Major Types of Impulse Comtrol Disorders

types of impulse control disorders

What distinguishes us from other species as well as marks our psychological maturity is our ability to control our impulses. Most people take their ability to think before acting for granted. It is even harder for people who can’t control their impulses.

People with impulse control disorder are unable to resist the urge to do something harmful to them and those around them. Even though people with impulse control disorders don’t plan these acts, they gain fulfillment from these acts.

However, most people find impulse control disorders highly distressing and tend to feel like they’re losing control over their lives. Unfortunately, all types of disorders are characterized by people’s powerlessness to control their actions or behavior. Some of the types of impulse control disorders include:

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

This impulse control disorder is characterized by unexpected and repeated violent or aggressive behavior. People with this disorder tend to lash out impulsively, yell, scream, and throw things.

In most cases, these outbursts are uncalled for, and episodes of verbal and physical violence can occur in traffic, at the workplace, or at home. Adults who suffer from this disorder have more of a kid’s temper tantrum. Like in a child’s tantrum, they seem uncontrollable and show negative emotions.

This disorder can have a negative and distressing impact on the victim’s life. It could result in broken homes, loss of a job, broken relationships, or poor academic performance and evaluation. Such outbursts could also subject them to legal consequences.


This disorder is characterized by the obsessive, and impulsive need to set fire. Affected people don’t necessarily intend to cause destruction or death; they just have an unmanageable need to set fire.

Unlike arson, which is deliberate for personal gain, desire to destroy property or hurt people, or revenge, pyromania serves the purse of simply satisfying this urge to set a fire.

A person with this disorder tends to exhibit an obsession with lighting things on fire. They may be seen helping out with putting out fires and often visiting fire departments. It is more common in men than women and tends to affect not only adults but adolescents as well.

People with learning disabilities are more affected by this, as well as those who are ill-equipped to handle or are uncomfortable in social situations. Young adults with this disorder may exhibit negative traits like criminal activity or aggression.


This disorder is characterized by the urge to steal. Affected people find themselves taking things they don’t even need or items with little to no value. It tends to stem from people with difficulties with emotional self-control.

People with this disorder tend to be hesitant in seeking help or treatment because they become ashamed of their behavior. However, if someone wants to overcome this disorder, psychotherapy is imperative.

This disorder can lead to loss of employment, disruption of relationships, as well as legal problems. This isn’t the same as shoplifting because those who shoplift do so out of rebellion, for personal gain, or could be responding to pressure or a dare.

Someone with kleptomania will steal because she or he has an irrepressible or mounting urge to steal. Their episodes come with no warning, and they never plan on stealing something specific. They may steal personal property from friends and friends or public areas and may sometimes return them in secret.

Conditions associated with this condition include bipolar, anxiety, personality disorders, depression, eating disorders, substance and alcohol abuse, and other impulse-control disorders like gambling and shopping.

Major Types of Impulse Comtrol Disorders
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