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How do you differentiate shoplifting addiction from kleptomania?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2021 | Firm News

Recently, Alaska law enforcement arrested you for shoplifting. While waiting to determine the depth of your criminal charges, you may still feel the urge to steal things that do not belong to you.

Black Bear Lodge describes how an impulse-control condition differs from addiction. Determine if you may owe your criminal charge to an irresistible disorder.

Shoplifting addiction

Do you find you cannot control your desire to steal items in stores, no matter how much you want to turn away from the notion? Maybe you experience reoccurring thoughts and urges surrounding shoplifting, or perhaps you find you breathe easier after swiping items from stores without paying for them. All three are common signs of shoplifting addiction. Rather than drugs or alcohol, you may experience a rush of adrenaline and pleasure from shoplifting. You may steal again and again to feel a unique elation, one that has nothing to do with the items you take. Facing criminal charges or other severe consequences may not curb your desires.


Much like a shoplifting addiction, those with kleptomania have a deeply rooted desire to take objects, even if the person does not need them. You may have kleptomania if you experience an unexpected urge to steal that strikes from nowhere. Anxiety may overwhelm you before you shoplift, and you may feel a combination of remorse and relief after giving in to the compulsion. Those with kleptomania may use illicit substances to deal with and resist their desires before and after stealing.

You may require professional help to understand why you shoplift. Learn how to prevent future run-ins with the police.