Kleptomania Disorder


Individual Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy

Treatment Summary: After the first five weeks of intense psychotherapy the patient was placed on a pharmacotherapeutic regime of sertraline 50 mg per day. The individual psychotherapy session continued. In the beginning of the patient months long therapy they patient was asked about their kleptomaniac behavior. Their initial response in the beginning of therapy was always negative. However, after being on the medication for a prescribe length of time and her impulse control disorder of depression was identified and treatment had begun the patient was then able to discuss how they felt after shoplifting.

  • Reference: McNeilly, D., & Burke, W. (1998). STEALING LATELY: A CASE OF LATE-ONSET KLEPTOMANIA. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 13(2), 116-121. Retrieved from Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection database.,
  • Submitter: Ella Adams

Pharmacological Intervention

Treatment Summary: The therapeutic strategy used in treating Kleptomania Disorder is similar to treating other impulse control disorders. Once a patient fail to respond to either psychodynamic or behavioral therapy the next step is to began treating them with medications commonly used in the treatment of Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD),or other comorbid conditions. Impulse control disorder medications has shown to arrest the desire to steal. The effectiveness of medication such as fluoxetine in combination with therapy and another SSRI drug has helped unresponsive patient who dropped out of therapy after only five weeks of psychodynamic or behavior therapy.

  • Reference: Dannon, P. (2002). Kleptomania: An impulse control disorder? International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, 6(1), 3-7., doi:10.1080/136515002753489353
  • Submitter: Ella Adams

Perceived Stress

Treatment Summary: The medication use in the treatment of Kleptomania has shown to significantly decrease episode of stealing by arresting the behavior contributing to the deed. Treating the patient with SSRI plus naltrexone which is a mood stabilizer and administering to the patient the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) test which measures a patient stress level has shown to greatly decrease the behavior associated with the disorder. The use of SSRI and individual therapy treatments should continued until the patient's level of perceived stress has declined. The patient diagnosed with kleptomania must monitor their behavior which might lead high levels of stress being reported.The combination of perceived medication and therapy has helped the patient monitor their comorbid diagnoses.

  • Reference: Grant, J., Suck Won, K., & McCabe, J. (2006). A Structured Clinical Interview for Kleptomania (SCI-K): preliminary validity and reliability testing. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 15(2), 83-94., doi:10.1002/mpr.24
  • Submitter: N/A

Covert Sensitizations

Treatment Summary: Deliberately holding your breath until it becomes painful whenever the urge to steal comes to mind is one strategy used to treat Kleptomania.Thinking of something nauseating each time the urge to steal comes to mind is known as aversion therapy. The ability to desensitized ones self from acting on a negative behavior has been shown to work with patients diagnosed with kleptomania disorder. In addition, to covert sensitization techniques the use of exposure and response prevention has also been used in the treatment of kleptomania.

  • Reference: Dannon, P. (2002). Kleptomania: An impulse control disorder?. International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, 6(1), 3-7., doi:10.1080/136515002753489353
  • Submitter: Ella Adams
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