How to Help a Kleptomaniac

Have you imagined walking in the groceries with your family member or a loved-one and suddenly you caught them stealing? Have you seen somebody who looked rich but they sneakily steal an item and didn’t pay for it? These are some common instances where kleptomaniacs behave. Kleptomania also known as Klopemania is defined as an impulse control disorder wherein the person has the inability to control himself or refrain from stealing items other than personal or financial gains. Most of these behaviors happen during late adolescent and young adulthood years, happening more in women than in men. The condition was highly sensationalized because some famous Hollywood stars were caught or known to be doing such behaviors. 


Now, what if they are your significant others or someone you love and care so much? The incident could create various reactions, of course – ranging from shock or disbelief, humiliation, anger, and frustration. Is there a cure for this condition? What would be the best thing to do to help them resolve or control these impulses from happening again. Here are some of the helpful ways in order to help them recognize and gain control.

  • Promoting awareness or assisting the individual recognize the signs and symptoms. It is helpful to know the signs, symptoms including behaviors that a kleptomaniac manifests. Some of them are: anxiety leading to theft, depression, gratifying feelings after theft, stealing without planning and developing remorse after committing it. Identifying triggers is also significant. There are underlying issues that a kleptomaniac is battling such as anxiety, depression or feelings of inadequacy that are left unresolved. Helping them identify these predisposing factors would mean the root cause will be eliminated. Equipping oneself of the knowledge and available resources that can be utilized about kleptomania. 



  • Keep a diary or journal to record events pertaining to kleptomania. Write down the date, place, object stolen, and the trigger factor that lead to such behavior. This way, the person will be able to review and reflect on the episodes that he/she has done stealing and will help in the plan of not doing it again. 



  • Approach them in a very calm, non-judgmental and helpful manner. Let them feel that you are there to help them avoid getting into problems or legal trouble. Explain the consequences of their actions. You can emphasize that it may lead to arrest, loss of a job and trust issues. 


  • Suggest the variety of treatment choices that can help them. According to psychiatrists, kleptomania can be a psychological condition originating from obsessive-compulsive disorders and will be requiring professional help. As such, kleptomaniacs may then require attending therapies specific to help and manage their conditions. Some of these therapies are behavior modification therapy, family therapy, cognitive behavior therapy and psychodynamics. Talking to a psychologist who can diagnose and suggest other treatment modalities. Also, support groups can be beneficial. This is where they can see compassion and encouragement for a successful recovery. 


  • Encourage the person to choose a hobby to occupy his time. In that way, he can divert his impulses into a more productive activity. They can focus their energy into making crafts, discovering new hobbies they have never tried before or meeting new set people that can inspire them to discover new things. Emphasize to them that gaining focus and being an asset in the community will do them more good.


Therefore, creating a non-judgmental, compassionate and helpful attitude around kleptomaniacs are vital into resolving this condition. It is also very important that we actively make them feel that we are involved in their process of overcoming this. A consistent communication regarding their development and keeping track of their progress. Overcoming this battle is a team effort.

Reasons Behind Troubled Teens

It has come to our attention lately that several criminal behaviors like shooting incidents at school that resulted to taking of quite a lot of innocent lives, were made by troubled teens. This pattern of behavior starts to be unbecoming for teenagers nowadays that made us think and look for reasons behind the minds of troubled teens.


The adolescent period seems to be the most complex stage of development wherein the teenager finds him/herself in a crossroad struggling to find and confront his/her real self and at the same time establishing relationships with other peers. It is expected that many adolescents are emotionally labile. They often experience mood swings and without any apparent reasons would resort to rebellion or acting out behaviors.

Identified causes

One thing is for sure – there is no single cause to relate or link why teenagers tend to become irrational and troubled. It could be an interplay of the many factors that is happening around him or her that will lead to his current state of mind and behavior. 



Studies show that familial support or the presence of both parental figures are critical to the emotional development of the adolescent. Those who have experienced separation from any parental figure tend to become more erratic and would choose peers or will look for an adult that will serve as role model and guardian. It would be pleasant to know if the group of persons they seek attention to are able to provide effective role modeling. The problem would rest on bad role modelling behaviors; hence, adolescents will follow and imbibe values and practices that could affect their psychological state.


To reinforce the statement, peer group influence and pressure to belong in a group can also contribute to teen problems. As Erik Erikson explained, there is a constant search for being recognized during the adolescent period. This seeking of attention often leads to negative influences and inadvertent challenges that could only prove one’s loyalty to the group.

It is also apparent the great influence of internet technology to the adolescents nowadays. Teenagers engage more on virtual reality games that are getting more violent and darker in themes and contents. These aspects of the world wide web entertainment have been linked to aggressive and callous behaviors.

Is there a remedy for troubled teens?

Managing a troubled teen is not like taking a pill to lower down temperature or fighting a cold overnight. It will take a certain process or steps that will entail cumulative support from family, friends, school and even the community where the teenager belongs. 

Yes, there is remedy. The earlier it is detected and the more willing the teenager to undergo rehabilitation, there is a big chance for reform and recovery. 

Acceptance on the teenagers’ personality, thoughts and relationships are already considered a big leap of success in trying to understand them.