“Impulse Control Disorder” is Real: What to Do When Your Impulsiveness is Getting You Into Trouble
Impulse-Control Disorders (ICD) are impacting a growing number of Americans. These disorders, also referred to as behavioral addictions, generally involve an uncontrollable urge to engage in a behavior that gives a short-term feeling of pleasure or excitement, and may include:
- Sexual addictions
- Fire setting
Many others may also struggle with acting impulsively simply because they want to take advantage of something pleasurable in the moment.
“Any strong feeling that we do not release can cause us to react impulsively instead of act proactively," says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of Sedona Training Associates.
And while we all have a bit of impulsiveness built in from our ancestors (who had to take advantage of food sources while they could), in modern times being able to wait for a reward is generally a better predictor of success. Still, the underlying feelings that drive impulsivity can be strong and commonly include:
- The lust for more and for different experience
- The feeling of incompleteness that we often try to fill up with impulsive activity
- The fear of living life fully and wanting to escape instead
- The feeling of wanting to lose control
- The feeling that somehow if we have more or win we will finally be OK
The problem with impulsiveness is that it involves an 'act before thinking' mentality that can often get you into trouble financially, mentally, physically or even criminally. But whether you're struggling with an impulsive desire to shop, eat, have sex, drink, gamble or engage in any other activity that will sabotage your life over time, the solution is the same.
“First off, be easy on yourself. When you act impulsively you tend to also judge yourself and beat yourself up for doing it, which simply causes you to feel worse and do it more,” Dwoskin says. “Next, know that no matter how many times you have acted compulsively in the past you can let the feelings that are motivating this behavior go now.”
Letting go of your urges for self-sabotaging impulsive behaviors is well within your reach when you use The Sedona Method. This do-it-yourself tool will show you how to tap into your inner ability to release impulsive urges immediately, on the spot.
“Let go of the feelings of compulsion as best you can,” Dwoskin says. “As you let go of the feelings you will find the behavior changing as well.”