IED is a mental health disorder that first appears in childhood or adolescence and is made up of the following symptoms:. It also usually occurs along with other mental health disorders and, as one might expect, can interfere greatly with a person's life. Given that IED can seriously interfere with relationships and negatively affect the quality of a person's life, mental health researchers have attempted to identify the cause of this disorder. For example, one study of a large group of people from the general population across the United States looked at the relationship between exposure to childhood trauma and IED. Childhood is obviously a very important time in our development.
Skip to Content. Intermittent explosive disorder Medically reviewed by Drugs. Disease Reference Medication List On this page Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention Diagnosis Treatment Coping and support Preparing for an appointment Overview Intermittent explosive disorder involves repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation.
Symptoms Explosive eruptions occur suddenly, with little or no warning, and usually last less than 30 minutes.
Aggressive episodes may be preceded or accompanied by: Rage Irritability Increased energy Racing thoughts Tingling Tremors Palpitations Chest tightness The explosive verbal and behavioral outbursts are out of proportion to the situation, with no thought to consequences, and can include: Temper tantrums Tirades Heated arguments Shouting Slapping, shoving or pushing Physical fights Property damage Threatening or assaulting people or animals You may feel a sense of relief and tiredness after the episode.
When to see a doctor If you recognize your own behavior in the description of intermittent explosive disorder, talk with your doctor about treatment options or ask for a referral to a mental health professional. Causes Intermittent explosive disorder can begin in childhood - after the age of 6 years - or during the teenage years.
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Most people with this disorder grew up in families where explosive behavior and verbal and physical abuse were common. Being exposed to this type of violence at an early age makes it more likely these children will exhibit these same traits as they mature. There may be a genetic component, causing the disorder to be passed down from parents to children. Differences in how the brain works. There may be differences in the structure, function and chemistry of the brain in people with intermittent explosive disorder compared to people who don't have the disorder.
Risk factors These factors increase your risk of developing intermittent explosive disorder: History of physical abuse. People who were abused as children or experienced multiple traumatic events have an increased risk of intermittent explosive disorder. History of other mental health disorders. Complications People with intermittent explosive disorder have an increased risk of: Impaired interpersonal relationships. They're often perceived by others as always being angry.
They may have frequent verbal fights or there can be physical abuse. These actions can lead to relationship problems, divorce and family stress. Trouble at work, home or school. Other complications of intermittent explosive disorder may include job loss, school suspension, car accidents, financial problems or trouble with the law.
Problems with mood.
Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety often occur with intermittent explosive disorder. Problems with alcohol and other substance use.
Problems with drugs or alcohol often occur along with intermittent explosive disorder. Physical health problems. Medical conditions are more common and can include, for example, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, ulcers, and chronic pain.
Intentional injuries or suicide attempts sometimes occur. Prevention If you have intermittent explosive disorder, prevention is likely beyond your control unless you get treatment from a professional.
Combined with or as part of treatment, these suggestions may help you prevent some incidents from getting out of control: Stick with your treatment.
Attend your therapy sessions, practice your coping skills, and if your doctor has prescribed medication, be sure to take it. Your doctor may suggest maintenance medication to avoid recurrence of explosive episodes.
Practice relaxation techniques. Regular use of deep breathing, relaxing imagery or yoga may help you stay calm. Develop new ways of thinking cognitive restructuring. Changing the way you think about a frustrating situation by using rational thoughts, reasonable expectations and logic may improve how you view and react to an event. Use problem-solving.
Make a plan to find a way to solve a frustrating problem. Even if you can't fix the problem right away, having a plan can refocus your energy. Learn ways to improve your communication. Listen to the message the other person is trying to share, and then think about your best response rather than saying the first thing that pops into your head.
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Change your environment. When possible, leave or avoid situations that upset you. Also, scheduling personal time may enable you to better handle an upcoming stressful or frustrating situation. Avoid mood-altering substances. Don't use alcohol or recreational or illegal drugs. Diagnosis To determine a diagnosis of intermittent explosive disorder and eliminate other physical conditions or mental health disorders that may be causing your symptoms, your doctor will likely: Do a physical exam.
Your doctor will try to rule out physical problems or substance use that could be contributing to your symptoms. Your exam may include lab tests.
Do a psychological evaluation. Your doctor or mental health professional will talk to you about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings and behavior patterns.
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Use the criteria in the DSM Treatment There's no single treatment that's best for everyone with intermittent explosive disorder. Psychotherapy Individual or group therapy sessions that focus on building skills can be helpful. A commonly used type of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, helps people with intermittent explosive disorder: Identify which situations or behaviors may trigger an aggressive response Learn how to manage anger and control inappropriate responses using techniques such as relaxation training, thinking differently about situations cognitive restructuringand applying communication and problem-solving skills Medication Different types of medications may help in the treatment of intermittent explosive disorder.
