Impulse Control Disorders: Tests and Symptoms with 4 Effective Treatment

Impulse control disorders (ICDs) are distinguished by behaviors and urges that are imprudent and/or deleterious to oneself or others. These are the reasons for important impairment in occupational and social functioning.

Legal and financial difficulties can also occur for it. ICDs are comparatively usual psychiatric settings, yet are poorly realized by the clinicians, general public, and persons struggling with the disorder.

In this article, we will cover the meaning of ICDs, the causes, the tests, and the treatment procedures. So stick to us till the end to learn about impulse control disorders and develop an entire cognition about the disorders.

What is Impulse Control Disorders

What is Impulse Control Disorders

An individual who has impulse control disorder does not feel in control of what would be considered normal behavior. Everyone demonstrates impulsive behaviors from time to time.

In fact, a person with an impulsive disorder faces trouble controlling emotions or behaviors. Impulse control problems are not usual issues controlling the momentary, impulsive urges that instinctively arise among kids and adults.

The appearance of these difficulties is connected to a range of diagnosable health conditions where includes substance use disorder, certain sorts of eating disorders, certain personality disorders, conduct disorder, and bipolar disorder. 

Impulse Control Disorders Test

Impulsive control disorders Test

Psychologists and psychiatrists sometimes apply the term impulsivity to make understand the availability of an age-inappropriate inability to rein in impulsive urges.

People affected by impulsivity have crucially elevated scopes of failing to consider the results of their actions or otherwise exposing themselves to negative consequences of their short-term-oriented selections.

Doctors can identify impulse control difficulties with the assistance of a screening test that is addressed as the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale.

The UPPS-P was revolutionized in the first decade of the 2000s as a path to measure 5 components of impulsive behavior. They are depicted in the following:

  1. A desire to quest out highly stimulating experiences.
  2. Not a usual sense of urgency stems from “negative” emotional states.
  3. Not a usual sense of urgency stems from “positive” emotional states.
  4. A tendency to perform anything without thinking.
  5. An instinct to fail to follow through on an undertaken task or activity. 

In its long-form, the screening test has 59 questions. A person gives the answers on his or her own. The replies to each of these questions have a point value which is ranging from 1 to 4. Here, one thing to remember. The point value will be from least affected to most affected.

Interpreters of UPPS-P consequences base their findings. The findings would be on the total point value for each of the five test subcategories, otherwise, on the total point value for the test as a whole. 

Doctors and other health professionals can run the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale for both teenagers and adults. The test comes in many language-specific versions.

In the context of addiction and/or abuse, notable populations that can give advantages from the application of this screening procedure where people attacked by alcohol problems, people influenced by medication or drug problems, and people affected by gambling issues.

Now let’s talk about the symptoms of ICDs. We are talking about four symptoms that make you understand that you have to be careful about them. So let’s dig in.

1. Abrupt Explosive Anger

Abrupt Explosive Anger

Impulsive behavior, impulsive violence predisposition, have been correlated to a low brain serotonin turnover rate, indicated by a low concentration of 5-hydroxy indole acetic acid (5-HIAA) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

Abrupt explosive Anger is a behavioral disorder characterized by explosive outbursts of anger or violence that are disproportionate to the situation (e.g., impulsive shouting, screaming or excessive reprimanding triggered by relatively inconsequential events). 

Impulsive aggression is not premeditated and is described by a disproportionate reaction to any provocation, perceived, or real.

2. Pulling of Hair

Pulling of Hair

Trichotillomania (pulling of hair) is a body-focused repetitive manner classified as an impulse control disorder that entangles pulling out one’s hair. Hair pulling may ensue in any region of the body in which hair grows. However, the most common sites are the scalp, eyelids, and eyebrows.

Befalling more frequently in females, it is approximated that 1%-2% of adults and adolescents undergo trichotillomania. 

3. Risky Sexual Behaviors

Compulsive or risky sexual behavior is sometimes addressed as hypersexuality, sexual addiction, or hypersexuality disorder. It’s an excessive preoccupation with sexual fantasies that is difficult to control, causes you distress, or negatively affects health, job, relationships, or other parts of life.

