Intermittent Explosive Disorder Signs and Treatment

Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) has to do with the difficulty in keeping impulses under control. A sufferer can be suddenly and unexpectedly provoked into outbursts of unbridled anger. Other common features are impulsive behaviors usually of a hostile and violent nature. Under the influence of IED, individuals fly into a frenzied state although no trigger or stimulator is evident. According to such people, they feel like suddenly losing control and get seized by violent anger. IED-affected individuals are apt to utter threats, and assault other people, animals or inanimate objects. So, how to know if you or your child is suffering from it? And how to treat IED?

How does one develop IED?

It is believed that intermittent explosive disorder first manifests itself in early teens and developing further can lead to high levels of anxiety, depression, and often consequently to substance abuse.

What factors underlie the development of intermittent explosive disorder?

This disorder can spring up from both genetic and environmental triggers, not all of which may have been recognized so far. Of the known ones behind IED the following can be cited:

  • In cases when IED is passed down to the next generation a genetic component seems to be at work
  • Repeated physical and/or verbal abuse in the early years of development
  • Abnormal fluctuations of the serotonin level
  • A trauma that hasn’t been easy to live down
  • Certain mental disorders, for example, ADHD, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and some others
  • Severe cases of anxiety and depression, long-time substance abuse

The brain of people afflicted with the intermittent explosive disorder frequently shows structural and functional differences as compared to that of individuals free of explosive outbursts of temper.

Does intermittent explosive disorder occur very often?

According to researchers IED can be diagnosed in the range of 1.4% to 7% of the country’s population.

Signs of the intermittent explosive disorder

The principal indication of the condition is recurrent eruptions of violence and anger not congruous to the situation they are in at the time. Such people generally comprehend that their flare-ups are out of turn and get them nowhere, but when it is on them, they don’t seem to be able to handle their anger.

These storms of aggression:

  • Occur out of the blue, unheralded.
  • Once having started, progress quickly.
  • Hardly ever last over half an hour.
  • Leave behind a devastated feeling.
  • Generate serious problems everywhere they happen to occur.
  • Their outbursts express themselves most commonly as:
  • Violent tantrums
  • Furious yelling
  • Remarks are seething with streams of invectives, long meandering pointless diatribes
  • Hot temper vents itself in threats aimed at humans or animals
  • Attacks on humans or animals, from slaps and jabs to fighting and even injuring victims with weapons
  • Inflicting damage on inanimate objects and property, breaking things, throwing them against walls, banging doors
  • Violent clashes at home
  • Outbursts on the move

These flare-outs range from moderate to stringent and might lead to inflictions of severe wounds, maybe even terminal wounds. The victim may need professional help.

What does an IED-afflicted individual feel when in a rage?

Under the influence of IED, when on the verge of a violent outburst, you may feel:

  • An onset of rage
  • Strong vexation
  • Rapidly mounting tension
  • The sensation of being hemmed in
  • Energy is suddenly on the rise
  • Tingling, a feeling of needles and pins in your limbs and other areas
  • The onset of tremors in the limbs and/or in various parts of the trunk
  • Thoughts crossing the mind at a faster clip
  • Lapses in communication
  • Quickening palpitations of the heart
  • Tight sensation in the chest
  • Once the outburst has passed, it is replaced by relief succeeded by distress and remorse.
  • Aggravations

If you have intermittent explosive disorder, you may have further trouble zones, like:

  • Relationships definitely suffer. Other people are apt to see them as irritable and disagreeable, slipping easily into bitter quarrels (maybe even physical assault). This attitude results in conflicts, stressful atmosphere, and, eventually, dissatisfaction with the relationship.
  • Routine life at work, at college, and anywhere gets disrupted. In worst cases the results may include dismissal, suspension, incurring financial losses, breaking the law; road accidents can be anticipated.
  • Unreliable, unstable moods. You become morose, depressive, and assailed by bouts of anxiety. It’s hard to enjoy peace of mind.
  • Intermittent explosive disorder is often accompanied by an immoderate intake of alcohol or other substances; it’s easy to become addictive.
  • It can take its toll on general health. Certain medical conditions will take a turn for the worse, like diabetes, cardiac diseases, and high blood pressure; chronic ailments are sure to feel the impact.
  • Inclination to self-harm. The wish may arise to inflict injuries or even commit suicide.

How can IED be diagnosed in good time?

As the Psychiatric Diagnostic Manual states, in order to be diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder an individual over the age of six must chalk up at least three IED-related episodes. It means such episodes ought to be absolutely spontaneous and uncaused by any recognizable trigger. There must also be evident related physical factors, for example, damaging objects or attacking somebody.

You can remember experiencing incidents like those? You should really consult your doctor about it.

Can IED be prevented?

Prevention of intermittent explosive disorder lies outside the afflicted individual’s abilities – it can be achieved only in cooperation with a professional. Yet it is worthwhile to be aware of a few tips like those below that can be included into the treatment process oа attempting to prevent outbreaks.

Treatment is something that ought to be observed strictly. Imbibe everything at the therapy sessions, take everything your therapist prescribes, and master the necessary skills.

Make good use of relaxation exercises. Practice meditation, yoga, different breathing techniques – these things can do a lot towards retaining a calm attitude.

Hone interpersonal skills. Learn to always hear other people out without interrupting them, stifle impulsive responses.

Learn about alternative thinking (cognitive restructuring). This and other similar techniques help you perceive current situations in a different light, giving precedence to rationality and logic that can make your perception clearer and your response more congruent.

Practice problem-solving. Think of a teasing problem, devise a scheme of dealing with it, draw up a plan. Even if it doesn’t solve the problem, a creative approach will bring about an upsurge of energy.

Try to make a change in your surroundings. See if you can dodge any situations that may annoy you.

Analyze your routine on the subject of making it less stressful as well. You can be badly frustrated if there is a repeating pattern that irks you regularly. You may add more pleasing and distracting activities that will keep your mood brighter.

Bear in mind that certain substances affect your mood – stay away from alcohol, and strong drugs.

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