Kleptomaniac

Does anyone share my problem for stealing. I have been stealing things and money for 30 years. I have only been caught 2 times and they were for minor things not the big stuff I have done. I wonder is there is someone like me to help me stop. I am in therapy but it's not really helping. I take credit cards, checks, money from wallets, shoplift,I have stolen from my jobs. I'm an opportunist. If I think I can get away with something I do it and I am very good at it. I want to stop. Comments?

Hi Bsyd79, I don't have direct experience with what you're going through, but it seems that this may have started off for a reason and has continued on for such a lengthy period of time because it's a form of addiction. There's a feeling that people get when they steal, and I believe that this feeling can be addictive. That's one facet of it. Another reason, is that you are wanting financial and material gain. Without knowing your history and why you started stealing, it's hard to assess the reason and how to help you stop this behavior. The best thing that you can do is to work on this in small steps and to start replacing this behavior with something positive. Do you have anything that you are passionate about; something that you would be excited about starting? If you can start working towards more positive goals slowly but surely, then it may help you replace this behavior.

As well, are there any local support groups in your area?

1 Heart

Replacing the behavior with something positive? I don't do this for financial gain as I am well able to pay for what I steal. For the most part I steal things for other people to give to them. There was a CEO of a major bank back in the late 90's who was on probation for shop lifting and was caught shop lifting at Norstroms. He absolutely had enough money to buy what he stole.
On Sunday I was arrested for using a stolen Credit Card. Now it's costing me $3,500.00 for a lawyer. This is the first time I was ever arrested for stealing in 30 years. So the next day I was in a store looking at this small bottle and thinking to myself I can steal this easy. What is wrong with me. You would think the arrest would be enough to deter me.

@bsyd79 I really appreciate your candor. I wish I could be of any help to you but I have some of the same thoughts you expressed and the same problem just a different method, if you will. I told my therapist and my med provider several weeks ago with a desperate plea for help. I live in a small town and the therapy available here is sub-par. I have read recently that bipolar and kleptomania can go hand in hand - I believe this is true for me. I just wanna let you know I sympathize with you and hope you find something that works for you. And that’s my two cents.

My boyfriend shoplifted in front of me recently. Even though I protested, he did it anyway. He just thinks it's normal and that I over-reacted, but it's not the first time he's stolen in front of me and we've already talked about how I feel about it.

He has a new job where he has to travel all over DFW to service pc's every day and he's worried because he knows he will get tickets and have wrecks. He says he has anxiety attacks and has to speed up to get around the other cars.

We did break up as a result of the stealing and his other compulsive disorders that he has displayed for the past 7 months. From my perspective, he knows there will be a price to pay if he gets caught so he shouldn't get upset when it happens. He is mad at me because he wants me to sympathize with him when he gets in trouble, but I can't. He speeds, parks in handicap spots, etc. He says it doesn't matter as long as nobody gets hurt, but he had a really bad wreck last Spring and he's lucky he didn't kill the other driver (or himself). He was speeding but he said the police didn't accurately measure the skid marks and that he was going at least another 10 mph faster. He won't even acknowledge to himself that if he had been going the speed limit the accident might never have happened.

Now that I've been reading online about Compulsive Spectrum Disorder I'm beginning to understand that he really is not able to apply logic to what he is doing. When he's not having a compulsive moment, he's the sweetest and most caring man I've ever known. But, I'm afraid he will ruin my reputation, career or finances. My profession requires that I pass regular criminal background checks and he knows this.

I'd love for him to be able to get help, but he gets really mad if someone suggests counseling to him.

Hi Bsyd79, would you consider seeking treatment and/or therapy for this? Because, I believe that it can help you through this.

I am in treatment. We haven't found the cause yet. I'm looking for someone who would be like a sponsor as in AA that I could call when I got the urge so they could help me walk away.

I am happy to hear that you are in treatment. Is there anyone who you know that could potentially be a sponsor for you? If you know someone locally, I think that would benefit you greatly. Otherwise, know that you can come here and write anytime, because that may help deter you from your urges.

No one here except for my husband knows what I do. I have been doing it for 40 years and have only recently been caught for the first time. My therapist tells me it’s like any addiction where the impulse is so strong that is hard to fight it.

I think that it will take time to work through this, because just like it didn't happen overnight, it won't go away overnight. Take it one small step and one day at a time; try to make each day a bit better than the one before in terms of fighting your urges. And, I know that therapy will help you tremendously. Keep up the great work and please keep sharing with us.

I have been in therapy for a year now and I just did something really stupid. It’s like there isn’t anything important enough to deter me.

Know that through your recovery there will be slip-ups and it's important to learn from them, but not to be too hard on yourself over them. The slip-ups will be further and fewer between. And, maybe it's good for you to think of something very important in your life in order not to repeat the same mistakes, such as your family, your freedom.

That’s what I am saying. There is NOTHING not family kids freedom a job nothing that prevents me from doing it.

Okay, got it. Is there a way that you can start learning and zoning in on those things in order to make them a priority so that you re-focus your energy and manage the urges better? As well, has your therapist given you any helpful tools/exercises?

I seriously think If I knew I was going to jail, actually spending time in jail, if I did it one more time, that would be the cure. I stole 2 cartons of smokes totaling 100.00 and it is now costing me 3500.00 for a lawyer who says since it’s my first time the penalty will be light. The sad thing is the day after I got caught I was in a store and thinking seriously about picking up a bottle of cologne. I didn’t do it but that hit home very hard that I have a problem more serious than I thought.

No amount of logic or reasoning gets through to my boyfriend when we discuss this. That's why knowing this is OCSD helps me to understand why he can't connect the consequences with the crime. BTW - he doesn't see shoplifting as a crime. He says under $50 is a ticket. I asked him how much he ticket cost and he said he doesn't know. He just thinks ticket = cheap and worth the risk.

I want to tell him what I've read about OCSD and getting help, but don't know how to approach the subject without risking upsetting him. Any suggestions?

If you love him start with that. Tell him calmly and with out attacking. Tell him you're worried and upset about the situation. Gently ease into it. Like (use me) "I have been talking to this woman on line and she does the same thing you do. After talking to her I learned she has ocsd and I think you might have it too. Will you listen to what I learned?" Like me I rationalized it too. He won't seak help or get help until he's ready. Like I said I did it for 30 years. My husband of 5 years has stuck by me but did tell me if I didn't get help it would be a deal breaker.