Kleptomania is the inability to resist the urge to steal items, usually for reasons other than personal use or financial gain. First described in 1816, kleptomania is classified in psychiatry as an impulse control disorder. Some of the main characteristics of the disorder suggest that kleptomania could be an obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder, but also share similarities with addictive and mood disorders.
The disorder is frequently under-diagnosed and is regularly associated with other psychiatric disorders, particularly anxiety and eating disorders, and alcohol and substance abuse. Patients with kleptomania are typically treated with therapies in other areas due to the comorbid grievances rather than issues directly related to kleptomania.
Over the last 100 years, a shift from psychotherapeutic to psychopharmacological interventions for kleptomania has occurred. Pharmacological treatments using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), mood stabilizers and opioid receptor antagonists, and other antidepressants along with cognitive behavioral therapy, have yielded positive results. However, there have also been reports of kleptomania induced by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Nowadays, children are mostly seen to be affected by kleptomania.