Impulse Control Disorder Causes

Impulse control disorder can simply be defined as the failure to resist or avoid doing an impulsive act or behavior that may be harmful to oneself or others. It is a specific group of impulsive behaviors that have been accepted as a form of psychiatric disorder. This set of conditions all feature behavior acted out in uncontrollable manner.  Often this leads to self-destructive consequences or is harmful to other people.

Acts resulting from these disorders are not premeditated.  So, they are unplanned since the individual suffering from it has little to no control. Although acts resulting from these disorders, when converted to legal terms, are usually considered criminal in nature. Typically, people with this disorder feel anxiety and tension before committing the act. But then they feel relieved and gratified after doing so despite the possibility of facing dangerous consequences.

There are six typical impulse control disorder categories. Among them is gambling addiction, clinically known as pathological gambling, which is characterized by excessive and uncontrolled betting or gambling, resulting to negative outcomes. Aside from pathological gambling, there is also the intermittent explosive disorder.  This is characterized by an irrepressible fits of violence and anger. Kleptomania, which is characterized by uncontrolled urges to steal for no particular reason, not even monetary, is also among the six categories. Pyromania, characterized by urges to set anything on fire.  In addition, Trichotillomania which is characterized by the urge to pluck and pull one’s hair resulting to bald spots, are also included. Other conditions not mentioned earlier are included in the “not otherwise specified” category.

Past research has stressed that impulse control disorder is somehow always interrelated with existing mental and health conditions that can be regarded as causes. These include:

– Traumatic Brain injury
This injury may lead to impulse control disorder, especially if the damage is greatest in the frontal cortex area.

– Substance Abuse
It has been observed that people who abuse multiple substances are more prone to impulse control disorder than those who abuse a single substance.

– Conduct Disorder
Children who have this disorder early tend to grow into adults who abuse dangerous substances.

– Major Mental disorder

– Personality disorders

Compulsive Behaviors: The General Know-How

Regarding treatment, researchers mainly focus on the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapeutic treatments, and medications. Another known therapy is habit reversal.  This is when the patient is asked to identify if the disorder is occurring and then instructed to try and replace that action with something that is less harmful. One of which is to write in a journal whenever there is an urge to do a negative action. Breathing exercises to help the patients relax and let their minds be at ease are proven to be of great help as well.

In addition to these treatments, 12-step programs can also help those who are trying to control impulsive behaviors. Medications too can be relied on, with the most commonly used being anti-depressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), sertraline (Zoloft), and venlafaxine (Effexor).

If you’re suffering from impulsive control disorder, especially the kind associated with gambling, you should think about getting help. Once you’re ready, get in touch with our experts here at Williamsville Wellness. By doing so, you’re guaranteed to get not just any kind of assistance, but one that’s truly right for you.