Aim: The aim of the study was 1) to report the case of a 15-year-old boy who developed kleptomania symptoms during methylphenidate treatment and 2) to review the available therapeutic options for kleptomania based on a literature search of Medline and Google Scholar databases (2000–2018).
Case report: For the past seven years a 15-year-old boy had participated in counselling at a psychological counselling centre because of school problems and upbringing difficulties, and had a five-year history of psychiatric treatment for ADHD. He was admitted to the Department of Psychiatry because of recurrent stealing episodes that occurred during methylphenidate treatment. During the hospitalization, the patient did not observe the therapeutic contract – he stole items from other patients. Pharmacotheraputic and psychotherapeutic treatment resulted in a partial improvement in impulsive behaviour. At discharge, he spoke critically of his previous conduct and expressed readiness to continue treatment in an outpatient setting.
Kleptomania has a very negative impact on a patient's overall well-being.
In the reported case, kleptomania developed during methylphenidate treatment.
Kleptomania should always be taken into account as a possible cause of stealing during a psychiatric examination, to avoid stigmatization of patients as criminals.
Pharmacotherapy and cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy focused on the development of strategies, which can help the patient to control the urge to steal, are important components of kleptomania treatment.
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Attention-deficit–hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neuropsychiatric disorder that impairs academic, social and occupational functioning in children, adolescents and adults. It is characterized by excessive activity, restlessness, and nervousness. The disease occurs in general at children before the age of 7 and usually is not easy to be detected, due to various symptoms. When the diagnosis is established the physician can prescribe two types of drugs, stimulants: amphetamine, dexamphetamine, lisdexamphetamine, methylphenidate, and non-stimulants such as: guanfacine, atomoxetine, and clonidine. So what can be done for a person who has ADHD, and wants to be an elite athlete? Due to the rules established by the World Anti-Doping Agency the stimulant drugs are prohibited in competition and if traces of a prohibited substance are detected in the sample of blood of the athlete his access to competition can be blocked from 2-4 years, from that date of the incident. Fortunately for some athletes the disease was acute in childhood but as they grew up the symptoms were reminiscent and they could concentrate at the sporting task that was supposed to be achieved. What about those athletes that still have the symptoms? Well, they can be treated with the non-stimulant drugs, but their doctor must monthly verify if the list of prohibited drugs has been changed. In conclusion we can say that ADHD can be an impediment, but with the help of parents, teachers, and physicians the athlete can achieve very good performances.
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