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Impulse control disorder: pulse control disorders

Abstract: Impulse control disorders are characterized by repeated actions not motivated and lacking ability to prevent behaviour

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Impulse control disorder: pulse control disorders

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Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 11 Dec 2004.
Latest revision: 22 Sep 2017.

What is a disturbed pulse control?


In the diagnostic manual on mental disorders ICD-10, chapter F63 finds a collection of "abnormal habits and impulse disorder." These are described as behavioural disorders in the form of:

  • Repeated actions without reasonable justification
  • Lack of control / loss of control
  • Behaviour that harms oneself or others
  • Described by the patient himself as impulsive actions

Determining whether the impulse behaviour is caused by an impulse control disorder, a compulsive behaviour or caused by addiction can be difficult.

Many mental disorders can cause a decreased pulse control. Examples can be eg a hyperkinetic syndrome in childhood, pruritus syndrome, behavioural disorder, addiction, personality disorders (emotional instability personality disorder) or dementia.

In various forms of psychological problems, the pulse control disorder comes in the form of a spectrum that affects individuals in different ways and to different degrees. Impulse control disorders take place, for example different expressions in:

  • kleptomania
  • Gambling addiction
  • Murder fire = pyromania
  • trichotillomania

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