The individual is usually stressed, tense and anxious and rely on stealing to attain calmness or release tension (Williams, 2002). The individual will feel anxiety, relief, or fear after stealing, some may exhibit additional signs such as remorse and guilt. Another psychological symptom associated with the disorder is the lack of malice since the individuals suffering from the disorder do not target particular individuals or steal for a specific reason, but only to satisfy their urge (Williams, 2002). Compulsive stealing is another symptom since this is an impulsive disorder that makes a person steal from public places on regular basis and the anxiety makes the individual repeat the act regularly in order to satisfy the intense urge. There is also lack of antisocial personality or conduct disorder since individuals suffering from kleptomania are not violent or psychotic, but just steal compulsively (Filingeri, 2011).Cognitive-behavioral models of psychology assert that kleptomania results from operant conditioning, distorted cognitions and poor coping strategies and behavior are reinforced when the individual encounters minimal consequences. The causes of the psychological disorder are not well known, but several theories indicate that changes in the brain are the root causes of the disorder (Stricker amp. Widiger, 2003). Changes in serotonin impair the regulation of emotions and moods thus leading to impulsive behaviors while an imbalance of the brain’s opioid system makes it harder to resist the urge to steal. Stealing will lead to the release of dopamine thus causing feelings of pleasure thus leading to gratification and rewarding feeling that makes the behavior addictive.
Kleptomania Psychological Disorder