DSM-III

Diagnostic Criteria

A. Recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal objects that are not for immediate use or their monetary value.

B. Increasing sense of tension before committing the act.

C. An experience of either pleasure or release at the time of committing the theft.

D. Stealing is done without long-term planning and assistance from, or collaboration with, others.

E. Not due to Conduct Disorder or Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Differential Diagnosis

Ordinary stealing

In ordinary stealing there is no evidence of a failure to resist the impulse; the act is usually planned, and the objects are stolen for their immediate use or monetary gain.

Malingering

In Malingering, there may be an attempt to simulate the disorder in order to avoid criminal prosecution for common thievery.

Conduct Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, and manic episodes

In Conduct Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, and manic episodes stealing may occur; however, in such cases the act is obviously due to the more pervasive disorder.

Schizophrenia

In Schizophrenia stealing may be in response to delusions or hallucinations.

Organic Mental Disorders

In Organic Mental Disorders it may occur because of a failure to appreciate the consequences of the act, or because of failure to remember to pay for the object that has been taken.

DSM-IV

Diagnostic Criteria

A. Recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal objects that are not needed for personal use or for their monetary value.

B. Increasing sense of tension immediately before committing the theft.

C. Pleasure, gratification, or relief at the time of committing the theft.

D. The stealing is not committed to express anger or vengeance and is not in response to a delusion or a hallucination.

E. The stealing is not better accounted for by Conduct Disorder, a Manic Episode, or Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Differential Diagnosis

Ordinary acts of theft or shoplifting

Kleptomania should be distinguished from ordinary acts of theft or shoplifting. Ordinary theft (whether planned or impulsive) is deliberate and is motivated by the usefulness of the object or its monetary worth. Some individuals, especially adolescents, may also steal on a dare, as an act of rebellion, or as a right of passage. The diagnosis is not made unless other characteristic features of Kleptomania are also present. Kleptomania is exceedingly rare, whereas shoplifting is relatively common.

Malingering

In Malingering, individuals may simulate the symptoms of Kleptomania to avoid criminal prosecution.

Antisocial Personality Disorder and Conduct Disorder

Antisocial Personality Disorder and Conduct Disorder are distinguished from Kleptomania by a general pattern of antisocial behavior.

Manic Episodes, Psychotic Disorders, and Dementia

Kleptomania should be distinguished from intentional or inadvertent stealing that may occur during a Manic Episode, in response to delusions or hallucinations (e.g., in Schizophrenia), or as a result of a dementia.

DSM-5

Diagnostic Criteria

A. Recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal objects that are not needed for personal use or for their monetary value.

B. Increasing sense of tension immediately before committing the theft.

C. Pleasure, gratification, or relief at the time of committing the theft.

D. The stealing is not committed to express anger or vengeance and is not in response to a delusion or a hallucination.

E. The stealing is not better explained by a conduct disorder, a manic episode, or antisocial personality disorder.

Differential Diagnosis

Ordinary theft

Kleptomania should be distinguished from ordinary acts of theft or shoplifting. Ordinary theft (whether planned or impulsive) is deliberate and is motivated by the usefulness of the object or its monetary worth. Some individuals, especially adolescents, may also steal on a dare, as an act of rebellion, or as a rite of passage. The diagnosis is not made unless other characteristic features of kleptomania are also present. Kleptomania is exceedingly rare, whereas shoplifting is relatively common.

Malingering

In malingering, individuals may simulate the symptoms of kleptomania to avoid criminal prosecution.

Antisocial personality disorder and conduct disorder

Antisocial personality disorder and conduct disorder are distinguished from kleptomania by a general pattern of antisocial behavior.

Manic episodes, psychotic episodes, and major neurocognitive disorder

Kleptomania should be distinguished from intentional or inadvertent stealing that may occur during a manic episode, in response to delusions or hallucinations (as in, e.g., schizophrenia), or as a result of a major neurocognitive disorder.

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