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J Clin Psychiatry. 1995;56 Suppl 4:14-26; discussion 27.

Kleptomania, compulsive buying, and binge-eating disorder.

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  • 1Biological Psychiatry Program, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, OH 45267-0559, USA.


Although recognized since at least the early 19th century, kleptomania, compulsive buying, and binge-eating disorder are poorly understood conditions that have received little systematic study. In this article, we review the available studies of these three conditions, which suggest that they are more common than realized, occur more frequently in women than in men, cause significant morbidity, are related to other psychiatric disorders (especially to one another, impulse control disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and mood disorders), and often respond to available psychopharmacologic and psychological treatments. We hypothesize that these three conditions might best be viewed as impulse control disorders that belong to an extended family of compulsive-impulsive spectrum disorders. The compulsive-impulsive spectrum disorders may, in turn, belong to the larger family of affective spectrum disorder.

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