Picture this: you and your friend are hanging out late at night. She leaves to go home and you suddenly realize that your favorite pair of gold earrings has gone missing. You think you might have lost them, but then you think back to last week when you and your friend went shopping. You distinctly remember that she slipped a piece of gum from the department store. Does your friend have a stealing problem? The truth is, she might be a kleptomaniac.
Kleptomania is quite common. In fact, many people arrested for theft have been diagnosed with it. Barnes Law Firm, for example, deals specifically with theft and shoplifting cases. Criminal defense attorney John Barnes has represented countless people accused of stealing. It’s important to recognize a problem like kleptomania and stop it in its tracks. Here are some signs that your friend does, in fact, have a theft problem.
Kleptomania is not the same thing as casually stealing things. People who have kleptomania don’t just swipe anything. If you notice that your friend insists on going to the same stores and has their eye is set on something, but they have no intention of paying for it, you should know something fishy is going on. You should observe your friends when they shop. If they casually touch the merchandise, talk about how great it would be to have it, but then make like they’re leaving, this is suspicious. Kleptomaniacs often find stealing and swiping fun challenges and will try to swipe from right under salespeople’s noses. If you see your friend has casually slipped something into their purse or pocket, you should talk to them straight away.
Self Esteem Boosts
If your friend swipes something they haven’t paid for and then suddenly get a mad rush of energy or happiness, they could be exhibiting signs of kleptomania. A person with kleptomania gets a quick rush and self-esteem boost once they’ve managed to swipe something, particularly if the item presented a challenge. So if you notice your normally quiet friend being particularly excited after having stolen something, you should be aware that they might have kleptomania.
Stealing From Family or Friends
Someone with kleptomania does not often steal for financial or material gain. It’s like an impulse that they cannot keep in check. Therefore, people with kleptomania can often swipe things that belong to their family members or friends. If you’re close friends with someone you suspect of having kleptomania, watch how they act around your things. If you see them repeatedly swiping your things and having no explanation for it, they most likely have kleptomania.
What to Do About it
As with any mental illness, you should approach this cautiously. Be wary of shaming or blaming the person you suspect of having it. Rather, try to talk to them about it and ask them why they feel the need to do what they do. You should recommend that they speak to a professional therapist or psychologist who can help them get their condition under control. Overall, remember to be kind and patient.