Identifying Explosive Anger In Unhealthy Relationships-Psychotherapy Crash Course
Coping and support Controlling your anger Part of your treatment may include: Unlearning problem behavior. Part 1 of Create an escape plan for emergencies. Hopefully you won't need to get away, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
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You should have a place in mind that you can escape to if need be, such as a friend's house. Let your friends and family know about the situation ahead of time so that they can quickly come to your aid. This bag can include clothes, money, and other personal items. If the situation escalates and you feel like you are in danger, don't be afraid to call the police. Avoid the situation.
If a coworker or someone you are not close to has an IED episode, simply remove yourself from the situation. The person's anger likely has nothing to do with you, and you are not responsible for what he or she is feeling. Unless the person is close to you and you want to try to help, consider simply avoiding the person when he or she is having an episode, or avoiding them altogether if the option is available.
Be aware of dangerous objects. If the person experiences intense rage, they might try to physically harm you. It may be a good idea to remove any sharp or dangerous objects such as firearms from the location if you know in advance that an episode is about to occur. Learn the person's triggers. Some IED episodes may be umiddleburyfloralvt.comedictable, but if you are close to the person, try to discover what sort of events typically trigger his or her episodes.
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This could be driving, doing homework, paying bills, or any other event that has the potential to cause upset. Sometimes it may be particular to the person and not something you would expect, so pay attention to the person's behavior and the situation he or she is in right before an episode occurs. Practice using empathic statements. A great way to keep an IED episode from escalating, especially with you as a target of the anger, is to reflect what the person is saying.
This will show him or her that you are interested in what they are feeling and that you are not a threat, but that you are trying to understand. Part 2 of Suggest psychotherapy. IED is not as simple as someone who occasionally gets angry.
A person with IED experiences intense anger that seems out of proportion with the triggering event. The person may benefit from professional help.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy that includes relaxation training is an effective tool for someone suffering from IED.
Intermittent explosive disorder, otherwise known as IED, is a little-known yet relatively prevalent mental health disorder marked by explosive outbursts of aggression or violence. 1 Such outbursts are characteristically out of proportion to their associated triggers or stressors and may appear to be "over-the-top" to those who witness them. Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is a condition that involves sudden outbursts of rage, aggression, or violence. These reactions tend to be irrational or out of proportion to the situation. Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) falls in the category of impulse-control disorders. The condition is characterized by a failure to resist aggressive impulses, resulting in serious assaults.
Relaxation training teaches progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and other techniques to help the person learn to relax. These techniques can be very effective in managing the explosive anger that comes with IED.
If they are resistant to therapy, you can explain that research shows these methods to be effective. Find positive channels for anger.
What Is Intermittent Explosive Disorder? IED is a mental health disorder that first appears in childhood or adolescence and is made up of the following symptoms: Several episodes of being unable to resist aggressive impulses that bring about major aggressive acts, such as assault or destroying property. The situation: Ora, the year-old daughter of Amy and Kyle, had the lead part in the after-school ballet. Kyle was out of town on business and missed the show. Intermittent explosive disorder is characterized by disproportionate rage responses, leading to serious harm through violent words or deeds. By definition, the behavior can't be explained by another diagnosis (for example, antisocial or borderline personality disorder, attention deficit disorder, conduct disorder, substance abuse, or dementia).
One of the reasons IED shows up is because people have not found positive ways to experience and channel the anger they feel. Anger is not actually a bad thing unless it builds up without any way to turn it into something positive and constructive. Anger is inevitable and needs to be respected and given a way to express itself.
Teach self-calming techniques. If the person is a friend, family member, or someone you are close to, offer to teach him or her techniques for self-calming. Diaphragmatic breathing is a useful technique to start with.
Teach the person to breathe deeply into his or her stomach, hold the breath for a few seconds, and then slowly exhale. This type of breathing will decrease heart rate and activate the "rest and digest" part of the nervous system. You can start with the toes and then work your way up to the head.
Visualization can help as well. This involves imagining a calm, peaceful scenario, such as laying out at a beach. You should try to fully enter the situation and imagine what the beach is like for all of your senses. Notify someone. If you aren't close to the person, try to contact a family member or friend that may be able to help him or her out in a crisis situation.
You can also do this if you need help calming the person down. Only attempt to help if you are certain of your own safety first. Move the person to another location. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Share on: Facebook Twitter.
Show references Intermittent explosive disorder. Arlington, Va. Accessed July 23, American Psychiatric Association.
Coccaro E. Intermittent explosive disorder in adults: Epidemiology and pathogenesis. Accessed July 10, Intermittent explosive disorder in adults: Treatment and prognosis. Coccaro EF. Intermittent explosive disorder. In: Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders.
Controlling anger before it controls you. American Psychological Association. What is safety planning? The National Domestic Violence Hotline.