Impulse Control Disorders

Impulse Control Disorders are a class of psychiatric disorders that are characterized by marked impulsivity.  These include disorders related to substance abuse and other harmful behaviors including hair puling, kleptomania, pyromania, bouts of range or skin picking.

Signs and Symptoms of ICD

  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Isolating onesself from friends or family
  • Lowered feelings of self worth
  • Upredictable episodes of emotional detachment

Causes of Impulse Control Disorders

It is not known what the exact causes of Impulse Control Disorders are, but it is commonly believed to be in part caused by a genetic predisposition.  Scientists believe that many things play a role, including phsyical, biological, psychological or emotional and cultural or societal factors.  It is suspected that certain brain structures including the limbic system may play a significant role.

Common problems associated with ICD include:

  • Poor school and work performance
  • Stealing or vandalism
  • Self Harm
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicide

Co-Occurring Conditions
Sometimes teens with ICD suffer from other disorders as well.  Thesecan make behavioral and emotional problems much worse and accurate diagnosis is the key to good treatment.  Some common co-occurring disorders include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Mood disorders
  • Learning disorders
  • Communication disorders
  • Substance abuse