Impulse Control Disorders

This group of disorders is diagnosed when a person repetitively acts out a behavior despite efforts to stop. Impulse control disorders include pathological gambling, hair pulling, skin picking, stealing, shopping, explosive behaviors, setting fires, hyper-sexuality, and others. These behaviors may range from being personally debilitating to endangering the lives of others. Medications are effective for many instances of impulse control disorder. Cognitive Behavior Therapy for these disorders has been shown to be highly effective. Therapy involves becoming aware of when and how the habitual behavior occurs; understanding and challenging the irrational thoughts that may precede and cause the behaviors; and learning techniques to reduce the behaviors.

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