Kleptomania is the inability to refrain from the urge to steal items and is done for reasons other than personal use or financial gain. First described in 1816, kleptomania is classified in psychiatry as an impulse control disorder.

I used to have a classmate who was a kleptomaniac, I wonder how long this goes and if age can stop them from this habit.

Any experiences with kleptomaniacs? Please share.
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  • I haven't met anyone that I would say fits the bill for this - I did have some friends in high school who would steal, but I think it was more teenage rebellion than anything more serious. I can't imagine how tough it would be to have to battle those urges to steal day in day out - it certainly would make life difficult and probably see a lot of people end up in jail or before the court system.
  • So far, my experience with kleptomaniacs was limited to celebrity gossip. I did have schoolmates back in elementary who stole little things like gums, candies or colognes from grocery stores. Since we were still kids then, it's hard to tell whether the stealing impulse had anything to do with kleptomania or childhood folly.

    For many kleptomaniacs, the thrill of not getting caught drives them to repeatedly perform the act of stealing. Their motive is different from a regular thief since common thieves are there for the money, not for the thrill.
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