Pyromania is a psychological disorder characterized by an overwhelming urge to deliberately start fires for pleasure or gratification. Individuals with pyromania experience an intense fascination and obsession with fire and may derive pleasure, satisfaction, or relief from setting objects or properties ablaze. This disorder is classified as an impulse control disorder and is often accompanied by a sense of anticipation and arousal leading up to the act of fire-setting.

Key Characteristics:

  • Compulsive and impulsive desire to start fires
  • Recurrent thoughts or obsession with fire and its consequences
  • Inability to resist the impulse to ignite fires
  • Experience of pleasure, gratification, or relief when setting objects on fire
  • Feelings of anticipation and arousal leading up to fire-setting
  • Lack of motive for setting fires (not driven by anger or personal gain)
  • Indifference to the potential harm caused by fires

Possible Causes:

  • Biological factors, such as imbalances in neurotransmitters
  • Genetic predisposition or family history of pyromania
  • Psychological factors, including trauma or neglect during childhood
  • Underlying mental health conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Seeking control or power through fire-related actions


Although pyromania poses significant risks to the individual and society, effective treatment options are available. The key approaches include:

  • Psychotherapy: Talk therapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help individuals explore and address the underlying causes of pyromania.
  • Medications: In some cases, psychiatric medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms associated with pyromania, such as anxiety or compulsive thoughts.
  • Support groups: Joining support groups or engaging in group therapy can provide a sense of community and help individuals learn coping strategies.
  • Fire safety education: Learning about the dangers and consequences of fire-setting behavior is essential to prevent relapse and ensure the safety of oneself and others.


If you or someone you know shows symptoms of pyromania, it is crucial to seek professional help from a qualified mental health practitioner. Prompt diagnosis and intervention can prevent potential harm and aid in the management of this disorder.