Pyromania is an obsession with fire and starting fires, in an intentional fashion, usually on multiple occasions. It should be contrasted with other acts of arson. To qualify as true pyromania, the fire must not be done for personal gain, monetary or otherwise, or as an act of revenge or psychotic episode.
In all cases, the fire, or its aftermath and process, is the intent. Those afflicted with pyromania experience tremendous joy and gratification in not only the act of setting fires, but also the institutions of fire control fire stations, firefighters, fire-suppression systems, etc.
Nearly half of those arrested for arson in the United States are under age 18, though in many of these cases, the fire setting does not result from pyromania, but instead other behavioral factors.
The occurrence of pyromania, reported by DSM-IV, is "rare."
A bona fide diagnosis of pyromania will be made only when all other exclusionary factors have been ruled out.
Further information on pyromania can be found on page 669 of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV-TR.
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