Intermittent explosive disorder is a mental health condition characterized by sudden outbursts of anger or violence. These episodes become triggered by seemingly minor events and can cause severe problems in a person’s life, including damage to property and relationships. While there’s no cure for the disorder, IED treatment can help manage the symptoms and make it easier to cope with the condition.
If you have the intermittent explosive disorder, you may feel like you’re walking on eggshells, afraid of what might set off your next outburst. You may be ashamed of your behavior and feel like losing control. But with treatment, you can learn how to manage your condition better and reduce the frequency and severity of your outbursts.
IED Disorder Causes
There’s no single cause of intermittent explosive disorder. Instead, it results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Some research suggests that IED may happen due to an imbalance of certain brain chemicals, such as serotonin or dopamine. Other studies link the condition to head injuries and exposure to violence or abuse during childhood. It’s also believed that some people may be more prone to IED mental disorders due to family history or other genetic factors.
Environmental factors, such as stress, can also trigger episodes of IED mental disorder. A traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one, can also contribute to the development of IED.
While anyone can develop the intermittent explosive disorder, some factors may increase your risk. These include:
– Family history. If you have a parent or close relative with IED, you’re more likely to develop the condition yourself.
– Age. IED episodes are most common in adolescence and young adulthood. The disorder often begins to improve as people get older.
– Substance abuse. People who abuse alcohol or drugs are more likely to have intermittent explosive disorder.
– Mental health conditions. Having another mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can increase your risk of IED mental disorder.
If you have any of these risk factors, it’s essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms of IED so that you can seek treatment if necessary.
IED Disorder Symptoms and Diagnosis
The primary symptom of the intermittent explosive disorder is experiencing episodes of impulsive or aggressive behavior. These episodes can include:
– Physical violence, such as hitting, kicking, or biting
– Verbal outbursts, such as yelling or swearing
– Threats of violence
– Property damage, such as breaking furniture or punching walls
These episodes are often triggered by seemingly minor events, such as someone cutting you off in traffic or disagreeing with you. The outbursts are usually disproportionate to the event that started them and may seem out of character for you.
During an episode of IED, you may feel like you’re out of control and unable to stop your behavior. You may also experience:
– A sense of euphoria or relief after the outburst
– Feelings of regret or remorse afterward
– Difficulty concentrating or sleeping
– Headaches or stomachaches
– Anxiety or irritability in the days leading up to an outburst
If you have an intermittent explosive disorder, these episodes can cause severe problems in your life. They may damage your relationships, lead to legal trouble, or cause you to lose your job. IED can also lead to financial problems if you frequently damage property during your outbursts.
If you have symptoms of the intermittent explosive disorder, make an appointment to see your doctor or mental health professional. They can evaluate you and help determine whether you have IED or another condition.
To diagnose IED, your doctor will likely:
– Ask about your symptoms and when they began
– Do a physical exam to rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms
– Order laboratory tests to rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms
– Ask about your medical history, including any mental health conditions you have or have had in the past
– Ask about your family history, as IED can run in families
– Ask about any substance abuse problems you have or have had in the past
– Refer you to a mental health professional for an evaluation
IED treatment can help reduce or eliminate your symptoms. Treatment may also help prevent future outbursts and improve your overall functioning.
There is no one-size-fits-all intermittent explosive disorder treatment. The best approach depends on the severity of your symptoms and whether you have any other mental health conditions.
In general, intermittent explosive disorder treatment includes:
– Psychotherapy. This therapy can help you understand and manage your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It can also teach you how to cope with stress and deal with triggers that may lead to outbursts.
– Medication. Certain medications, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs, can help reduce IED symptoms.
– Family therapy. This therapy can help family members understand IED and how to support them. It can also teach them how to deal with their stress and reactions to your outbursts.
– Anger management. This type of therapy can help you learn to control your anger and manage your outbursts more constructively.
– Stress management. This type of therapy can help you identify and avoid sources of stress in your life. It can also teach you skills for healthily coping with stress.