Impulse control disorders are characterized by repeated acts that have no clear rational motivation, generally harm the person’s own interests and those of other people, and are associated with impulses the person experiences as uncontrollable. Psychiatric classifications have traditionally recognized a number of conditions as representing impulse control disorders. While debate continues as to which disorders do or do not constitute impulse control disorders, for the purposes of this entry, the focus is on gambling disorder, intermittent explosive disorder (IED), kleptomania, pyromania, problematic Internet use, and compulsive sexual behavior.

Other than gambling disorder, and to a lesser extent IED and problematic Internet use, there are no large-scale national surveys to date that have collected information on the epidemiology—incidence and prevalence—of most impulse control disorders. There are, ...

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