ICDs can start at any age. Many start when you're a child or a teen. Symptoms are based on the ICD you have.
ICDs may cause:
Injuries from fights or burns from starting fires
Lying or stealing
Compulsive or repetitive behaviors
Irritability, impatience, or anger
Problems with your family, partner, or spouse
Repeated problems with other people in your life, school, or work
Problems with money or the law, which may involve being arrested
People with ICDs tend to feel:
Growing tension before the act
Pleasure or euphoria during the act
Relief after the act—there may or may not be feelings of guilt or distress
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. Questions may be asked about problems and mental health concerns. It is important to be open and honest with the doctor. The answers can help to make a diagnosis and guide treatment.
Treatment can help to manage symptoms. The exact plan will be based on individual needs. Steps may include:
Medicine—to ease symptoms. Treatment may include more than 1 type of medicine. It may take some time to find the right mix of medicine.
Therapy may be done alone or in a group. It will help to cope with problems linked to ICD. Medicine may also ease reaction to urges. There are many types of therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and family therapy are some choices that may be used for ICD.
There is no way to prevent ICDs since the cause is unknown.
Dell’Osso B, Altamura AC, Allen A, Marazziti D, Hollander E. Epidemiologic and Clinical updates on impulse control disorders: a critical review. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2006;256(8):464-475.
Ploskin D. What are impulse control disorders? Psych Central website. Available at: https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-are-impulse-control-disorders. Accessed August 3, 2020.
Schreiber L, Odlaug BL, Grant JE. Impulse control disorders: updated review of clinical characteristics and pharmacological management. Front Psychiatry. 2011;2:1.
Last reviewed May 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 8/12/2020
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.