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How to Overcome Shoplifting

Updated April 17, 2017

Shoplifting is the act of stealing items from stores. There may be "professional" shoplifters that steal items for the purpose of reselling them, most shoplifters don't fall into this category. Some people suffer from a compulsion known as kleptomania, while others may steal for various reasons--including the simple thrill of getting away with it. Punishment for this crime can include fines and jail time. Learning how to overcome this type of problem is a good start toward a better future.

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  1. Recognise your problem. The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention has questions to ask yourself to find out if you have an addiction. For example, "Do you ever shoplift to help yourself feel better?" "Do you sometimes wake up in the morning thinking about the next time you will shoplift?" "Do you promise yourself to stop shoplifting and don't?" "Do you sometimes feel guilty, ashamed or remorseful after you shoplift?" Asking yourself these kinds of questions will be helpful in connecting your feelings to your actions.

  2. Contact Cleptomaniacs and Shoplifters Anonymous. It's an organisation that offers help, support, and a safe environment to those who suffer from this type of problem. There are meetings that you can attend as well as over-the-phone or skype counselling sessions. This organisation can help you find the help you need in your area and can also help you to obtain a sponsor. Support groups can be extremely beneficial when overcoming a problem because you relate to others who suffer from the same issues.

  3. Seek the help of a psychiatrist or psychologist. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need therapy to help you overcome it. Kleptomania is an official diagnosis that can be made by a doctor, but it can be cured therapy and, sometimes, medication. Do not hesitate to contact a professional when trying to overcome this problem. If it is out of your control, there are doctors who can help.

  4. Avoid tempting situations. When trying to overcome any type of addictive behaviour, it's important to stay out of environments that weaken your resolve. Stay out of any stores where it's most difficult to control yourself. When you have to go into a store for something such as food, decide before you go that you will buy only the things you need and immediately leave the store.

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About the Author

Cee Donohue started as a comedy writer in 2004. She has written for "One to One Magazine" and the "South Hollywood News." Before moving to Los Angeles, Donohue attended the University of the Arts.

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