N-acetylcysteine (NAC) for Impulse Control Disorders
© DiegoDiazPhotography

Could an inexpensive over-the-counter amino acid supplement really help you best your hair-pulling, skin picking, nail biting or other form of impulse control disorder? Initial research suggests that ...

Inside (7 articles)

Onychophagia – Nail Biting © Brenderous

Are you one of millions that continue to bite your nails into adulthood? Find out more about nail biting and learn what you can do on your own to overcome you ‘habit’. Find out also about medications and psychotherapies that are also available for those that can’t break free on their own.

Compulsive Buying Disorder © Orin Zebest

People with compulsive buying disorder buy when they feel down and they buy to good – unfortunately, those good feelings are quickly replaced by guilt, remorse and by ever more financial problems and credit card debt. If you think you’re a ‘shopaholic’ you may well have a mental health disorder that’s not going away on its own.

Intermittent Explosive Disorder © Darwin Bell

If you have intermittent explosive disorder you experience uncontrollable bouts of rage that last 10 or 20 minutes, that often result in violence or destruction of property and which are way out of proportion to the situation or the provocation. Your disorder almost surely reduces your quality of life and it may cause you to lose your job or get expelled from school, have trouble maintaining friend or romantic relationships – or it may even land you in jail. Fortunately, for those that seek treatment, help is available and you can learn to get better.

Skin Picking Disorder © Me and the Sysop

If you pick at your skin long and hard enough to cause sores or lesions on a re-occurring basis and you feel distressed about your habit and/or your inability to control your picking habit, then you may have skin picking disorder (dermatillomania) a treatable type of impulse control disorder. Learn more about getting diagnosed, the causes and consequences and the treatments that are used to reduce the severity of symptoms.

Kleptomania © Rebecca:)

Do you feel overwhelming urges to steal things that you don’t need, that have little value and which you could easily afford if you wanted to pay? Do find that stealing gives you a momentary sense of pleasure or relief from the tension that builds up prior to stealing? If so, you could be one of the less than 1% of people who experience kleptomania disorder – an impulse control disorder that’s very tough to manage without treatment.

Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling) © ashley.adcox

Strong urges to pull hair from your scalp and from other parts of your body results in bald patches and emotional stress. Trichotillomania is an incompletely understood condition that may affect as many as 9 million Americans. Read on to understand this disorder and what treatments are used to manage it. Learn also about self-help techniques that you can use today to start controlling your hair pulling at home.

Pyromania © Kevindooley

Most arsonists aren’t pyromaniacs as most can control their actions. A true pyromaniac suffers from an impulse control disorder and a deep fascination with fire and sets fires only to feel pleasure or relief and not for any financial or other gains.

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  • Shopaholics: Although ‘shopping addiction’ sounds frivolous, those who suffer from compulsive buying disorder suffer serious financial and emotional consequences from their inability to control their spending and from their use of buying as a way to control mood.
  • Gambling Addiction: Likely the most well known of the impulse control disorders, pathological gamblers have great difficulty controlling their urges to bet, and tragically, are very likely to consider or even attempt suicide at some point in life.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is the most commonly prescribed therapy for the treatment of most impulse control disorders. CBT teaches real-world techniques to control undesirable behaviors. CBT works fast, does not require lengthy therapy to learn and can be practiced as needed.
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