Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 372-374

Impulsive Pica : A New Diagnostic Category ?

1 Professors. Head, Institute of Psychiatry, 7, D L Khan Road, Kolkata-700025, India
2 Resident, Institute of Psychiatry, 7, D L Khan Road, Kolkata-700025, India

Correspondence Address:
A N Chowdhury
Professors. Head, Institute of Psychiatry, 7, D L Khan Road, Kolkata-700025
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 21206603

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Pica is an interesting psychiatric entity that merits special clinical attention. This report describes three cases of pica and calls for its separate nosological placement in clinical psychiatry. In the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders fourth edition (DSM-IV), pica is described as persistent eating of nonutritive substances for a period of at least 1 month which is inappropriate to the developmental level and not part of a culturally sanctioned practice (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). On the other hand, impulse-control disorders not elsewhere classified is defined as failure to resist an impulse, drive or temptation to perform an act that is harmful to the person or to others, feeling of an increasing sense of tension or arousal before committing the act and pleasure, gratification or relief at the time of committing the act or shortly thereafter (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Regarding the aetiologies of Pica most contemporary literatures have cited various causative factors, e.g. normal exploratory orality of children, pregnancy, stress and conflicts, cultural beliefs, mental retardation, psychotic disorders and even nutritional deficiencies (Chatoor, 2000; Popper & West, 2001). Here, we report 3 atypical cases of Pica, attending outpatient department of the Institute of Psychiatry, Calcutta. These reported cases are unique in their time of onset, phenomenological progression and therapeutic responsiveness.



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