Sunday, April 24, 2011

Understanding Kleptomania

First of all, no, I am not a kleptomaniac however I have experienced being a victim of one and I know some people who have experienced the same thing. Unfortunately, I am ashamed to say that this certain kleptomaniac that I am referring to might be a certain loved one of mine. Although I don't have 100 percent proof yet of who it is, I have decided that I should just write about it instead. To some, stealing is irresistible and sometimes the temptation is just too difficult to resist. If you feel this strong feeling about taking things that do not belong to you then you are probably already suffering from a condition called Kleptomania.

They say that kleptomania is a disorder wherein an individual feels a powerful urge to take something merely because they feel like it. Not all people who suffer from this disorder take something for personal gain. Sometimes kleptomaniacs take things that have no value to them which they end up stashing somewhere, donating to others or even returning it back to it's original place. Why do they steal in the first place? There are so many reasons as to why they steal. They steal not because of revenge but only because they feel the itch to do so. They can steal too because they feel tension or they feel bad about something. To them stealing isn't bad. It's a way to gratify themselves, to soothe themselves of their needs or even to feel pleasure in doing so without even feeling remorse at first and without even thinking about the repurcussions that it can cause.

I have heard that eventually afterwards, they feel an enormous amount of guilt, remorse, self-loathing and fear of arrest which is why they decide to avoid certain people who they stole from or people who they know might be able to help them or even those who they think will probably bring them to jail. I know it isn't easy being one however, how can you understand a person who suffers from this condition if this person does not want to be helped and even if he/she is already being understood by everyone and being helped by those around him/her, he/she still continues with such behavior? What comes next after that? I guess sometimes you have to learn to leave these things to professionals. I believe if a person suffers from such a condition, it is always better to consult someone who has the capability to help him/her get better somehow. I admit that I am not qualified to help such a person. Nobody can tell me that I didn't try. My family has done the same and yet we are still victims of this certain loved one who doesn't seem to care that we are here to help and not here to become victims to his/her occassional compulsive theft. I am ashamed that he/she is a part of our family but what am I to do?

Looks like it's the end of the road for him/her. Our sympathy has run dry. This happens naturally for people who become abused and we have become abused. We have fallen victims to a hopeless cause. We only have two options left now. One is to bring forth this person to the police and submit some evidence for him/her to be detained and be taught an actual lesson or we can still be kind and let this person be in the care of a health care professional. I seriously do not feel anything but hate at the moment for this person for I know that the money that he/she took was meant for something more meaningful. Will this person give the money back to us? I seriously doubt it. This has happened before and all evidence lead only to this person so it's definitely hard to ignore the signs. It's sad but it has to come down to this at one point.

If you know anybody who is suffering from kleptomania, please bring him/her to the nearest health care professional who can attend to his/her needs so that if the urge gets worse, then hopefully, medication can help stop it. I do not know if there is a cure for being a kleptomaniac. All I know is that if you put your mind into something positive then things will end up well. Perhaps with a good support group, a kleptomaniac can get better however, that is if you are willing to put you and your family in a great risk. Helping someone with a compulsive theft condition is risky business but it sure pays off in the end. If you believe that you have this condition then do your best to control your urges and learn to curb them for your own good. Let's all remember that not everybody is as forgiving and as understanding as others. If you ever cross a wrong person, you might end up being in bars for a long time and I am sure you don't want that. Help yourself and let others help you help yourself. 

Impulsive stealing, the motive not being in the intrinsic value of the article to the individual. In almost all cases, the individual has enough money to pay for the stolen goods. The stealing is done without prior planning and without the assistance of others. There is increased tension before the theft and a sense of gratification while committing the act.
Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 18th edition.

An irresistible compulsion to steal, motivated by a neurotic impulse rather than some material need. No specific cause is known. The condition is considered generally as a result of a special underlying emotional disturbance rather than as a form of neurosis in itself. Legally kleptomania is not classified as insanity, and individuals are held responsible except when a complete lack of control over their actions can be definitely established.
A legal definition: "kleptomania. In medical jurisprudence, a species (or symptom) of mania, consisting of an irresistible propensity to steal."
Black's Law Dictionary

 Kleptomania can start even at an early age so be aware if your loved one is already showing signs of being a Kleptomaniac...
 Some Kleptomaniacs take what they don't need and then feel the need to give it back...
Repent and learn before you get yourself locked up in jail for a condition that you think will justify your actions which legally cannot. 
Who knows medication might help in many ways...

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