[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
November 14, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVII(20):1066-1068. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430980038006

The case of Mrs. Castle (who has recently been pronounced a victim of kleptomania by the eminent English alienist, Dr. Savage, and whose light sentence and speedy release demonstrate the validity of this diagnosis) renders of especial interest Lacassagne's1 recent study of the relationship of kleptomania to "shopping." Kleptomania, as a system of mental disorder, has long been recognized by alienists. Marc, who reported many cases half a century ago, recognized that people, in circumstances which should have placed them beyond temptation, stole from shops articles to them almost valueless, whose number and uselessness indicated mental disorder in the thief. According to many alienists, kleptomania is always a manifestation of degeneracy, an episodiac symptom-complex. There are kleptomaniacs of this type who steal purely for the sake of stealing. At the same time, as Lacassagne points out, in the vast majority of kleptomaniacs, kleptomania is a morbid manifestation of certain