seek counseling without delay to overcome your impulse to steal. A professional counselor may be able to help you turn your life around and prevent you from going to jail.
Evaluation for Kleptomania
Before you can be diagnosed with kleptomania, you must undergo an evaluation by a recognized professional in the psychology field. The evaluation may include physical as well as psychological testing. In some cases, it is a physical condition that triggers the kleptomania behavior. By treating the physical condition, the urge to steal may be reduced or eliminated. The evaluation may include any of the following:
- Questions about your impulse to steal and how you feel when this happens.
- A determination of what situations may trigger your incidents of kleptomania.
- A self-assessment review or a psychological questionnaire about yourself.
- Background on your history of criminal offenses and arrests.
Treatment for Kleptomania
It can be incredibly difficult for someone to seek treatment for kleptomania because of the shame and embarrassment they may feel because of their condition. Despite the difficulty, it’s critically important to get professional help. Without it, it can be virtually impossible to overcome the urge to steal. The urge, as strong as it may be, may increase and cause impulsive behavior that results in lifelong penalties for the individual.
A treatment regimen for kleptomania may include psychotherapy as well as prescription medication, and the participation in self-help and support groups. Every person is different though, and what may work best for one person may not be best for someone else. Sometimes it requires a trial and error process to identify the best and most effective approach for treating kleptomania.
Medications for Treating Kleptomania
There is not currently an FDA-approved medication for treating kleptomania. In lieu of a specific cure, there are certain medications available that may help a person who suffers from this condition. However, results vary from one person to the next and can be influenced by other conditions that the individual experiences or if they have a substance abuse issue. A doctor may prescribe any of the following to help treat someone with kleptomania:
- An addiction medication to help reduce the urges and feelings of pleasure associated with stealing
- An antidepressant
If you feel that you may suffer from kleptomania or the impulse to steal, talk to a mental health professional to see what forms of treatment may be available to you. Make sure to protect your best interests by hiring an attorney, like a criminal defense attorney from The Morales Law Firm, today.