Impulse-Control Disorders

An Impulse-Control Disorder is the failure to resist an impulse, drive, or temptation to perform an act that is harmful to oneself or to others, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR).

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

The main characteristic of Intermittent Explosive Disorder is the failure to resist aggressive impulses that result in assaultive acts or destruction of property; for example, physically or verbally threatening to assault an individual or purposely breaking an object of value. The degree of aggressiveness displayed by the individual is grossly out of proportion to the perceived cause of the outburst. 

Kleptomania

Kleptomania is the impulse to steal. Often times, the stolen items are of very little value to the individual and many times the individual will discard the stolen items or give them away to others. Although the individual will usually avoid stealing when immediate arrest is probable, such as in full view of a police office, the theft is not preplanned and consequences are not taken into account. The theft is not committed to express anger or vengeance, or done in response to a delusion or hallucination. 

Pyromania

The essential feather of Pyromania is the deliberate and purposeful setting of fires. The individual may have a fascination with, interest in, curiosity about, or attraction to fire and its situational contexts. It has been found that many pyromaniacs are regular “watchers” at fires in their neighborhoods, may set fires to be affiliated with the fire department, or even become firefighters. The setting of the fire is not in response to a delusion or hallucination and the setting of fires does not result from impaired judgment, such as mental retardation. 

Pathological Gambling

Pathological Gambling is the persistent and recurrent maladaptive gambling behavior that disrupts personal, family, and vocational pursuits. Many Pathological Gamblers are preoccupied with gambling, and say that they are seeking the action or excitement of gambling, rather than the potential earnings. In order to achieve the excitement of gambling, higher bets and greater risks may be taken by the individual. Efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling often do not work for the Pathological Gambler. The Pathological Gambler may see gambling as their way of escaping from problems or to relieve such feelings as depression, anxiety, or guilt. Significant relationships, jobs, or educational or career opportunities are either seriously jeopardized or lost completely due to gambling. 

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is the pulling out of one’s own hair in such areas as the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes that results in noticeable hair loss on the individual. Hair pulling may occur in periods of relaxation and distraction, such as reading a book, or it may occur in periods of high stress.

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