Many parents feel ashamed when their offspring is caught red handed while stealing articles of daily use from super markets and shops. Many stories have been published in leading news papers; when some guys/ girls belonging to effluent families were caught shoplifting by the owners of stores
These stories attracted my attention and compelled me to write on this bizarre phenomenon .Parents know little about this other than simple act of stealing and punish or reprimand their children. Not only small babies below five, this tendency of stealing things secretly has been equally shown in teenagers and youngsters. In
fact it is the feature of adolescent age. There is strong psychological make up behind such social acts of disgrace for subject and for the subject’s family. Some people simply laugh at it by saying “It is just a simple ignorable habit of the child”. In the first instance it is not as simple as it is thought to be. It is deep seated psychological problem of the child. If the child steals something from shops mere out of curiosity than it is ignorable but when parents see that their child is in the habit of stealing things from school or shops or bazaars, than this needs immediate attention and care of the parents.
The obsessive habit of stealing things from public places is referred to as kleptomania by the psychologists. It is innate and irresistible desire in the child’s unconscious mind to steal things It is not limited to things of trivial value like pens, copies, pencils, toys, but may be stealing of jewellery items from shops. But it is not to be confused with meticulously planned willful act of dacoity or robbery. Kleptomania is also to be distinguished from shoplifting or simple theft. Shoplifters and thieves steal for monetary value. kleptomaniacs never think of the material value of the thing stolen. Many adolescents belonging to wealthy families have been seen getting victim of this mental disorder. It is of the nature of obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is his or her compulsive behavior that compels the subject to steal, to make adventures. He derives pleasure out of this
act and repeatedly commits this act in spite of reprimands, punishment and strict warnings. Kleptomaniacs are driven by an uncontrollable urge to steal thins and they can not rest unless they possess the articles of their choice. When such impulse enters the mind of the subject he feels exaggerated anxiety until it is satisfied. If the problem goes more serious than the child does not know this act of stealing. He steals but when he stole it he does not know it .It happens when he is in the delirious state of his mind. It is just like somnambulism. In somnambulism one does not know the actual act of one’s sleep-walking. It has been observed by psychologists that such phenomenon of unconscious behavior occur when the psyche of the subject gets injured by way of suppression or any such thing. This suppression on the physical level may be some skin eruption, some severe shock or trauma. It is the expression of the physical on the mental plane in disguised form. Now it is established fact that kleptomania is morbid disorder of human psyche. It is impulsive control disorder. Moreover when we see such a problem in the personality of a person it is not solitary phenomenon. It always goes on with some serious kind of other bodily problems. May be, the subject is suffering from allergic attacks or asthmatic attacks, epileptic seizures or some other kind of personality disorder. The symptoms of kleptomania may appear as early as five. Only a few among shoplifters are diagnosed with kleptomania.
Now the question rises. Can such disgraceful tendency be eradicated among youth or children? The answer is yes, absolutely, by analyzing the underlined cause of this social malady and by peeping into the social makes up of the child and by counseling this tendency can be eradicated. It is very important to make the child aware and conscious of stealing habit. Along with psycho-therapy homoeopathic medicine selected on the constitutional traits of the child must be prescribed. There is one