What Is Intermittent Explosive Disorder?

What Is Intermittent Explosive Disorder?Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is an impulse-control disorder characterized by an inability to resist displaying bursts of negative emotions. Those who suffer from IED have reoccurring episodes of extreme anger, aggression, and violence. These episodes are grossly disproportionate to the nature of the situation that served as a provocation. During an episode, a person may commit violent threats, actual violence, and damage to property. Explosive episodes are often a way of compensating for feelings of insecurity or low self-esteem.

Diagnosis of Intermittent Explosive Disorder

When other mental health disorders that include aggressive episodes, such as Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, have been eliminated as possible diagnoses, then a person may be diagnosed with IED. Those who suffer from IED often have a family history of addiction and mental health issues. They may have grown up in an unstable family environment in which they experienced physical and emotional abuse and life-threatening situations. The explosive episodes associated with IED are not a result of substance abuse or a medical condition such as head trauma or Alzheimer’s disease. Although episodes do not have a definitive trigger, a person is more likely to have an episode when he or she is experiencing stress.

How Intermittent Explosive Disorder Can Complicate Personal Relationships

Although anger is a normal, healthy emotion, people who struggle with IED are unable to express their anger in a healthy manner. They express their anger in explosive episodes that are harmful and destructive. These episodes can strain personal relationships. Loved ones may become fearful of witnessing or falling victim to yet another episode. Although a person who suffers from IED may express remorse after having an episode, this remorse does not prevent future episodes from occurring.

Treatment Options for Intermittent Explosive Disorder

For people who suffer from anger problems, learning to manage anger in a healthy way requires professional help. Psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy, is a common mode of treatment for IED. Individual and group therapy sessions can help people with IED learn what factors trigger their aggressive episodes. Therapy also helps people learn how to use relaxation training and cognitive restructuring to manage their inappropriate emotional responses.

Need Help Finding Treatment for Intermittent Explosive Disorder?

If you or someone you love suffers from IED, please allow us to help. Call our toll-free number to reach one of our admissions coordinators who can connect you to a treatment program. We are available 24/7 to take your call and offer you treatment options for IED. Please don’t hesitate to call us now.

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