How can mental illness contribute to theft
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How can mental illness contribute to theft

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2021 | Criminal Appeals, Criminal Defense, Theft |

If you struggle with stealing, there may be people who assume you intend to be dishonest or behave criminally. In some cases, theft may occur due to addictive, compulsive disorders.

According to Healthline, many factors contribute to theft.

Factors behind theft

Compulsive stealing does not necessarily involve a desire to profit on material items or financials. Instead, it includes failing to resist the urge to take an item you may or may not need. You may not steal items personally or financially valuable. Often, those who struggle with compulsive theft feel anxiety and tension leading up to the theft and feel relief a the end.

Other factors that contribute to theft include low self-esteem, jealousy or peer pressure. If you struggle with mental illness, the illness can also contribute to theft. For example, bipolar disorder, substance use disorders and anxiety disorders contribute to theft.

Treatment for compulsive theft

There are treatment options available for those who want help. Generally, medical professionals have to analyze a person’s triggers and mental health prior. Treatment may include medication and psychotherapy. For example, professionals may use systematic desensitization, which addresses relaxation techniques to reduce the urge to steal. Covert sensitization, on the other hand, has you imagine stealing and facing negative consequences.

When it comes to medication, you may receive medicine that addresses mood-related disorders. For example, you may receive selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs to balance your brain chemistry.

While doctors may be unable to cure you of your compulsions, they can treat the underlying cause and help you resist the urge to steal.