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I'm glad your session went so well! Your therapist sounds like she is kind and compassionate, and really wants to help you.
Feeling shame about stealing is a very common symptom of Kleptomania. Kleptomania is an impulse control disorder. It can be considered a type of anxiety disorder or obsessive compulsive, which are also similar.
Talking through the shame and revealing your problem can be the first step in getting help. But it's that first step that is often the hardest. A good point in your favor is that you are already in therapy and your therapist knows you. She is a safe person and has already been with you through some difficult times.
It might help to write out your problem first then either read the note to her, or let her read it. That may make it easier to talk about. And it would take the pressure off trying to find the words to tell her.
At the end of each session, try jotting down some of the main points of your therapy. Then as you anticipate your next session, keep writing down things that bother you, thoughts you have, feelings that come up. That way, you have things you can bring up. You can also copy our posts and take them with you. They can provide a good guide.
I am barely one step ahead of you...I printed out our earlier post from today and took it with me to my session. I kept reading it over and over again while I waited for her to come and get me. It helped me feel less lost in my overwhelming thoughts.
Once I tell her, she is just going to tell me to stop doing and that the risks are too high. But it isn't that i haven't already thought of that. If I could just stop, I obviously would. I remember when I told her that I cut. She told me I had to stop right away because she didn't treat cutters and that my daughter would start to notice (if she hadn't already) and wonder what the heck I was doing. She is a very perceptive kid for her age. She doesn't miss much.
I keep a journal and sometimes I bring it with me to therapy. When I do she has me write down things that I have said that I often forget and are helpful to me. But I always write about our sessions in the evening or next day of session.
I really feel quite afraid of telling her about the stealing. I can't even write it down in my journal...that's how ashamed I feel. This is definetly going to be a tough obstacle to overcome.
I told her that so many emotions were coming up now with regards XXXXX XXXXX past hurts. She told me that I feel ready to do so. She asked me something thought provoking. She asked if I missed the support my boyfriend gave me or did I actually miss him. It was a tough question to answer. He was always there for every pain I had and I loved him for it. But while I was taking a walk earlier today, I felt sad because I didn't think we would stay together for the long haul due to his job moving away from me (I don't think I ever told you that he was transferred). I can't leave where I live because all my supports are here plus my therapist. I am not ready emotionally or for that matter physically to move away from all that I have here. So unless he finds a new job and moves back we are stalled as he put it.
I am sorry that your therapist was not supportive of your issues around cutting. But cutting is a different issue than Kleptomania. There is no way to just stop doing it (or cutting either). It is considered a diagnosis just like depression or anxiety. Treatment is needed to stop the behavior. And it's not about the stealing, like a criminal would, it's a symptom of an emotional issue. Completely different.
Keep working with it. It may take time to work through the shame but you are motivated to feel better, and that is what you need to work through this.
I had no choice with the cutting because she was serious. So I did just stop. It almost killed me to quit cold turkey but I did because I didn't want to lose her as my therapist.
I want to tell her but am terrified of telling her about the stealing. I really think she will just tell me to just stop doing it immediately. Plus the shame I feel is really high. I think for the most part I try to do the right thing but the nature of my illnesses often makes me do things that are bad. Would you say the stealing is an anxiety illness?
I doubt I could just quit with the stealing. It is too strong of an impulse. I often think of when my next opportunity might be. How horrible I know! I hope you understand that I don't want to be a thief and think poorly of me.
The urge is crazy strong and sometimes I don't even realize I've put something in my bag. It is almost robotic. But there other feelings I get that I am very embarrased about. For example, sometimes I feel a type of high. Why would I feel that way? I should feel terrible about it (which I do too) but not good. I don't understand this.
Could you help me understand this better?
Thanks in advance Kate.
The stealing is Kleptomania, which is considered an impulse control disorder and OCD diagnosis, also related to anxiety. So it is a treatable diagnosis, very different than being a thief, which is criminal behavior and a much different thing. You would not feel as you do if this was based on criminal behavior.
The high you feel is part of the diagnosis, part of the impulse control disorder. It is a cycle that people experience when they steal. It's like an addiction, getting high when you take and coming down afterwards.
Thank you ahead of time for your accept!