How to Help a Kleptomaniac

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Help a Kleptomaniac

Kleptomania is an irresistible impulse to steal objects that have no commercial value for the person. In some countries it is is estimated that 5% of complaints of theft involve people with kleptomania. The stolen items are not of great importance for the kleptomaniac, but their reward is in the act of stealing. Sufferers of kleptomania are aware of their actions, so then, they often have feelings of guilt about it. So, next is some advice on how to help a kleptomaniac.

You may also be interested in: How to Help a Hypochondriac

Steps to follow:


Consult a health care professional so he/she can guide you on the appropriate treatment. Often, kleptomania is accompanied by associated symptoms. In some cases, prescribing certain medications is necessary. So make sure you are well informed before helping a kleptomaniac.


Recognizing the problem. It is essential that the kleptomaniac can recognize their problem and talk to the people they trust. The first step in any treatment is to recognize that something is wrong and have a desire to change it.

So, when approaching a kleptomaniac on the subject, bear in mind that this is a mental illness, so make sure you show your concern about your loved one's well-being and don't blame him/her for their behaviour.

You should also ask them to accept a professional's help, as this is the best way to treat a kleptomaniac.

How to Help a Kleptomaniac - Step 2

Keep track of events. It is recommended that a kleptomaniac keeps a record of the dates, places and stolen objects. In this way, the kleptomaniac is more aware of how many times he/she has done it and may even prevent certain circumstances.

How to Help a Kleptomaniac - Step 3

Pleasurable activities. The gratification obtained at the time of the theft should be replaced by healthy activities such as sports, hobbies, etc. It is important that the kleptomaniac finds other pleasant alternatives to overcome his kleptomania. So, if you want to help a person with kleptomania, invite him/her to do activities you know the person might enjoy, you can maybe even make him or her take up a hobby.

How to Help a Kleptomaniac - Step 4

There are many support groups for kleptomania, so apart from seeking professional psychiatric help, a first step is to urge him/her to join a support group as this will help the kleptomaniac from relapsing.

How to Help a Kleptomaniac - Step 5

Destruction of stolen goods. After recognizing the problem, destroying the stolen objects is the next step to beginning a new stage. In this way, we try to leave behind those moments of criminal actions.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Help a Kleptomaniac, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.

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How to Help a Kleptomaniac