Everyone can admit that they have been emotional at least at one point in their life. As a child, you may have had a hard time controlling your emotions or behaviors with no true outlet to relieve yourself. Later in life, adults learn how to combat an excess of emotions with meditation, massage therapy, counseling, and other aids.

 For many individuals, however, controlling their emotions and behaviors isn’t so simple. When a person can not control themselves to the point of breaking social protocols, it is called an impulse control disorder.

What is Impulse Control Disorder?

What is Impulse Control Disorder

Impulse control disorder, also known as ICD, can include many different types of disorders. According to Frontiers in Psychiatry, impulse control disorders can include the following disorders and behaviors:

  • Pathological Gambling 
  • Kleptomania
  • Trichotillomania
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder
  • Compulsive Sexual Behavior
  • Pyromania

Each of these disorders focuses on the inability to resist the impulse to commit an act. In some cases, these urges can harm people or break the law. For example, kleptomania is the act of stealing for no apparent gain. Kleptomania may not immediately harm someone, but it is against the law. Other ICD’s are extremely dangerous. For example, pyromania is the urge to set fires and play with fire. This could cause serious damage to yourself or others. 

What are the Common Symptoms of an Impulse Control Disorder?

There are many signs and symptoms of an impulse control disorder. Each symptom may differ based on the individual and the type of impulse control disorder they live with. 

Common symptoms may include antagonistic behaviors, violent irresponsibility, and a casual disregard for consequences. Many that live with an ICD experience obsessive tendencies in various areas of their life. 

Some social and emotional symptoms that you may see in those with an ICD are low self-esteem, anxiety, isolation, a guilty conscience, and dramatic mood swings. Many symptoms and signs of this disorder are covered more thoroughly with these medically-reviewed articles.

What are the Effects of Impulse Control Disorder?

Impulsive behaviors can have a negative effect or harm your relationship. Relationships can become harder to maintain if someone is experiencing difficulty regulating their emotions or actions. If you live with the inability to control your impulses, you may find distrust and isolation within your relationships. People with an impulse control disorder can make others feel wary because they lack responsibility and the idea of consequences. 

The reason that many individuals experience impulse control disorders, as well as other mental disorders, is because of the compulsion to give in to emotions and desires easily. According to the National Institute of Health, about 82% of people with intermittent explosive disorders also have other mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. 

Anxiety can often act as the trigger for these impulse control disorders. Many people will feel an intense surge of anxiety if they do not give in to their urges. Depression and substance abuse disorder are also common mental health disorders with individuals with impulse control disorder. Many have a difficult time coping with their actions or compulsions; this can lead to depression and substance abuse.

If you or someone you know lives with an impulse control disorder, it is vital to seek help immediately. There are many therapies and pharmaceutical treatments that can aid in the recovery of impulse control disorders.