An impulse control disorder is a condition in which an individual struggles to control emotions or behaviour.
When they act in response to urges, they can harm themselves, others, or find themselves in conflict with societal norms.
These disorders are often overlooked or misdiagnosed, which means those suffering do not receive the help they need to cope and function effectively.
What are the different types of impulse control disorder?
Impulse control disorders most commonly appear during childhood or adolescence and include some of the following examples:
Oppositional Defiant Disorder:
Those with ODD more frequently are unable to control their temper, becoming quickly and easily annoyed while feeling angry or resentful towards others.
They will regularly challenge authority figures, break rules, purposely disturb and distract others as well as blaming them for problems.
ODD can often appear from an early age, causing problems in all aspects of an individual’s life.
Those diagnosed with conduct disorder persistently behave in a way that violates social rules.
This may cause them to be aggressive towards people, property and animals as well as engaging in theft, lying and violating rules at home and school.
Such behaviour can often present itself in childhood and is not typically diagnosed in people over the age of 18.
Kleptomania causes individuals to impulsively and unnecessarily steal things that they do not need.
It is a disorder that affects less than 1 per cent of people.
The condition is about a compulsion rather than the objects themselves because often they will throw items away or give them to others.
It leads to a lack of self-control which is rewarded by a sense of relief or even gratification after stealing.
This disorder causes individuals to start a fire repeatedly and deliberately.
Pyromania creates an obsession with fire or fire-related objects along with a compulsive urge to set things alight, again providing a sense of relief or gratification after doing so.
What causes impulsive control disorders?
Despite ongoing research into impulsive control disorders, the cause remains unknown.
Many mental health experts suggest that it is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Intermittent Explosive Disorder is thought to occur as a result of either physical and emotional trauma, and family members have IED or physiological problems such as serotonin abnormalities.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder is thought to be caused by either individuals struggling with regulating their emotions, neglectful or abusive parents, or physiological issues.
Conduct Disorder can develop from being an infant if the child has a difficult temperament, has been abused or subjected to inconsistent parenting, has been exposed to violence or has a family member with conduct disorder.
It can also be caused by alcohol abuse, a number of mental health issues such as depression, bipolar, schizophrenia or ADHD, as well as other physiological problems.
Kleptomania is often seen in people with family members suffering from OCD or substance abuse, but can also be a result of other mental health issues as well as physiological problems.
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