Overview of the Impulse Control Disorders Not Elsewhere Classified and Limitations of Knowledge

Jon E. Grant and Marc N. Potenza

in The Oxford Handbook of Impulse Control Disorders

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195389715
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Overview of the Impulse Control Disorders Not Elsewhere Classified and Limitations of Knowledge

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Several disorders have been classified together in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (4th ed.; DSM-IV) as impulse control disorders not elsewhere classified. These impulse control disorders have been grouped together based on perceived similarities in clinical presentation and hypothesized similarities in pathophysiologies. The question exists whether these disorders belong together or whether they should be categorized elsewhere. Examination of the family of impulse control disorders generates questions regarding the distinct nature of each disorder: whether each is unique or whether they represent variations of each other or other psychiatric disorders. Neurobiology may cut across disorders, and identifying important intermediary phenotypes will be important in understanding impulse control disorders and related entities. The distress of patients with impulse control disorders highlights the importance of examining these disorders. More comprehensive information has significant potential for advancing prevention and treatment strategies for those who suffer from disorders characterized by impaired impulse control.

Keywords: impulse control disorders; neurobiology; obsessive-compulsive spectrum

Article.  5372 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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