An individual with the diagnosis of kleptomania has a behavior of recurrently failing to resist impulses to steal. Kleptomania causes an individual to feel a rising subjective sense of tension right be for a theft and after the theft the individual feels pleasure, gratification, or relief. The theft does not occur out of anger or vengeance but only to release the tension the individual feels. The objects stolen are of little or no significant value. Occasionally the individual will return the stolen items or they will hoard them.
Individuals with kleptomania feel depressed and guilty for their theft. Preliminary evidence shows that females make up two-thirds of kleptomaniacs. However, kleptomaniacs only make up less than 5% of shoplifters.