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Kleptomania: Latest Medical Breakthroughs

Tuesday, 28 Dec 2010 11:31 AM

Kleptomania is a psychological disorder in which a person has an irresistible urge to steal things of little value. Kleptomaniacs feel compelled to steal inconsequential things like clips, shoes, paper, and so on. They are usually not aware of their disorder.
Kleptomaniacs do not care about the value of the object that they are stealing. Most of them are honest and empathetic people. Their stealing habit is generally a result of stress, trauma, feelings of unfairness and entitlement, unresolved anger, or grief. Other syndromes like panic attacks, bulimia, and social phobia can accompany kleptomania. For those prone to depression, stealing provides a thrill.
Research has developed new treatment methods that are highly effective for impulse-control disorders. Here is a list of the latest medical breakthroughs.
  1. Cognitive Behavior Therapy: This treatment involves a psychotherapeutic way to solve emotional problems with the help of a systematic procedure that is goal-oriented.
  2. Exposure and Response Prevention or ERP. This method is usually used for obsessive compulsive disorder. It helps kleptomaniacs confront their fears and allows them to block the escape response that they usually employ.
  3. Antidepressants: One of the newest and most effective ways for treating kleptomania is the use of antidepressants from the SSRIs and MAOI class of drugs. These include medications like fluoxetine and paroxetine.
  4. ReVia® (Naltrexone) is an opioid antagonist that is used to reduce the pleasure and addictive behavior associated with compulsive stealing. This medication blocks the part of the brain that experiences pleasure when a person is stealing.
  5. Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants and tranquilizers. These medications include Klonopin® and Niravam®.
  6. Lithium: Kleptomania medication has a new entrant - lithium. This includes drugs such as Lithobid® and Eskalith®, which help stabilize  mood and reduce any triggers that compel patients to steal.

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