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Pyromania Symptoms

Pyromania is an obsessive desire or irrestistible impulse to set fire to things. The following are pyromania symptoms:

Deliberate and purposeful fire setting on more than one occasion.

Tension or affective arousal before the act.

Fascination with, interest in, curiosity about, or attraction to fire and its situational contexts (e.g., paraphernalia, uses, consequences).

Pleasure, gratification, or relief when setting fires, or when witnessing or participating in their aftermath.

The fire setting is not done for monetary gain, as an expression of sociopolitical ideology, to conceal criminal activity, to express anger or vengeance, to improve one’s living circumstances, in response to a delusion or hallucination, or as a result of impaired judgment (e.g., in dementia, mental retardation, substance intoxication).

The fire setting is not better accounted for by conduct disorder, a manic episode, or antisocial personality disorder.


John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2019). Pyromania Symptoms. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/disorders/pyromania-symptoms/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 11 Oct 2019 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 11 Oct 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.