Impulsive-compulsive buying disorder: clinical overview

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2008 Apr;42(4):259-66. doi: 10.1080/00048670701881561.


Impulsive-compulsive buying disorder (ICBD) is an impulse control disorder not otherwise specified (ICD-NOS) characterized by impulsive drives and compulsive behaviours (buying unneeded things), personal distress, impaired social and vocational functioning and financial problems. Despite being described in the 19th century, serious attention to ICBD began only in the last decade with the first epidemiological and pharmacological investigation. Biological, social and psychological factors contribute to the aetiology of ICBD. Cognitive-behavioural therapy and selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors are currently considered the more effective interventions in the treatment of ICBD. The present review aims to provide a broad overview of the epidemiology, aetiology, phenomenology and treatment options of ICBD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior, Addictive / diagnosis
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Behavior, Addictive / therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Compulsive Behavior / diagnosis
  • Compulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Compulsive Behavior / therapy
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / diagnosis
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / psychology*
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / therapy
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / diagnosis
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Impulsive Behavior / therapy
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors