Your Psychology and Mental health Portal
PsychNet-UK - Psychology and Mental health Forum
Mental Health and Psychology Portal

Also known as fire starting

The pyromaniac sets main deliberate fires and takes enjoyment in watching what others have to do as a result of this. Therefore the pyromaniac is often one of the spectators of the fire he has generated.

More than once, the person has deliberately and purposefully set fires.

Before the fire-setting, the person experiences tension or excited mood.

The person is interested in or attracted to fire and its circumstances and outcomes.

The person experiences gratification, pleasure or relief when setting fires or experiencing their consequences.

These fires are not set:

     for profit.
     to express a political agenda.
     to conceal crimes.
     to express anger or revenge.
     to improve the patient's living circumstances.
     in response to a delusion or hallucination.
     as a result of impaired judgment.

The fire-setting is not better explained by Antisocial Personality Disorder, Conduct Disorder or Manic Episode.

Associated Features:

Childhood Enuresis
Learning Disabilities.
Cruelty - to animals

Differential Diagnosis:

Some disorders have similar or even the same symptoms. The clinician, therefore, in his/her diagnostic attempt, has to differentiate against the following disorders which need to be ruled out to establish a precise diagnosis.

Antisocial Personality Disorder
Conduct Disorder.

Manic Episode
Substance Abuse.
Mental Retardation.


Pyromania is a strong need to set things on fire. It is all about the pleasure it gives to see what other people have to do to extinguish the fire and the pyromaniac may enjoy reading about the effects of his/her activities.


Behavioral therapy is used to direct the persons interest away from fire setting activities and have these replace with more socially acceptable forms of tension reduction.

Counseling and Psychotherapy [ See Therapy Section ]:


DSM Code

312.33 Pyromania

F63.1 Pyromania

Disorder Sheets

Mind (UK)
Granta House
15 - 19 Broadway
London E15 4BQ
Tel : +442085192122
Email: Click Here
Web: Click Here

Recommended Book

Pyromania, Kleptomania, and Other Impulse-Control Disorders - Click Here to View



Misc Information


Impulse Control Disorder's