Pyromania

By: Debbie & Alfred

Definition

Pyromania, impulse control disorder characterized by the recurrent compulsion to set fires. The term refers only to the setting of fires for sexual or other gratification provided by the fire itself, not to arson for profit or revenge. (Britannica)

Symptoms

  1. Compulsive desire to light fires
  2. Tension and arousal before the act.
  3. Fascination with fire and related objects
  4. Pleasure when setting fires or viewing the aftermath
  5. Fire setting is not premeditated

Internal Causes

Psychologist Sigmund Freud theorized that pyromania was a primitive desire to exert dominance over nature. Researchers have associated pyromania with male sexual urges and that it is an expression of power over adults.

External Causes

  • Parental neglect
  • Physical and/or sexual abuse
  • Poor ability to cope stress

Impact on Lifestyle and Family

  • Physical injury
  • Economic issues
  • Endangers the individual and others
  • Imprisonment for arson and/or manslaughter

Treatment

There are several types of therapy for pyromania including:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (Brings awareness to triggers)
  • Family therapy (Helps solve root problem)
  • Group therapy (Support groups, prevents isolation)
  • Alternate therapy (Meditation, relaxation, leads to emotional security)

Pyromania Support Group

Online Forum for those suffering from pyromania

Bibliography

Psych Central. (2013). Pyromania Symptoms. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 11, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/pyromania-symptoms/


pyromania. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/science/pyromania


Grant, J., & Kim, S. (2007). Clinical characteristics and psychiatric comorbidity of pyromania. Retrieved December 14, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18052565#


Pyromania. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from http://www.minddisorders.com/Py-Z/Pyromania.html


Pyromania. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from http://regionalcenter.org/mental-health/pyromania