Epidemiologic and clinical updates on impulse control disorders: a critical review

Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2006 Dec;256(8):464-75. doi: 10.1007/s00406-006-0668-0. Epub 2006 Sep 7.


The article reviews the current knowledge about the impulse control disorders (ICDs) with specific emphasis on epidemiological and pharmacological advances. In addition to the traditional ICDs present in the DSM-IV-pathological gambling, trichotillomania, kleptomania, pyromania and intermittent explosive disorder-a brief description of the new proposed ICDs-compulsive-impulsive (C-I) Internet usage disorder, C-I sexual behaviors, C-I skin picking and C-I shopping-is provided. Specifically, the article summarizes the phenomenology, epidemiology and comorbidity of the ICDs. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between ICDs and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Finally, current pharmacological options for treating ICDs are presented and discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavior, Addictive / diagnosis
  • Behavior, Addictive / drug therapy
  • Behavior, Addictive / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / diagnosis
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Gambling / psychology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*


  • Psychotropic Drugs