Impulsive behavior disorder is the chronic inability to control emotions and behavior with little or no recognition of the effects or consequences of the actions, no matter how harmful or extreme. While trying to help your teen with impulsive behavior disorder can be challenging, there are treatment options available.

Medication Management and Treatment

There are multiple medication treatment options available including:

  • Opioid antagonists like naltrexone have shown tremendous┬ápromise in the treatment of impulse control disorders.
  • Antidepressants have commonly been used for treating a variety of impulse disorders. However, there are mixed study results regarding their effectiveness.
  • Atypical neuroleptics like olanzapine have been shown to help with impulse control disorders.
  • Mood stabilizers or anti-epileptics are used, but there is not enough data from studies yet to determine how effective they really are.
  • Glutamatergic agents like N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) has shown potential benefits.

Therapy Options

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help teens get to the roots of their impulsive thoughts and behaviors. The next step is to develop healthier behaviors and thought patterns. There are a variety of approaches available.

Group therapy offers a better perspective and helps teens understand that they are not alone in dealing with their impulse disorder. The groups are facilitated by a trained professional and are shown to be very effective.

Family therapy can be helpful when the impulse behaviors stem at least in part from issues in a teen’s family life. On the other side of things, when a teen or adolescent has impulse issues, that can have a huge impact on their family. Family therapy can involve enough members of the family to address concerns on both sides of the issue.

Treating other potential issues can also be helpful. It is not uncommon for teens suffering from other mental illnesses to also have impulse control issues. It is not uncommon that when other issues are successfully treated the impulsive behavior becomes easier to manage.

We understand that impulse control issues in teens can be disruptive and dangerous not only to themselves but to the family unit as well. But you are not alone; there is help and impulse control disorders can be successfully treated.