Impulsive Behavior

By Christina Maser


The influence of a feeling/ mental state, that causes a sudden, involuntary mental drive or urge to act out on something.

(American Psychological Association)

picture (Raon, Eduardo)

Types of Impulsive Disorders

Types of impulsive disorders can deal with addictions to drugs and or, alcohol, eating disorders, gambling problems, sexual attractions to types of people or objects, causing pain and or humiliation to people, animals, property or objects, pulling hair, stealing things, setting fires and random acts of rage.

(Ploskin, Daniel, MD.)

How Impulsive Disorders May Have Came About.

Impulsive disorders could be passed down or there could be a problem with the babies genes. Addictions, depression and drug abuse can also be the cause of impulsive disorders. Scientists also think it could be the imbalance of a chemical in the brain called neurotransmitters, if there is an imbalance of this chemical it can affect people's moods and behaviors. (RelayHealth)

Three Types of Impulsive Disorders.



"Trichotillomania is a type of psychological condition that involves strong urges to pull out one's own hair." (The Nemours Foundation)

Trichotillomania is found in more girls than guys, it usually starts when they’re a toddler, even though it’s usually found in their younger years, trichotillomania can be found in children as young as a year old. People with Trichotillomania will pull out the hair from not only their scalp but also from their eyebrows, eyelashes and even pubic hair. The amounts of hair they pull can range from one piece to a patch of hair, afterwards they might play with the hair or even put it in their mouths. Some people aren't aware that they pull their hair and others are very aware of what they do. Trichotillomania can be passed down through family. People who have Trichotillomania are said to, " feel embarrassment, frustration, shame, or depression about the condition." (The Nemours Foundation) Having this disorder is hard for the person who has Trichotillomania because they usually can't just stop pulling out their hair because it could be a genetic disorder, so it's hard on them. This can also make it hard for them to make friends or get into relationships. Sometimes spotting Trichotillomania may be hard to see because the person might hide it from people, and their family which makes it hard to get help, but if they do get help they usually just need to go through therapy and after treatment their hair can grow back at times.

(Winship, Gary, Dr)


"Pyromania is an impulse disorder. People who have this disorder cannot resist an impulse to set fires, even though they know it is harmful. " (Adult Health Advisor)

People with pyromania don’t set fires because they’re asked to, or because they want to show rebellion they set fires because it’s hard for them to resist the urge to. Since setting fires is an urge within the person, is what makes pyromania an impulsive disorder. When they don’t set fires they can feel anxious to when they next set a fire and when the do set fires they feel relief, satisfaction and they can at times be aroused.



"Kleptomania is an impulse disorder. People who have this disorder are unable to resist an urge to steal, even though they know it is harmful.” (RelayHealth)

The difference between average thief and someone suffering from Kleptomania, is that they usually don’t steal something for money or to use it, they’ll steal something that has no value to them. Most people who steal do not have this disorder, Kleptomania is a rare disorder. As someone with Kleptomania steals something they feel a rush, and when they don’t they can get anxious, and afterward the can feel guilty and a sense of relief.

Getting Treatment and Help

(Bell, Robert Platt)

Help For Those Suffering From Impulsive Disorders.

There are many types of therapies and medicines to help treat people with impulsive disorders. There are also types of conditioning where they will have what the person is addicted to and link it with something bad such as a smell so then the person will connect what they like with something bad. They can also get talked to about the negatives about their disorders and try to help them make good decisions.


The Truth is

There isn't a for sure cure for impulsive disorders just what scientists and doctors believe can help. (RelayHealth)

If the suspected unbalanced number of neurotransmitters is true then I think for an effective treatment a brain surgery would have to be performed to try to make the chemical balanced otherwise the people who have impulsive disorders should just go through with the different types of therapy provided. The therapies are still helpful because some train the brain to think what they're doing wrong is bad so when they do what ever they have a problem with they will get an unpleasant feeling in them which is a good way to train the brain not to do what it shouldn't.

Get Help

Recognize the symptoms. If you or someone you know has:

  • Has for example steals or set fires more then once on purpose.
  • Gets a thrill or some sort of excitement in the act.
  • Feels an attraction, pleasure or a sense of relief to the thing, such as the act of stealing or setting fires or anything related to the impulsive addiction.
  • They don't have any disregard for people, objects or property that could be damaged, injured or killed in the process of getting or doing what they want.
If you or some one you know suffers from these symptoms you or the person may be suffering from an impulsive disorder, and a doctor/ health care providers should be contacted.



Admin. "Trichotillomania." Born Angles. N.p., 4 Aug. 2011. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.
A little girl pulling out her hair.

Adult Health Advisor. "Pyromania." CRS - Adult Health Advisor. By RelayHealth.
N.p.: n.p., 2012. N. pag. Consumer Health Complete. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.
=JnNpdGU9Y2hjLWxpdmU%3d#db=cmh&AN=70986728>. This is the fire setting

American Psychological Association. "Dictionary.com2013." By Unabridged. N.p.: n.p., 2013. N. pag. Print.

Bell, Robert Platt. "Americans Love Their Pills!" Blogspot. N.p., 23 Feb. 2011.
Web. 19 Feb. 2013. <

EPharmapedia. "Kleptomania." epharma pedia. N.p., 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

Pearish. "side view of human brain with colored background layer." Open Clip Art
Library. N.p., 13 July 2011. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

Ploskin, Daniel, MD. "What Are Impulse Control Disorders?" PsychCentral. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2013. <
what-are-impulse-control-disorders/>. This talks about different types
of disorders, why people may do impulsive things and what may cause
impulses. This is a good source because it told me what type of impulsive
disorders there are.

Raon, Eduardo. "The Drive For Impulsive Actions." myspace. N.p., 2010. Web. 19
Feb. 2013. <

RelayHealth. "Kleptomania." CRS - Adult Health Advisor. N.p.: n.p., 2012. N.
pag. Consumer Health Complete. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.
ta=JnNpdGU9Y2hjLWxpdmU%3d#db=cmh&AN=70986157>. Another impulsive
disorder but for stealing.

STOCKBYTE PLATINUM / GETY IMAGES. "Doctor." Women'sHealth. N.p., 12 June 2012.
Web. 19 Feb. 2013. <

TeenHealth. The Nemours Foundation, n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2013.

<>. Gives
information on ADHD.

Winship, Gary, Dr. "Pyromania." BBC. N.p., 3 Mar. 2009. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.