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Do Not Fall Prey to Chronic Impulsivity

Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors,OCD,Chronic Impulsivity counseling Fayetteville NC,OCD Counseling with Carolina Counseling Services North Fayetteville Office Fayetteville NC,help for obsessive behavior

Do Not Fall Prey to Chronic Impulsivity


Almost everyone has several decisions they may have regretted during their lifetime. If you are someone who regularly makes an impulsive decision or action, this might require more attention. Constant distress because of a decision made without thinking of the implications may be related to chronic impulsivity.


Do Not Minimize Chronic Impulsivity

Being spontaneous is okay, chronic impulsivity is far from it. Opting for a spontaneous choice is something many people, even guarded ones, do. Everyone can use some spontaneity in their lives, as it cuts through the routines, which can be a step away from boring. Finding the opportunity to let loose and have fun allows people to keep their sanity. In certain cases, these moments lead to desirable results, showing that spontaneity can have positive outcomes.

Between spontaneity and impulsivity, however, is a thin line. When decisions or actions that are made in a rush become common in your day-to-day life, it is a different story. Spur-of-the-moment decisions can be engaging. There are times when these are fun and necessary. Chronic impulsivity, however, warrants a second look.

YOLO – is the popular slang that “Millennials” coined. It means “You Only Live Once.” It is so widely-used and abused by both Millennials and the not so very young. When it comes to a point where decisions or actions are based on mood or what your gut says, but which causes you to worry, check it out. It may already be chronic impulsivity, masquerading as spontaneity.


Chronic Impulsivity Explained

The definition of Impulsivity is “a tendency to act quickly, often without thinking or caring about the consequences.” The Open Path Collective says that chronic impulsivity “is a severe lack of self-regulation.” This can take form as an inability to govern immediate reactions or having trouble concentrating. Impulsiveness results in it being difficult to consider the consequences of actions, completing tasks quietly, or not interrupting conversation. Lack of self-control can lead to impulse spending or impulse eating”

The behavior described as either spontaneous or impulsive is linked to how a person thinks or feels. This is why the behavior can usually be observed in children whose brains and nerve connections are still developing. Witness a child with no qualms over reaching for a hot iron, grabbing their siblings’ hair when upset, drawing wherever they feel like it, or throwing a tantrum while in a public place. These acts are described as childish because most of the time children grow out of it as their brains are more developed. As they grow, they can understand better and give importance to the consequences of their behavior.

A skill that people acquire as they mature is impulse control. It is also called “self-control” or “self-regulation.” This implies that older teenagers and adults are expected to think first before acting. This is typically exercised in daily life, like waiting for their turn in line, thinking of other people’s feelings or considering outcomes when making decisions. Constant impulsivity must not be ignored because when it is in full force, not being able to self-regulate will eventually result in greats risks and dilemmas.


The Impromptu Risks

An individual under the spell of chronic impulsivity, may find it challenging to keep their feelings and behaviors in check. They can be highly unreasonable, base their actions or decisions on their current feeling or thinking and may not be worried about how the outcome will affect themselves and others. Impulsivity comes naturally to a child, it appears in their desire to cross a busy street, climb a tall tree, or play with sharp objects. These desires start to wear-off as their self-control becomes developed. This might not be the case for everyone, though.

Impulsivity can claw its way past childhood and into adolescence. Indicators and outcomes of underdeveloped self-control or self-regulation are particularly challenging when impulsivity is linked to either an emotional or a behavioral condition. Teenagers who are chronically impulsive may disregard the effects of their actions to be accepted by peers they want to impress. These actions are typically seen in the form of inappropriate dressing/acting/talking, drinking alcohol, abusing drugs, smoking, etc.

Undeveloped self-control in adults is directly associated with unsuitable behaviors that result in distressing outcomes. Possible scenarios include speaking unkindly, being unable to complete responsibilities, or the inability to grasp a situation. In extreme situations, adults with impulsivity issues can release strong emotions by physically harming others. These actions can result in many troubles and the ending of relationships. Case in point is when adults experience serious financial issues related to uncontrollable overspending. This is just one of the many consequences of impromptu decisions.


Beyond Chronic Impulsivity

What causes chronic impulsivity? Keep in mind that this behavior is not typical, it may be a manifestation of an even deeper behavior or emotional condition. The causes of chronic impulsivity are varied. Among the most common are generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).  Individuals affected by these disorders typically do not have logic control, they go through their lives based on their instinct. The disorders affect more than 1 million people in the United States.

Chronic impulsivity can also be a symptom of other disorders. Among these are attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), borderline personality or bipolar disorder’s manic phase. It is linked to other disorders – the impulse-control disorders. These disorders are published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and classified in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th revision (DSM-IV).

Childhood also plays a part in acquiring the condition. Children exposed to inappropriate behaviors and a poor emotional climate tend to model what they see or experience. Especially if these are observed from people they consider important, like parents whose self-control or self-regulation is impulsive. Chronic impulsivity can develop as a result of a traumatic experience.


The Indications of Chronic Impulsivity

Bad habits that seem to be the solution to a problem become more alluring when chronic impulsivity is in the picture. Habits like “shopping until you drop,” bring humor to an activity essentially designed for temporary happiness. If such shopping sprees start to be more frequent and begin to interfere with your facets of life, like finances and relationships, it is wise to determine the indications of chronic impulsivity.

Important indications to look out for are negligence, increased risk-taking behaviors, frequent boredom, trouble-making behavior, short patience and not caring about their action or behavior’s consequences. Chronic impulsivity may result in your abusing substances, displaying rage, and having difficulty maintaining relationships. It is also all-too common to find these indications present with depression symptoms such as increased anxiety, decreased self-esteem, lack of interest, and social separation.

It is good to remember that spontaneous decisions do not always result in terrible situations. There are times when these actions are essential for a balanced life. It is important, however, to be mindful that regular positive outcomes can slowly turn spontaneity to impulsivity. A great way to avoid this is to validate the behavior by finding help from professionals who can assess and determine any indications for chronic impulsivity.


Keep Impulsivity in Check

Treatment can curb chronic impulsivity. Medications are not immediately required. A great first step is through therapy. This process offers the necessary tools to promote self-control, behavior modification that will result in better impulse regulation or improved choices in appropriate responses. Through therapy, the root cause of impulsivity can be uncovered, allowing the development of healthy self-esteem and self-regulation to be an achievable goal.

Do not let your impulses take hold over you, better yet, learn to restrain your impulses. Through an experienced counselor/therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville  – Fayetteville, NC you can keep chronic impulsivity and all its baggage in check.

Do not lose hope, impulsivity can be reduced and resolved, and your self-control can be restored. The initial step is to be assessed and receive tailor-made therapy – contact Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC at 422 McArthur Road, Fayetteville, NC, near Ramsey St. to book your first appointment.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Fayetteville, NC (North)

Counties: Cumberland, Bladen and Sampson Counties, NC

Areas: Fayetteville NC, Ft Bragg NC, Pope Field NC, Sliver City NC, Linden NC, Bunnlevel NC, Erwin NC, Dundarrach NC, Rex NC,and Wade, NC

Zip Codes: 28311, 28395, 28390, 28356

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Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office, Fayetteville, NC

422 McArthur Road, Suite 2
FayettevilleNC 28311

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  • Becky Clark, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Anxiety, Depression, Individuals, Couples, Geriatrics, Criminal Justice, Stress Management, Loss and Grief related to death, disability, divorce, deployment, “empty nest”, retirement and other major life transitions
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