There is a reason I choose to write about Impulse Control Disorder today.
I’ve always been a wicked impulsive person. It’s primitive. It may have even gotten worse with age. Maybe. However, I’ve never really
been able to, tried to understand it.
It’s not easy to wrap your head around something that you cannot visibly see. Society wants us to just accept things for what they are because they say so. However, not everything. How can I accept something when I can’t even understand it? I’ve never been one to want to do the work, the research, I just want the know, the knowledge. Instant Gratification.
The word impulsive, derives from the word impulse.
Being a person who acts on impulse, or an impulsive person, means one that acts before, or without thinking about it. “Acting or Done without forethought.”
Let’s shine a little light on a part of society who needs to know they are not alone.
What Is Impulse Control Disorder?
Impulse control Disorder is a behavioral disorder, one where the person really has no control over their behavior. Triggers can be things like anger, sadness, fear, or an overwhelming amount of uncontrollable emotions.
Having emotional overloads – Not knowing where to put your feelings, or who to be mad at. So you may seem like your mad at everyone– including the wrong people. Including Yourself.
Most impulse control disorders are initially apparent during childhood or adolescence. They can still be evident during adulthood. Acts of defiance and anger can be attributed to normal child development. Those with impulse control disorders will exhibit longer-lasting episodes of aggressive behavior.
Impulse control disorders tend to share four specific commonalities:
- The person repeats the behavior despite any adverse consequences suffered.
- They have little control over troublesome behavior.
- The person seems to experience an overwhelming urge before exhibiting the behavior.
- The person seems to take pleasure from the behavior.
When impulse control disorders go untreated, they can impact the person’s quality of life. Many can result in legal problems or financial ruin.
Common Types of Impulse Control Disorder
This my friends is tough. It’s a hard pill to swallow.So grab your tall glass of ice water, or your medium hot coffee from Dunkin’, and take it down.
No, but really!! This stuff really makes my chest tighten, my heart feel squeezed. Nightmares may or may not be made of this stuff.
Some of the most common impulse disorders includes diagnosis’ such as; pyromania, trichotillomania, kleptomania, intermittent explosive disorder, compulsive sexual disorder, the list goes on.
Visit First Light Recovery’s (FLR) website to find self quiz’s, blogs, help lines, phone numbers, programs, contacts , and so much more IFY!!
Below, you’ll find a list of some of the different types of impulse control disorders, accompanied by a brief description of each type. This list was copied directly from the website of First Light Recovery. You can find it here.
Conduct disorder is a pattern of aggressive behavior towards others. These behaviors include breaking the rules at home, in school, and among their peers. Rule violations can be severe. Behaviors that cause harm to others, such as bullying and cruelty to animals, can be a part of this disorder.
Trichotillomania is when a person obsessively and intentionally pulls out their hair. It is significant enough that the loss of hair is noticeable. Ultimately, the condition can lead to social isolation and occupational disability. Trichotillomania is considered to be an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Pyromania is an impulse control disorder where the person has an uncontrollable urge to set fires. They are aware of the damage this behavior can cause, but that doesn’t stop them. Pyromaniacs usually have a fascination with fire and watching things burn. They do not set fires to destroy things intentionally but experience relief from lighting things on fire.
Compulsive Sexual Behavior
Compulsive sexual behavior, also known as sex addiction, is an overwhelming preoccupation with sex. This behavior includes masturbation, promiscuity, pornography, exhibitionism, voyeurism, or fetishes. In small doses, these behaviors can be relatively healthy; however, for a sex addict, they become obsessive.
Over time, sex addiction becomes more of a means of reducing anxiety than seeking pleasure. This disorder can cause distress, destroy relationships, and potentially lead to social, occupational, financial, and legal consequences.
Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is most commonly seen in childhood. It primarily involves defiance, uncooperative behavior, or anger directed at those in positions of authority. Every child will naturally show mild forms of these behaviors. A diagnosis of ODD will come when this behavior lasts longer than six months and interferes with the child’s daily interactions. While ODD is treatable, it can later evolve into conduct disorder if it goes untreated.
Kleptomania is an uncontrollable urge to steal things. Most of the time, the things taken are not things that the kleptomaniac needs. They are usually items that are small and carry very little value.
This impulsive control disorder is considered to be rare and incurable. Treatment has been shown to end the cycle of this compulsion.
Compulsive gambling is also known as pathological gambling or gambling disorder. It is an uncontrollable urge to keep gambling even when it is ruining a person’s life.
Compulsive gamblers will keep gambling until they have emptied their savings and are in debt. They have been known to steal money or write bad checks to be able to keep gambling. This disorder can destroy relationships and leave the compulsive gambler in financial ruin.
The Co-Occurrence of Impulse Control Disorders and Substance Abuse
Another fact is that its pretty common for individuals with ICD to also have substance abuse disorder. This is what we call co-occurrence or comorbidity to 2 conditions.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that approximately half of those with substance use disorder also have a mental illness.
Individuals with impulse control disorders may start abusing substances to self-medicate. Unfortunately, their tendency towards compulsive behavior can translate to an addiction to illegal drugs or alcohol. In some cases, impulse control disorders lead to substance abuse, while in other cases, the opposite is true.
Learning about Mental Health is important, at any and ALL ages. I say we treat mental health as a Subject in school, and touch base with it in the most age appropriate way possible behind school doors.
Knowledge is Power.
They may think that feeding us this knowledge gives us a dictionary of excuses for poor or bad behaviors- but if we know and learn this stuff right from the get – we can potentially avoid and or resist the natural urges we have to push our limits and see what we can get away with.
What are your thoughts on ICD???
Be a part of the conversation, share your story, or share this article to your page today!! Let’s give em something to talk about!
Etymology of Impulse on en.wikitionary.org
CDC.gov- CDC's Mental Health Tab
National Health Service - Mental Health Tab
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) - Comorbidity - Substance abuse Disorders & Mental Health
Mayo Clinic on condition called Kleptomania
Mayo Clinic . org - Compulsive Sexual Behaviors
Mayo Clinic. org - Intermittent Explosive Disorder
WebMD - on Comorbidity
Do I have OCD? OCD Self Test by First Light Recovery
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