Who is at risk of impulse control disorder?

You may often have heard the saying, ‘ Think before you act out .’ The plain distinguishing factor that makes us categorized as humans comes from the fact that we have the ability to think and do things, differentiate right from wrong, and also to right our wrongs. Although impulses are a natural consciousness of our body, but, having control over our urges is a mandate to live in a society today. 

What is impulse control disorder?

To define impulse control behavior in simplest terms is when you nudge your impulses to the extent that you cannot control your urges until completing a task. This is not any random chore that we are talking about. It refers to the impulsive acts that would endanger oneself and the people around you. Of course, it is okay to be an indulgent fast food eater or a whole night video gamer. But indulging in activities like pathological gambling or kleptomania are harmful to drastic turns.

 Impulse control disorder symptoms-

  • High impatience level
  • Obsessive thoughts 
  • Repeated actions despite its negative consequences
  • Anxiety and obsession if urges are not satisfied
  • Gratification only after fulfilling an impulse.

Causes of impulse control disorder –

  • Facing domestic abuse during the childhood years.
  • If mental illness runs down the family.
  • Having disfigured structural issues in the brain leading to fluctuating and out-of-control nature.

People who are at risk of impulse control disorder-

  • Young children and adolescents –

You have often seen children nagging for an object of their interest. But did you ever wonder that the child is behaving too young for his age? 

Sometimes the callous attitude may be drawn due to plain immaturity because the child has not mentally grown completely. The behavioural disorders we see may be a result of impulse control issues otherwise. The lack of self-control can be a very harmful trait to live with. Children often learn such tantrums by looking at others, and with time, it becomes a part of their personality. But, putting mental breaks to the outrageous actions of the child is the duty of the parents. Different attentive care and methods should be adopted to suppress this attitude. Whatever the child is doing now may exceed at a later date. So much so that no behavioural therapy would also come into effect. So being an observant parent and helping your child grow with sound principles is a responsibility that you should not turn your back on. 

  • Drug abusers-

Who does not know the adverse effects of drug intake? Yet, many people indulge in it profusely, not being able to control themselves. This tendency surfaces from not only weak willpower but also an uncontrollable urge to fulfill one’s impulses. Addicts are most of the time reported to have impulse control disorder. It is critical in such instances to call for outside help. Many drug abusers become closeted, leading to higher risk factors. Therapy, meditation, counseling are a few of the therapeutic ways in which you will learn to have control over your behaviour, impulses, and addictions.

  • People who have experienced domestic abuse and violence-

At times you may act out in the spur of the moment due to a provocation. But, if such patterns follow at a consistent rate, then it becomes necessary to travel back to its source. It has often been concluded that individuals with impulse control disorders have a track record of a disturbed childhood. 

Early growing years are very receptive to every child. They pick up behaviours, instances very quickly. Although children are believed to be resilient yet, few derogatory remarks, incidents, violent outbursts, or maybe even getting projected to domestic abuses, get instilled in the child’s memories. Over time, the child learns to suppress his problem instead of blurting out his emotions. This lands him in a place where he would continuously require having control over his life. Following his ‘gut,’ so he would say, gives him satisfaction. But the inability of judgment impends on such children till their adulthood, making them victims of impulse control disorder.

  • Mental illness running down the family-

The individual suffering from the disorder may learn this early in his childhood by seeing his family members following the same aggressive patterns. But, sometimes, the impulse control problem is a lineage factor running down the family. So, is a person yet to suffer the ill effects of the disorder just because it is present in his genes?

Sadly, a person is unluckily chosen at times to have such a mental state where the pounding sensations of the impulses are to be fulfilled. But, having a loved companion, family member, and friends who understand the person’s hardships can come down for his help, making things easier for him. As a well-wisher, provide him with proper therapy that would give him a better and new life. 

  • Substance use disorders-

 Substance use addiction and  impulsivity have been interchangeably used as no concrete evidence has been shown to disclose that which gave rise to which problem.

Nevertheless, substance abusers have also been reported to have a high risk of impulse control.

The distinction between addictions, disorders, and compelling thoughts is not so easy. But, all the behaviours that come down to being self-damaging are to be avoided. Although, it is not up to you to choose how your brain responds to certain situations. But, reflecting upon your thoughts can be a start to a normal life. It is mandatory to talk out the emotional damages that you have been clinging onto and release them eventually. Therapy and meditation are the ‘pain relievers’ for your destructive nature. Having support by your side and professional help can give you a doorway of light. 

To have a positive ecosystem around you can be the first step towards having control over your impulses. We here at Hopecare help in providing you with an environment that will keep your mind stable and free from any nudges. Call us at 91-9311112377 to get professional help and subside away all your worries.

Author: Dr. Deepak Raheja

Hope Care established under the guidance of Dr. Deepak Raheja, President at Delhi Psychiatric Society is a psychiatric center of excellence that endeavors to restore hope and well-being to individuals and families afflicted by mental ill-health through comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation services. Hopecare seeks to set benchmarks in innovative programs in treatment, care, and education.

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