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11 Cards in this Set

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What are Impulse-Control disorders?

These disorders involve disurbances in the ability to regulate specific impulses not attributable to other DSM-5 diagnoses

Engaging in behavior that is potentially harmful, feeling unable to stop themselves and experiencing a sense of desperation in their attempts to carry out the behaviors are thwarted

These disorders involve people's struggles to control strong urges to act in ways that are destructive or detrimental to their existance.


-An impulse control disorder that involves the persistent urge to steal

-The act of stealing excites sufferers

-Stealing releases tension, although the urge feels unpleasant senseless

Pathological Gambling

-An impulse disorder involving the persistant urge to gamble (Includes online gambling)

Five or more indicate persist and recurrent maladaptive gambling behavior:

1) Is preoccupied with gambling

2) Needs to gamble with increased amounts of money in order to achieve desired excitement

3) Has repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling

4) Restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling

5) Gambles as a way of escaping problems

6) After losing money gambling, "chases ones losses"

7) Lies to family, therapist, or others

8) Committed illegal acts

9) Jeopardized or lost significant relationships, jobs, educational, or career opportunity

(Not better accounted for as a manic episode)

Biological Perspective of Pathological Gambling

Similar to addiction (dopamine reward pathway)

Psychological Perspective of Pathological Gambling

The big win = The big winner

Personality of Pathological Gamblers




-Urge to prepare, set, and watch fires for fun (Unlike arsonists motivated by greed or revenge)

-An impulse control disorder involving the persistent and compelling urge to start fires


1) Achieve intense pleasure, gratification, and relief when fire starts

2) Rooted in childhood problems

3) Adult's often have substance abuse and interpersonal problems

4) Difficult to treat, but Behavioral Cognitive and Psychodynamic therapy may help

Sexual Impusivity

Symptoms of Sexual Impusivity are similar to impulse control disorder (Although not classified as DSM-5 disorders)

Growing numbers of clients looking for help to contain uncontrollable sexuality.


1) Driven to engage in frequent, indiscriminate sex

2) Often feel bad after they egage in sex

3) May extend into violent deviance (rape/murder/serial killing)

4) Usually have substance abuse disorder and depression, some have dissociative symptoms.

Treatment for Sexual Impulsivity

-SSRI's can help

-Insight oriented therapy to focus on analyzing underlying conflicts

-Behavior techniques (covert conditioning, imagination desensitization, behavioral contracting)

Self-Injurious Behavior

-Not an official DSM diagnosis

-Burning, bruising, marking, scratching

-Not life threatening


Conflicts with important others, Depression, Stress, Loneliness, Abuse/Rape


Teach individuals positive ways of dealing with emotions

Intermittent Explosive Disorders

-Impulse Control disorder involving inability to hold back urges to express string angry feelings and associated violent behaviors

-More than 90% have co-op curing mood disorder (Substance Abuse and Anxiety)

-Complex interaction biological and environment factors leading up

-Operant conditioning explains behavior of people who explode occasionally

-Clinicians advocate for medication