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Dr. Bonnie
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  Experienced in counseling all age persons on relationship issues.
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This is the follow-up from my anger question: is this impulse

Customer Question

This is the follow-up from my anger question:
is this impulse control disorder something that people are in-born with or could it be developed over time?
Is it hereditary?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 3 years ago.
Research is suggesting that this is a hereditary thing or "runs in families". SOmeday a gene may be found. Whether a person learn to control it or not may be influenced by the environment (a persons supports, stressors, etc).
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can you elaborate more on the "Whether a person learn to control it or not may be influenced by the environment (a persons supports, stressors, etc)."

Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 3 years ago.
So....a person born with impulse control problems such as intermittent explosive disorder will need to learn to control these outbursts in order to live appropriately in this world. So the parenting he receives will make a difference. He needs to have parents who help him to learn strategies (such as described in that article) as a child. Parents will also need to be good role models for appropriate expression of anger. They must limit the triggers of violence such as violent videogames. Then he will be an adult armed with tools to control the anger impulse. But even so, his environment as an adult may trigger these stress, lack of social support, unhealthy lifestyle.....may make controlling anger impulses difficult.
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 3 years ago.
Hi again Daisy,

I am signing off for the night and may not be on much tomorrow but I will look to see if you have posted to this thread on Saturday.

Good night
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Dr. Bonnie,

Sorry, I had to move away for sometime.


Hmm... if their childhood determines their ability to control it, then are they out of luck if they only figured this out about them when they were much older?


What kind of environment should they try to put themselves in if they are older and want to learn to control it?


Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 3 years ago.
They should surround themselves with supportive people who understand their struggle. This could also mean learning to set boundaries with people who can trigger their anger. They should be in therapy to do the cognitive reframing that was mentioned in the APA article. They should live as healthy a lifestyle as possible including good nutrition, supplements like fish oil (1000 mg daily), a regular exercise routine, practive meditation and relaxation and limited use of alcohol. They should either avoid their triggers or have a plan on dealing with a trigger (i.e., count to 10 and walk away). It could mean a drastic life-style change for some.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thats good information.


Can you also give some tips on how you could come to understand and/or be supportive of people who are struggling with this?

Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 3 years ago.
Hi Daisy,
I am sorry that I have been away so long. My 29 year old nephew died on 4/5 and it has been quite a blow to the family. We are starting to get back to a normal schedule now. I will answer your follow-up shortly.

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