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Impulse Control Disorder

People who have eating disorders may also have an impulse control disorder. An Impulse Control Disorder is defined by many psychologists as the failure to resist an impulsive act or behavior that may be harmful to self or others. For purposes of this definition, an impulsive behavior or act is considered to be one that is not premeditated or not considered in advance and one over which the individual has little or no control.

Research is beginning to make links between impulse control disorder and eating disorders. Obsessional personality traits and symptoms have been reported in between 3% to 83% of eating-disordered cases depending on the criteria used.

There is a sort of chicken and egg debate related to eating disorders and impulse control disorders. Some clinicians believe that eating disorders are simply a manifestation, or a symptom of an impulse control disorder, while others see them as two separate disorders that may or may not be present at the same time, depending on the person.