Expanding the Formal Category of Impulse Control Disorders

Jon E. Grant and Brian L. Odlaug

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

 Expanding the Formal Category of Impulse Control Disorders

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In addition to the formal impulse control disorders (ICDs), high rates of trait impulsiveness, sensation seeking, and dissociative qualities have been noted in several other disorders that share similar phenomenological, clinical, and possibly biological characteristics. These proposed disorders include pathological skin picking, compulsive buying, problematic Internet use, and compulsive sexual behavior. Elevated rates of co-occurring ICDs within both the formal and proposed ICDs suggest that at least some of the proposed ICDs may share a common pathophysiology with some of the formal ICDs. Although research has only recently begun to explore pharmacological and psychosocial treatments for the ICDs, studies have shown a similar response between the formal and the proposed ICDs. Future development in understanding the relationship between these disorders will help to refine views of the psychopathology and taxonomy of these conditions.

Keywords: compulsive buying; comorbidity; etiology; kleptomania; impulse control disorder; intermittent explosive disorder; Internet addiction; pathological gambling; personality; sex addiction; skin picking; trichotillomania; treatment

Article.  6533 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology ; Developmental Psychology

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