INTRODUCTION & DSM-IV TR

Before you read about a specific disorder, it is recommended that you read this introductory page.

Tourette Syndrome
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Bi-Polar Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder

When speaking of neuro-biological/developmental impulse disorders, one is referring to brain based conditions or abnormalities. These abnormalities usually involve a "glitch" with chemical transmitters such as serotonin and dopamine and/or actual structural differences in specific areas of the brain such as the prefrontal cortex. Although the main ingredient of these conditions may be brain misadventures, the implications are far-reaching. Serious emotional, psychological and behavioral issues run rampant and need to be addressed. These issues, among others, include alienation from self and others, social and emotional immaturity, self-esteem and self-confidence and competence as well as concerns about impulsive behaviors such as hyperactivity, overreaction, and various forms of acting out.

All mental health conditions, when formally diagnosed, are accompanied by a specific "diagnostic/psychiatric number." The criteria for the specific diagnosis accompanied by the disorder's "number," make up the DSM-IV TR, or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Text Revision (e.g. Tourette Disorder is 307.23) as determined by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

Please bear in mind that my use of the term "impulse disorder" is used in a very different context than that used by the APA. In actuality, the APA only has a few specific disorders it classifies as impulse disorders, such as Pathological gambling (312.31). A good source for DSM-IV TR information is: http://www.behavenet.com.

I believe that the APA gets too immersed in symptoms (such as with gambling) and, therefore, misses the bigger picture by having an overabundance of disorder classifications. It's the old "fails to see the forest through the trees syndrome." Rather than focus on specific symptoms (or behaviors) exhibited by someone, I tend to be more conceptual and encompassing in my perspective. And, with the high co-morbidity rates among these disorders, the overall picture a person presents of themselves is often lost while clinicians get too knit-picky and unfortunately pigeon-hole people into too narrow a perspective.

Further, my work centers on very specific conditions and not the entire psychiatric realm. While I do work with the "affective and psychotic disorders" such as major depressive disorder and schizophrenia, this site concerns itself with the conditions listed on the home page and outlined below.

Although I do take issue with some of the viewpoints/perspectives of the APA, that is the system within which those in the mental health field must navigate. So, when you read the more specific information on a particular disorder that follows, rest assured that my vision is more broad. I do not separate a person's behavioral health from their emotional health, terminology that truly irks me. More about that in a different section. Suffice to say that my approach is to deal with the individual as a complete person wherein I see how all of their different aspects meld together to present their unique cadence or drumbeat.

All material on this website ©2009 by Bridging the Chasm and Garry L. Earles, L.I.C.S.W.