A person suffering from pyromania, an impulse control problem, is referred to as a pyromaniac or pyro. People with pyromania often start fires to help themselves feel better, and Pyromaniacs also start fires to feel good. Pyromania patients typically enter psychiatric hospitals. About 90% of patients with a pyromania diagnosis are male.
What Does Pyromania Mean?
Pyromania is a severe mental disorder in which the person repeatedly and intentionally starts fires. Some individuals who have pyromania feel that they are unable to exercise control over their behaviours. The act of lighting a fire reduces inner stress or anxiety, and it gives a surge of pleasure or comfort. It may be for enjoyment, stress reduction, or sexual gratification.
Clinical pyromania is rare and often a mental illness. For instance, people who suffer from this condition may have unhealthy forms of expression with fire.
People with pyromania or other problems controlling their emotions may find it hard to control their behaviour. Kleptomania is a type of impulse control disorder, a strong desire to steal things from other people.
Like kleptomania, pyromania drives people to take risks with themselves and others. Despite the adverse effects, people with this condition may continue to ignite fires, making it look like an addiction.
Symptoms of Pyromania
A person suffering from pyromania has an abnormal interest in and the tendency to light fires. Several planned fire-setting activities characterise pyromania. Also, people who have pyromania feel nervous and excited before they start a fire.
Numerous potential symptoms of pyromania include the following:
- The person shows interest in fire and is curious about fire and the tools used to start fires.
- The person keeps an eye on nearby fires, sets off false alarms, or enjoys fire-related organisations, equipment, or people.
- They participate in volunteer work at a local fire station, start fires to draw attention to the fire service, or become a firefighter.
- They feel happiness, satisfaction, or relief after starting a fire, watching it spread, and participating in what happens next.
Causes of Pyromania
There are several causes why individuals with the disorder create fires, including:
- To get rid of worry or stress
- As a source of enjoyment
- For sexual pleasure, while this is rare
Nonetheless, the root causes of pyromania are still unknown. The existing evidence suggests that several factors, both biological and environmental, may contribute to the development of pyromania.
Some of the potential causes are:
- Trauma: Lack of parental supervision and physical or sexual abuse are two of the most common factors in youngsters struggling with impulse control.
- Family background: Pyromania and other impulse control issues are more likely in families with mental disorders.
- Other biological factors: Impulse control issues may be associated with brain chemical and anatomical differences.
- Economic and social background: There is an association between an increased risk of impulse control difficulties and being exposed to community violence, inadequate socioeconomic levels, and other relevant socioeconomic stressors.
- Comorbidities: Many people with pyromania also have other health problems, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Who Is Most Likely to Suffer from Pyromania?
There has not been enough research to indicate what factors put someone at a higher risk for developing pyromania.
The limited evidence available suggests that pyromaniacs are more likely to be:
- Approximately 18 years old when diagnosed with the condition
- At the risk of being diagnosed with learning disabilities or lack of social competence
Treatment of Pyromania
Without treatment, pyromania can develop into a chronic condition. However, with the proper treatment, this condition can be kept under control.
Pyromania medication has not been clinically tested. A physician can assist you in controlling your pyromania by prescribing medication. When a youngster is diagnosed with pyromania or intentionally lighting fires, it may be necessary to seek family counselling or parental education. Cognitive behaviour therapy also treats pyromania. The following things may be part of cognitive behaviour therapy:
- Finding out what triggered the impulse in the first place
- Resolving the issue by modifying or eliminating the behaviour
- Changing the activity or response to the external stimuli
- By replacing the undesirable practice with a more valuable one,
- Learning effective methods for managing stress
- Having a reliable companion in risky situations
- Parental training
- Problem-solving skills training
- Techniques for reducing stress
- Considering potential negative consequences
- Safety measures and fire protection
- Family counselling
- Individual treatment
Prevention of Pyromania
In addition to treatment and medication, individuals with pyromania may benefit from working on their problems autonomously. Pyromania is a mental health condition that, if left untreated, can have disastrous implications on a person’s legal, physical, social, and psychological well-being. People worried about getting a diagnosis should talk to a therapist, counsellor, or psychologist.
Individuals with a solid drive to create fires may benefit from some of the basic steps:
- Learn as much as possible about fires, their causes, and the damage they may do.
- Listen to the stories of fire and arson victims to understand them better.
- Improve relationships with others and learn how to develop healthy emotional expression.
- Overcome emotional traumas.
- Find healthy strategies to manage stress, aggression, and other negative emotions.
A person with pyromania has trouble controlling their impulses, often starting fires. It can lead to property damage, put people’s lives in danger, and put them imprisoned. However, it is difficult for persons with the condition to stop. In addition, it may alleviate emotional distress.
Treatment of pyromania should involve the whole family rather than punishment or harsh measures. A doctor or mental health expert should be consulted if one is concerned about another person’s behaviour.
If you think someone has pyromania or a strange interest in fire, you should get them to support you. You have no reason to feel guilty, and many people get relief from their symptoms.