Most of us have done impulsive things before. Whether you bought something you didn’t really need on a whim or gone on a whirlwind trip, these moments probably haven’t had a long-term impact on your life. For individuals with impulse control disorders, their out-of-control outbursts make their lives and the lives of their loved ones much more difficult, and can escalate to violence or breaking the law. People with impulse control disorders have trouble regulating their emotions and behavior.

Common Impulse Control Disorders

  • Intermittent explosive disorder (marked by uncontrolled fits of intense anger and violence)
  • Kleptomania (marked by irresistible urges to steal)
  • Pyromania (marked by impulses to set fires)
  • Pathological gambling (marked by uncontrollable gambling)
  • Trichotillomania (marked by irresistible hair twisting and pulling, often resulting in balding)

The disruptive and impulsive behaviors that characterize impulse control disorders go well beyond normal behavior. They are:

  • Frequent
  • Long-lasting
  • Happen in various areas of their life
  • Cause significant problems

Impulse control disorders often being in childhood or adolescence. As you can imagine, the inability to control their emotions and behaviors causes significant impairment in functioning and can make it very difficult to succeed. People with these issues often struggle with forming and maintaining relationships and frequently get in trouble with the law.

Treatment for Impulse Control Disorders

The best course of treatment for people with impulse control disorders is therapy to help teach them to control their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Treatment for children with these issues often revolves around teaching parents how to respond to the challenging behaviors. It can be difficult to connect with individuals with these types of disorders because they may naturally distrust the therapeutic process, but change is possible.

At Dr. Angela Reiter & Associates, we have extensive experience working with individuals with impulse control disorders to lead more normal lives. If you are looking for a psychologist in Eastchester, contact us today.