Kleptomania Diagnostic Criteria A. Recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal objects that are not needed for personal use or for their monetary value. B. Increasing sense of tension immediately before committing the theft. C. Pleasure, gratification, or relief at the time of committing the theft. D. The stealing is not committed to express anger or vengeance and is not in response to a delusion or a hallucination. E. The stealing is not better explained by conduct disorder, a manic episode, or antisocial personality disorder. Diagnostic Features
The essential feature of kleptomania is the recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal items even though the items are not needed for personal use or for their monetary value (Criterion A). The individual experiences a rising subjective sense of tension before the theft (Criterion B) and feels pleasure, gratification, or relief when committing the theft (Criterion C). The stealing is not committed to express anger or vengeance, is not done in response to a delusion or hallucination (Criterion D), and is not better explained by conduct disorder, a manic episode, or antisocial personality disorder (Criterion E). The objects are stolen despite the fact that they are typically of little value to the individual, who could have afforded to pay for them and often gives them away or discards them. Occasionally the individual may hoard the stolen objects or surreptitiously return them. Although individuals with this disorder will generally avoid stealing when immediate arrest is probable (e.g., in full view of a police officer), they usually do not preplan the thefts or fully take into account the chances of apprehension. The stealing is done without assistance from, or collaboration with, others. Associated Features Supporting Diagnosis Individuals with kleptomania typically attempt to resist the impulse to steal, and they are aware that the act is wrong and senseless. The individual frequently fears being apprehended and often feels depressed or guilty about the thefts. Neurotransmitter pathways associated with behavioral addictions, including those associated with the serotonin, dopamine, and opioid systems, appear to play a role in kleptomania as well.