Kleptomania Research

(Also Known As: Kleptomaniac Research, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Research, Shoplifting Research, Stealing Research, Borderline Personality Research)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

Kleptomania Related Research


Although medications remain to be one of the major treatments for kleptomania, a clinical research study conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine, which aims to investigate the condition of kleptomania, did not show significant effectiveness of drugs among kleptomaniacs. 8 However, the possibility that some drugs could remain to be effective in some individuals with this impulsive control disorder remains to be open.

The research conducted use escitalopram (Lexapro), an antidepressant drug belonging to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), which is found to be effective in treating impulse control disorders. About 78% of patients responded to the drug during the previous research when the patients were aware that they were being offered escitalopram and not a placebo. Another study was conducted, this time the patients were given a placebo, and the effect was not as high as when the patients knew they were given escitalopram.

According to Dr. Lorrin Koran, a psychiatry and behavioral science professor, when they randomized giving drugs versus a placebo the same proportion of relapse on drugs were also seen in relapse on placebo. This study is suggestive that there was a placebo response during the initial phase of their study. Owing to the small numbers of subjects in their studies, they admitted that there is no certainty to indicate whether escitalopram is indeed effective and recommends a combination of drug/psychotherapy treatment can be beneficial to kleptomaniacs.


A study done by E. Sarasalo et al. from the Institution of Clinical Neurosciences and Family Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Karolinska Institute and Huddinge Hospital was conducted to describe the personality characteristics and psychiatric disorder accompanying kleptomaniacs. The study revealed that kleptomania has significant personality traits related to mood disorders. Prominent personality traits are monotony avoidance, low degree of socialization, anxiety, depression and there was a history of attempted suicide. The study also revealed that a high proportion of individuals with kleptomania are under medications for drugs that are prescribed for treating psychiatric disorders.


Grant et al of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School conducted a research study relative to the cognitive and executive functioning of kleptomaniacs. The subjects underwent detailed psychiatric examination that measures the severity of kleptomania and a battery of neuropsychological tests emphasizing executive functions. Analysis was made on the correlation of the severity of kleptomania and executive functioning. The result of the study concluded that there is no deficit with neuropsychological aspect of kleptomaniacs; however, kleptomania has a high correlation with executive functioning impairment. 9

Could You Have Kleptomania?

Kleptomania Topics

Related Conditions

Borderline Personality Disorder – Variable Moods, Split Personalities, Unstable Personality, Disturbed Sense of Self
Bulimia Nervosa – Anorexia, Binge Eating, Purging, Stress, Depression, Excessive Eating
Impulse Control Disorder – Pyromania, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Compulsion, Uncontrolled Impulse, Kleptomania
Intermittent Explosive Disorder – Uncontrolled Rage, Disruptive Behavior, Mood Disorder, Compulsive, Impulsive Disorder
Pyromania – Starting of Fire to Relieve Tension, Impulsive, Compulsive Behavior