Kleptomania: Differential diagnosis and treatment modalities

Pinhas N. Dannon*, Anat Aizer, Katherine Lowengrub

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Kleptomania is classified in the psychiatric nomenclature as an impulse control disorder. Patients with kleptomania, however, often suffer from repetitive intrusive thoughts about stealing, an inability to avoid the compulsion to steal as well as a relief of tension following the theft. These associated symptoms suggest that kleptomania may be a form of obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder. On the other hand, some authors describe kleptomania as a non-pharmacological addiction because of the inability to control maladaptive behavior. A broad range of pharmacotherapeutic agents has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of kleptomania including serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), mood stabilizers, and opioid receptor antagonist medications. Adjuvant cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-283
Number of pages3
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Addiction
  • Impulse control
  • Kleptomania
  • Obsessive-compulsive spectrum
  • SSRI


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