I Don’t Need it, and Yet I Do

I Don’t Need it, and Yet I Do

Articles, Australia, Education, International, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

I put my hand in my pocket and come upon some items that I did not know were there. It’s inexpensive costume jewellery, something I never wear. Who would have put it into my pocket? Shamefully, I realized that I, a kleptomaniac of long standing had done it myself. The store had, obviously, not caught me; and if I get rid of my bounty in such a way that it won’t be connected to me, it will be like it never happened—until the next time!

I have been caught a couple of time before though. Once I was let off the hook, but another time I had to work at a homeless shelter for three days. They thought that I had stolen these things on purpose; and by interacting with the homeless; I was meant to see what my destiny might be like if I continued down my chosen path. Only, they didn’t know—nobody knew—that I had episodes where, before I realized it, I grabbed some things and scooted out of the stores undetected. I seemed to have not enough control to resist these urges. However, after I have carried out this deed, I felt shame and guilt, but, ironically, also pleasure.

Consequently, I found myself doing these things more often in order to keep up the pleasure level. I think that my sister behaved like that before she stole an 18k ring, and was jailed for it. I really don’t want to end up like that.

Not wanting to feel even more humiliated, I never told anyone what was really happening. Consequently, nobody knows that I am a kleptomaniac, but my teachers and parents believe that I have a personality disorder, as well as an anxiety one. Although they think these are serious disorders, nobody is doing anything about getting professional help for me, which I believe I very much need. In fact, they also told me that if I didn’t change course, I might advance to more serious impulsive control disorders such as gambling and shopping, which are really addictive and for which I certainly did not have the money. I was told that I looked depressed; and after such news, I certainly was, and even entertained suicidal thoughts.

I keep seeking information about kleptomania addiction; and I find that the professionals don’t know how to prevent it, since they don’t know what causes it. They have decided that the best course of treatment consists of psychotherapy and medications; however, no FDA approved medication exists. Some doctors have tried an addiction medicine called Naltrexone, as well as an antidepressant medicine. Since it is known that the best thing that can be done is to begin treatment as soon as possible. Consequently, doctors are trialing cognitive behavioral therapy, which assists patients to recognize unhealthy negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy positive ones. The success rate of this therapy is proving to be very goo but relapses are always possible.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.
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