Most people struggle to understand impulse control disorders because they seem like they should be easy to handle. The description is actually self explanatory as impulse control disorders refer to individuals who cannot resist the impulses or urges to do something harmful. This includes everything from addictions to eating disorders to kleptomania.
In most cases, the individual feels powerless to control the impulse. The impulse typically develops in response to stress or feeling out of control. Participating in the act itself generally results in feelings of pleasure and gratification, but shortly after, feelings of guilt and grief may arise. However, the more dangerous form of impulse control relates to individuals who do not have any regret for their negative actions and therefore have no desire to change.
The primary distinction between an impulse control disorder and other disorders such as bipolar manic depressive and ADHD is that the impulse control is the primary focus. While individuals struggling with ADHD have to fight to keep their attention focused on an item, the impulse control is not the primary symptom.