Impulse Control Disorder


Impulse Control Disorder

An impulse control disorder (ICD) is a class of psychiatric disorders characterised by impulsivity – failure to resist a temptation, urge or impulse that may harm oneself or others.

Five behavioural stages characterize impulsivity:

  1. An impulse
  2. Growing tension
  3. Pleasure from acting
  4. Relief from the urge
  5. Finally guilt (which may or may not arise)

So here’s a list of some considered to be under the umbrella of ICD:

  • Kleptomania  –  urge to steal purely for the sake of gratification
  • Pathological Gambling  –  re-current episodes of gambling disruptive to one’s life
  • Pyromania  –  fire-starting
  • Trichotillomania  –  a compulsion to pull one’s hair out
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder  –  recurent aggressive episodes that are out of proportion of any given stressor
  • Dermatillomania  –  compulsive skin picking
  • Sexual Compulsion – increased urge in sexual behavior and thoughts
  • Compulsive Shopping – frequent irresistible urge to shop even if buying is not needed or afforded

Many psychiatric disorders feature impulsivity:

  • Substance-related disorders
  • Paraphilias
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • Conduct Disorder (children with/ precursor to Antisocial Personality Disorder)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Mood Disorders

Although not alone in accounting for the disorder, dopamine agonists are questioned to cause or aggravate an impulse control disorder (meds that activate dopamine receptors, in other words … boost the “activity” of dopamine in the brain).

I found a study on a woman with Dermatillomania, also called Pathological skin picking (PSP), who’s treatment included Paliperidone, a 5-HT2/D2 antagonist.
Study mentioned:

… infusion of dopamine agonists results in impulsive responses

… further reports that depletion of dopamine in the ventral striatum reduces impulsive responding produced by dopamine agonists

Quoted from Sources: – The Recognition and Treatment of Pathological Skin Picking – Impulse Control Disorder

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