Kleptomania is a chronic mental health disorder that is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as one of the five standalone impulse control disorders. Psychiatric Times asserts “impulse control disorders are common psychiatric conditions in which affected individuals typically report significant impairment in social and occupational functioning and may incur legal and financial difficulties as well.” According to the Mayo Clinic, kleptomania is characterized by an inability to control the impulse or urge to steal superfluous, meaningless items that usually have little value. It is often accompanied by other psychiatric disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, substance abuse disorder, etc. However, it can also appear on its own. There is no exact age at which kleptomania begins. Rather studies have found that it most commonly begins in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood, but can present in adults. While the precise cause of kleptomania remains unknown, researchers suggest it is likely due to a combination of genetics, neurotransmitter abnormalities, and the presence of other psychiatric conditions.

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