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Very few people have actually heard about pyromania- a type of behavioral addiction. This is mainly because it is rare. Have you heard about it?        

Pyromania is characterized by intentional and repeated setting of fire. Setting fire releases inner tension or anxiety and gives the person a rush of pleasure or relief.


  • Unnecessary amount of matches or lighters
  • Burnt holes in fabrics and rugs
  • Excessive burnt pieces of papers or other materials in garbage cans, near sinks or stoves
  • Fascination with fire, which may include interest, curiosity and attraction to fire and fire setting. The individual must derive pleasure from setting the firebox seeing the fire


Research suggests that there might be a genetic link and estimate that only a very small portion of the population get affected. Because it is a rare condition, studies on it are very few and limited but it is often associated with psychiatric conditions such as mood disorders or substance abuse disorder.


Pyromania can be very risky due to the fire setting and lead to death, damage to property and injury hence it is important to seek treatment immediately upon diagnosis. Cognitive behavior therapy and other therapies can be used to treat pyromania. The affected person can learn to pay attention to feelings of tension that build up, figure out what causes the urge, understand the effects and find new ways to release feelings.

BY: Okyere Agyakwah Abena


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