Kleptomania is the sudden urge to steal. The stealing is not about financial gain. The stolen items are usually of no value to the person with kleptomania.
It is a serious, but rare, mental disorder. If left untreated, it can cause emotional trauma to both the person who has it and their families. There is no instant cure for kleptomania. So, how to cure kleptomania? There are treatment steps available to help reduce or remove the symptoms through therapy and other means.
Here are some helpful ways to deal with kleptomania.
Accept the Problem
It is not easy to accept that you have a condition that urges you to steal. People can be in denial about their mental health disorder, and as a result, it spirals into a serious condition. If a loved one has approached you about seeking cure for kleptomania, accept it instead of feeling revolted or ashamed. Also, accept that seeking help for kleptomania can work out really well for you.
It is difficult for people to approach a therapist or a doctor about kleptomania due to associated shame or guilt. But it is important to see a doctor to understand the root of the problem and then treat it. Treatment can include medicines and psychotherapy.
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There is no medication as such to cure kleptomania. But if you have the condition in addition to depression then medicine for the other condition may be prescribed for the treatment. The medication for kleptomania can also include naltrexone that is used to treat addictions. It can help reduce the urge to steal, and lower the pleasure that people with kleptomania derive from the act, which is similar to the way a person with an addiction feels. Kleptomania can also occur due to serotonin imbalances in the brain. Your doctor may also prescribe you medicines to increase the levels of serotonin.
But medicine use alone is not enough. Psychotherapy is an essential component of the treatment plan to cure kleptomania.
Psychotherapy can include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps to identify the urges and the reasons for the same. It can include aversion therapy or systematic desensitization. The former is the practice of holding your breath until the feeling to steal passes away. The latter is the use of relaxation and visualization techniques to fight the urges to steal.Treatment for any mental condition is always on a long-term basis. So, you need to stick with whatever treatment plan your doctor forms for you for as long as it is needed. Otherwise, it can be difficult to cure kleptomania effectively.
To cure kleptomania, you also need to be forthcoming with your therapist. Don’t hold back when talking about anything that triggers your urges to steal. It can be a recurring stressful situation in your life related to some childhood trauma.
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Join Support Groups
Support groups are extremely helpful in dealing with mental conditions and addictions. You can join a kleptomania support group so that you can talk about your problems freely, seek advice from others who have successfully overcome kleptomania, and prevent relapses.Relapses are a major problem when it comes to curing kleptomania or any mental condition/addiction for that matter. Support groups can help you avoid relapses through positive actions and camaraderie.If you are not comfortable with joining a support group at first, you can talk to a trusted friend or family member. You can simply talk about your triggers and urges to someone who won’t judge you. This can be a great way to help you avoid relapses.
So in conclusion, the treatment of kleptomania is a long process. If you or someone you know has this condition, they will need acceptance, medicine, psychotherapy and the help of a support group to overcome it.
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