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Shoplifting Behavior: Addiction Or Complex Disorder?



Have you felt the act of stealing gives you momentarily pleasure that leaves you ashamed and guilty after? Have you ever found yourself stealing items with an intense urge that worsens every time? If you answered yes to these questions, then you may be suffering from a shoplifting addiction or kleptomania.

Thousands of people shoplift in the country each year and each person will have different reasons for their actions. If you are one of them, you must understand that this is a problem with a solution which you can control. The consequences of shoplifting regardless of the reason are life-altering and these can affect your life and the lives of your loved ones immensely.

Are You A Shoplifting Addict?

Being a shoplifting addict is almost similar to being a kleptomaniac. The primary difference between the two is that being an addict produces immense anxiety prior to the act of shoplifting. In many cases, a shoplifting addict has a background of losing a loved one or property, and the act of shoplifting is practiced to make up for the loss. Unfortunately, shoplifting as an addict is often carried out in envy, passion, or anger.

If you are a shoplifting addict you have an overwhelming desire to shoplift and even experience tension or pressure to commit the act. After you have already shoplifted, you may have a feeling of relief for a short period of time then find yourself with the urge to repeat it.

Are You A Kleptomaniac?

Unlike being an addict of shoplifting, a kleptomaniac as a complex disorder involving an impulse control condition that makes a person unable to stop shoplifting even though the items are not really needed or desired. This urge to shoplift does not require any planning beforehand and kleptomaniacs are fully aware of their actions. Immense anxiety and tension are felt before shoplifting, and immense guilt is also felt after.

The urge to shoplift in kleptomaniacs is as great as the urge shoplifting addicts feel. If you find yourself at a store and suddenly feel so much anxiety and tension with the urge to shoplift in order to soothe the emotions, then find yourself feeling so guilty about what you did then you are a kleptomaniac. You feel no anger, envy, or passion, just the urge to keep on shoplifting to experience the feeling of being in control.

Taking Control Over Your Behavior

Shoplifting is stealing and it is a crime that is punishable by law. If you have not been caught yet then you are one of the lucky ones but do not take this for granted as you may not be lucky the next time around. If you want to control your behavior, then you can seek treatment. It may be difficult to take the first step forward to eliminate the addiction or condition, so you need to talk with someone you can trust.

It is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent committing the act again. If you get caught for shoplifting regardless of whether you are an addict or a kleptomaniac, you can be charged with a fine of $250 or $500 along with time in jail for shoplifting an item priced under $100. When you shoplift an item priced over $100, you can be charged with a $1000 fine and a 28 month jail time. In the event that you are caught, seek legal assistance from a well-experienced lawyer, and then get treated to help yourself from committing the crime again.