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What is Kleptomania?

Kleptomania is a form of mania (compulsion) in which there is an irresistible desire to steal, despite usually having adequate resources to pay for the stolen goods.

Kleptomania is distinguished from shoplifting or ordinary theft, as shoplifters and thieves generally steal for monetary value, or associated gains and usually display intent or premeditation, while people with kleptomania are not necessarily contemplating the value of the items they steal or even the theft until they are compelled. Of all reported shoplifting, less than 5% are actually kleptomaniacs.

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