Health & Fitness Lifestyle

Kleptomania: when the mind steals

It is a mental disorder that is difficult to recognize and that generates social alarm, but kleptomania has a meaning that must be understood: here it is

Every so often in the newspapers we read of a person reported for theft and turned out to be a kleptomaniac. The etymology of the word kleptomania can be traced back to the Greek kleptein, meaning “steal” and manìa, meaning psychopathology, neurosis. A kleptomaniac is someone who, driven by an uncontrollable impulse, seems “forced”, even without reason and / or need, to steal. If established, kleptomania is a cause of non-punishment in our jurisprudential system, since it is a diagnosable disorder according to the criteria of the DSM V (the most widely used diagnostic manual on mental disorders in the world). In particular, it is included among the disruptive behavior, impulse control and conduct disorders.

Those who steal and suffer from this disorder generally steal objects of little value which, often, they then throw away or give away: the kleptomaniac does not steal for profit or out of need, unlike professional thieves. It is possible to say that those who suffer from this disorder, on an unconscious level, want to be discovered and punished because of their antisocial desires: they know very well that what they do is against the law but the pleasure they feel for the theft pushes them to eliminate any restraint. or inhibition.

Kleptomania, a very dangerous gratification …

A reliable hypothesis is therefore that the kleptomaniac steals to indulge in what is forbidden, bad things are not so simple: the tension of theft certainly provides a psychological pleasure that can be addictive, but the stolen object is also symbolic of the affection that it is believed to have not had enough or that to the kleptomaniac it seemed impossible to obtain normally. With theft one returns, paradoxically and pathologically, to normality, both social and emotional, that is, a void is compensated with the dexterity of theft while knowing, on the other hand, to deserve with this a punishment that, in the long run, very often arrives.

He is not treated with drugs

Kleptomania (found mostly in women) is the indicator of a lack of functionality of the psyche and is associated with other disorders such as depression or dissociation. In the United States, a path of pharmacological treatment has been tried, with poor results, while the most appropriate treatment that obtains greater results is psychotherapy, able to restore the person a more stable adaptation, increasing inner well-being, and freeing him from this disorder can make life complicated and painful.

To overcome it you need to understand

The mind does many acts that are counterproductive and harmful, but we must not stop dealing with them and asking ourselves the meaning: we do nothing at random and therefore there are profound reasons for our action. If sometimes it apparently harms us, it is necessary first of all to accept that we are what we are, while the second step is to understand by looking without prejudice into the images that our unconscious produces. Only in this way is it possible to take away from them that intrusiveness and violence that make us suffer.

Hermés (the Mercury of the Romans) was considered, among the ancient Greeks, also the patron god of thieves and liars; however, he was above all the messenger of the gods and an intermediary between Hades (the underworld) and Olympus, between silence and word, between darkness and light. It can therefore be said that therapy, using words and encouraging images that arise from the depths, fulfills its task precisely by helping us to eliminate the prejudices with which we usually observe ourselves. In the case of kleptomania it can also be said that more than theft it is a lack of communication: by removing space for misunderstandings, the space for inner freedom is increased.

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