Impulsivity is associated with behaviors such as sex while using drugs or with a partner using drugs, infrequent use of condoms, engagement in sex with strangers, multiple sex partners.

4. The Habit of Stealing

Habit of Stealing

Kleptomania (Habit of stealing) is the recurrent inability to resist urges to steal items generally don’t really need and that usually have little value.  

Riddi, a 36-year-old married woman, delineated herself as being compulsive. She depicted a history, initializing in late adolescence, of shoplifting that is beyond control. She averred that over the course of a few months she got obsessed with stealing. Her shoplifting began at the age when she started to steal candy.

Impulse Control Disorder Treatment 

Impulsivity, in the clinical sense, can be called “action without foresight”. Some problems can be solved if you follow the techniques of self-parenting. However, there are many ways to get rid of the disorder. Here, we are mentioning four escape solutions. So let’s get initialized.

1. Group Therapy for Adults

Group Therapy for Adults

Therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy, is effective if you’re going proactive on impulsivity difficulties. Active mindfulness is tantamount to work out a muscle. It is one of the best ways to change behavior.

One can opt-out to work out after a scenario of feeling particularly weak, and improvement might feel impossibly slow in the beginning. It’s just like getting physically awakened. 

The more flex that compassion and self-restraint, the easier it will bring betterment in long term! 

2. Play Therapy for Children

One of the most effective therapy for kids is Play Therapy for Children. Most of the time children get affected by this certain disorder. The therapy includes the following procedures:

a) Modeling healthy behaviors and setting a proper instance.

b) Ascertaining to admire them when they exhibit positive behavior.

c) Making a routine and executing so the kid knows what to expect.

Here, one thing you can add to manage the time of your kids. Read the following article:

3. Individual Psychotherapy

Individual Psychotherapy

Individual psychotherapy is a sort of behavioral therapy. This therapy has been demonstrated to improve your personality as well as self-control in anxiety-provoking circumstances. One can easily and confidentially talk through issues or situations with a trained professional in this psychotherapy.

Stress, anger, conflict, or grief get mitigated by the therapy. The explorations of individual psychotherapy are:

  • Expression of emotions and thoughts
  • Patterns of Behavior
  • Problem-solving
  • Resolution of Conflict
  • Weaknesses and Strengths

4. Group Therapy and Support Groups

Now we are going to aver about group therapy and support groups. This therapy is fruitful for the disorder. The group setting is effective in terms of enhanced emotional support. Group therapy is, indeed, a place in which others will struggle with the same kind of issues. Thus the participants can connect with one another and can pave the ways to stop dissociating.


What is the best medication for impulse control?

Answer: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are antidepressant treatments that have been researched for the medication of impulse control disorders that can mitigate your depression

For instance, frontiers in psychiatry reported improvement in irritability and aggression in people battling intermittent explosive disorder who took Prozac. 

What are impulse control disorders?

Answer: Impulse control disorders are the conditions in which a person has trouble controlling behaviors or emotions. Sometimes, the manners violate the rights of others or dispute the law and societal norms.

How do you treat an impulse control disorder?

Answer: There are many ways one can go through the treatment of impulse control disorder. One of the measurable overcoming processes is Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). 

This therapy is a widely applied form of therapy that assists a person to know how to transform potentially deleterious thought systems and manners. Dialectical behavior therapy assists persons in administrating self-harm manners like suicidal thoughts, attempts, or urges, and drug application.

What are the ways of helping teenagers regain self control over addictive behaviors?

Answer: Teenagers tend to experiment a lot. Sometimes this nature brings them addictive behaviors. The ways of helping teenagers regain self-control over addictive behaviors are in the following.

  • Having knowledge about their friends.
  • Make an environment that will be positive.
  • Interact with the teens early.
  • Keep your eyes on your adolescents.
  • Inform them of the bad impact of the drugs.

Conclusion: Impulse Control Disorders

Impulsive control disorders present notable public health concerns. With the best cautions, it can be mollified within no time. Therefore, awareness is the key to overcome the difficulties of the disorders.

So that’s it. If you love the insights of the article, let us know in the comment section below. Share with your community.

Take care and stay safe.

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