12 thoughts on “Uncontrollable Impulses: Hard to Treat; Hard Stop

  • May 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Thank you for the clarification between Impulse Control Disorders and OCD. Motivation is so important to successful treatment, so I can see why treating Impulse Control Disorders would be so difficult. You can’t help people who don’t want to get better.

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  • May 31, 2012 at 6:43 am

    I spent years working as a counselor for ex-offenders. When someone comes up with a program for creating impulse control, our prisons will come close to emptying out. I had modest success having these people recognize the conditions in which they were most likely break the law. On more than one occasion someone who was broke, out of drugs or booze, with a missing girl friend would call me to come get them because the conditions were there for them to get in serious trouble.

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  • May 31, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Are cutting, burning, banging your head or other self-injury behaviors part of the impulse control disorders spectrum? My daughter has bipolar disorder and when she’s overwhelmed with anxiety, intense emotions and/or extreme stress, she cuts herself to cope. She’s 29 and this started when her Dad died unexpectedly and when she was diagnosed a year later with bipolar disorder when she was 15. It’s become her way of coping, however unhealthy. She tried DBT for awhile when she was younger and the teacher & group were much older than she was so she didn’t fit in. Because of that experience, she isn’t motivated to try it again. Just wondering what people’s thoughts are concerning self-harm in the context of this article.

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    • May 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      @Helen: Technically, self-injurious behaviors are not usually considered as one of the Impulse Control Disorders. Conceptually, it would make some sense that they would be. That’s one of the problems with our current diagnostic system. We have a long way to go in making diagnoses more reliable, valid, and conceptually consistent. Perhps she’ll consider another run at DBT sometime in the future.

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  • June 1, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I’m a compulsive nail biter, pretty much always have been. I know it’s at the level of an ICD. But I decided a few years back that I was never going to bother about it. I have far worse and unhealthier vices, frankly, and while the nail thing may be ugly, it’s essentially harmless and is who I am now. 🙂 I don’t see much harm in having the odd neurosis or two, as long as it’s not ruining your life.

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    • June 1, 2012 at 11:09 am

      Lots of people decide to “live” with a few things they feel are minor. And that’s their choice!

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  • June 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    What about picking? I have been working very hard to stop impulsive promiscuity, shopping and impulsive jabs at testing the people in my life in order to avoid having real relationships. For the past year now, I can’t stop picking at my skin… anything exposed I can reach, I pick. My thumbs look like they were put through a cheese grater, my jawline is constantly scabbed along with the backs of my shoulders and all over my legs. It’s to the point that even when I go to the bathroom, I find a new spot to pick at while I am sitting down. I can’t stop and start to feel really sick when I consciously make myself stop. Is skin picking another type of impulse disorder or just some other kind of psychological disturbance I am experiencing as a result of stopping my other impulsive behaviors. I really need to stop. I have a 2 year old, and he is starting to do it too.

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    • June 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      You could probably call it an Impulse disorder, NOS. The main thing is what to do about it. Habit Reversal training is probably your best bet from a professional.

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  • July 6, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I love you cuz my family has all mentaly ill people which I have been dealing with all my life.

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  • January 6, 2016 at 9:38 am

    At first I believe butterflies to our stomach is to formation meaning you most powerful when you stressed .. I was a suffererer of OCD since 2010 but what is different is that it was only till October 2013 and ever since I had been cured I mean real cure not remission or treatment but I’m also a medical student in Africa transferred from China and have a vision on psychiatry , and basically regarding OCD my mentor and hero is my dad who also suffered of OCD but only for a couple of weeks and 30 years now poof no OCD to say the least I have been in hospitals in China zhejiang Hangzhou hospital number 7 by address from my school Hangzhou normal university also psychiatric clinics in Saudi Arabia like Medicare clinic and Elite medical and surgical center.. What me and dad want is to share our experience literally and in my case literally and physically with an international systematic way of together helping reaching the cure to every OCD patient all over the world and every single cell in me is down to find the essence of the cure process we have the genes can we help.

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