Kleptomania Treatment in Paramus, NJ
Kleptomania | Overview
Kleptomania is an impulse control disorder characterized by the inability to resist urges to steal items without personal or financial motivations. Kleptomania also shares many of its defining features with obsessive-compulsive disorders as the impulse for theft is mentally pervasive. The urge can only be satisfied by stealing.
Stealing often occurs in locations or situations which are already optimal for theft. This includes supermarkets and parties in which stealing small objects would likely go unnoticed. Many who suffer from kleptomania feel an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame after satisfying the urge to steal
Kleptomania Treatment | Therapy
While there is no cure, several forms of cognitive therapy exist which may help kleptomania sufferers control and overcome their urges. Aversion therapy, a psychotherapy technique, involves conditioning a subject to associate the urge with negative stimuli such as pain or a foul smell/taste. In this approach subjects are shocked, pinched, etc. each time they give in to the urge to steal. Two visualization techniques are also used in kleptomania treatment - picturing giving into the temptation and facing the consequences or, alternatively, visualizing a scenario in which the urges are kept under control.
Kleptomania Treatment | Medication
In some cases, drugs are prescribed to kleptomania sufferers for symptom relief. These drugs are often similar or the same as the ones given to OCD patients and gambling addicts. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) are used to help those with kleptomania overcome their urges. This blocks impulses from pervading patients’ thoughts. Naltrexone, the most popular drug for treating kleptomania, blocks the impulse to steal from being communicated through the body.
Kleptomania | Support
There are support groups to help those with kleptomania learn better strategies for overcoming their urges, keep them accountable, and avoid relapses. Relapses are not only possible but common among those suffering with kleptomania. Some of the best ways to overcome kleptomania and avoid relapses are:
- Seek professional help.
- Establish a strong support network.
- Stay disciplined in following a treatment plan.
- Find a way to maintain accountability.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from kleptomania, now is the time to get treatment and support. Request more information about kleptomania treatment today. Call (201) 806-6099 or contact Dr. M.T. Shahab online.
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