Intermittent Explosive Disorder
What is Intermittent Explosive Disorder?
Intermittent Explosive Disorder, or IED, is a disorder revolving around uncontrolled rage. People with IED show aggressive and violent behavior to stimuli that would not bother most ordinary people. Intermittent Explosive disorder affects one in 14 adults, and that number is on the rise as more and more children are being diagnosed with Explosive Child Syndrome and growing into aggressive and violent adults.
Events such as extreme road rage are explained by people with IED nut being able to control their rage over something as small as being cut off, or a driver not using a blinker.
What causes Intermittent Explosive Disorder?
Statistically speaking, majority of adults with IED were raised in abusive homes where violence, drug abuse, and negativity were part of every day life. Some studies are being done on whether or not IED is genetic and can be passed from parents to children. Many adults with IED were diagnosed with ADHD as children.
Risk factors include people already suffering from anxiety, mood disorders, or other mental health and personality disorders. People who suffer from alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and emotional and mental abuse are at risk for developing IED.
People with IED also have a higher risk of hurting themselves in bouts of violence. A study was done and published in the Journal of Psychiatry Research which found 16% of people studied with IED harmed themselves in violent explosions, and 12% had attempted suicide.
What are the signs and symptoms of Intermittent Explosive Disorder?
Intermittent Explosive Disorder shows up as violent explosions of rage and anger lasting less than 30 minutes which may result in bodily injury and damage to property. The timeframe between episodes varies from daily to weeks or months between occurrences. Symptoms usually begin like an anxiety attack with chest pain and tightness, pressure in the head, tingling, tremor, and hearing an echo.
How do you know if you have Intermittent Explosive Disorder?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Medical Disorders, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association describes criteria for diagnosis as:
- Violent aggressiveness not explained by another mental disorder such as delirium, dementia, oppositional defiant disorder, antisocial personality disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder, and substance abuse must be ruled out first.
- Aggressiveness must be way out of proportion with the events that led to it
- Multiple incidences where there was destruction of property or bodily injury, and no way of controlling it.
Some studies are being done for further testing such as irregularities on an electroencephalogram (EEG) and levels of serotonin and testosterone imbalances, but they are not yet used to test for IED.
How is Intermittent Explosive Disorder treated?
There are many drugs on the market right now to help control IED such as:
- Anti-anxiety drugs
- Mood regulators
A mixture of Cognitive Therapy as well as Behavioral Therapy may be used as well to help get to the root of where the Violence is coming from and help teach people with IED how to behave in a different manor. Anger management and relaxation techniques are also used to treat IED.Many people have found outlets for their aggressive behavior and careers that turn it into a positive attribute rather than a negative disorder. WWE Wrestler Randy Orton has stated that he has IED, and is using the power of publicity to spread awareness about the disorder.
Many studies are being done on children with behavioral disorders and how they carry over into adult hood, which ones become IED, and why. It is through awareness and understanding of IED that we can delete it from society and help better treat people with this explosive rage disorder.
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