One of the most challenging aspects of impulse control treatment can be getting patients to admit that they have an impulse control problem in the first place.

Shame is frequently involved, along with hopelessness, particularly if individuals have tried and failed to manage their impulse control disorders themselves.

Impulse control treatment that involves a combination of therapy and medication has proven effective in many cases. Support groups encourage people with impulse control disorders to share tips and strategies. Perhaps most importantly, support groups help people realize that others have struggled with similar impulse control problems and have succeeded in overcoming them.

Therapies Used in Treating Impulse Control Disorder

The following are some of the therapeutic approaches used in impulse control treatment:

  • Behavior Therapy: Therapists use positive reinforcement of alternative, more desirable behavior to treat impulse control disorders.
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT): Based on the idea that how people think affects their behavior and interactions with others, this form of impulse control treatment helps people change problematic thought patterns to promote healthier behavior. CBT is considered one of the more effective forms of psychotherapy for treating impulse control disorder.
  • Group Therapy: By bringing together individuals facing the challenge of impulse control, group therapy helps individuals share solutions and feedback.

Medications Used In Treating Impulse Control Disorder

Ongoing research suggests that low brain serotonin levels are responsible for behaviors like kleptomania, pyromania, compulsive gambling and other impulse control disorders.

While most mental health experts believe that impulse control problems are caused by both genetic and environmental factors, emerging data on the biochemical roots of the disorder will speed the development of more targeted medications.

These are some of the drugs that have been used successfully in impulse control treatment:

  • Anticonvulsants and antipsychotics: When used for impulse control treatment, these medications have helped patients with intermittent explosive disorder.
  • Naltrexone: As a narcotic antagonist, this drug blocks the highs of addiction, and has shown promise in treating compulsive gambling.
  • SSRIs: Also known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, this category includes drugs like Prozac®, which have been used in treating depression and impulse control disorder.

Support Groups for Impulse Control Treatment

Some individuals find support or self-help groups a helpful complement to other ways of treating impulse control disorder. Participants share stories, insights and real-world examples of effective ways of dealing with impulse control disorder.


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 Posted on : June 23, 2014