A type of mania, pyromania is an impulse to deliberately start fires to relieve tension and typically includes feelings of gratification or relief afterward. Pyromania is distinct from arson, and pyromaniacs are also distinct from those who start fires because of psychosis, for personal, monetary or political gain, or for acts of revenge. Pyromaniacs start fires to induce euphoria, and often fixate on institutions of fire control like fire stations and firefighters.

Behavior modification is the usual treatment for pyromania. Other treatments include seeing the patient's actions as an unconscious process and analyzing it to help the patient get rid of the behavior. Often, this treatment is followed by a more psychodynamic approach that addresses the underlying problems that generated the negative emotions causing the mania. The prognosis for treatment is generally fair to poor. Treatment appears to work in 95% of children that exhibit signs of pyromania, which include family therapy and community intervention. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are also used to treat this condition. Studies have also shown there are therapeutic benefits associated with playing out the mania in a simulated environment.

Pyromania is a very rare disorder, and the incidence of it is less than one percent in most studies; also, pyromaniacs are a very small proportion of psychiatric hospital admissions.Pyromania can occur in children as young as age three, but it is rare in adults and rarer in children. Only a small percentage of children and adolescents arrested for arson have pyromania. Ninety percent of those diagnosed with pyromania are male. Based on a survey of 9,282 Americans using the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual on Mental Disorders, 4th edition, impulse-control problems such as gambling, pyromania and compulsive shopping collectively affect 9% of the population.And a 1979 study by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration found that only 14% of fires were started by pyromaniacs and others with mental illness.

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