What do you think of when you hear IED? Many first thoughts would take you to Iraq and the use of improvised explosive devices, but to the estimated one in fourteen American adults who have IED think Intermittent Explosive Disorder. By definition, Intermittent Explosive Disorder is “a behavioral disorder characterized by repeat extreme expressions of anger, often to the point of uncontrollable rage, that are disproportionate to the situation at hand. ” Other names for IED include rage attacks, anger attacks, and episodic dyscontrol.The attacks start and end suddenly and they may go on for hours at a time. The victim may attack themselves, others, or even their own property. After the storm settles, the victims usually feel remorse or embarrassment about the acts they have committed.
Their aggression is not premeditated and is defined by an out-of-proportion reaction to any frustration real or imagined. Intermittent Explosive Disorder is currently categorized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as “an impulse control disorder. ” Researchers suggest many possible causes for Intermittent Explosive Disorder.Some researches believe IED may result from abnormalities in the areas of the brain that regulate behavioral arousal and inhibition. Another study suggests a genetic component that is passed down from parents to their children. Other studies concluded that many people with IED grew up in families where physical abuse was common. The sufferers have received harsh punishments from their parents and, therefore, have strongly negative views of other people. They may have seen one or both of their parents or siblings acting out in these explosive violent ways.
The signs of victims with Intermittent Explosive Disorder before they act out, include pounding headache, racing heart beat, and chest constriction. These signs may be followed also by tingling, temors, or hearing an echo. Almost immediately after their violent outburst, the victims will feel guilt or remorse for their actions. These episodes may be separated by weeks or months of normal behavior. Not always will the person affected with Intermittent Explosive Disorder try to harm other people- they also put themselves in life threatening situations.They may deliberately cut or harm themselves with intentional injuries and suicide attempts.
People who are addicted to drugs and have personality disorders are also more likely to try to injure themselves. Intermittent Explosive Disorder is a rare disorder and most people who are diagnosed with this disorder are males. The common period for the outbursts to occur is during late childhood and their early twenties. Most patients who have this disorder are almost always likely to be diagnosed as well with a personality disorder which include- substance abuse and neurological disorders.One study has found that such patients have a high lifetime rate of co-occurring bipolar disorder. In some people, Intermittent Explosive Disorder decreases in severity or resolves completely as the person grows older.
In others, the disorder appears to be chronic and will last a lifetime. Some researchers think that IED can be prevented by educating children in parenting skills and teaching them how to improve their self-control with practice and appropriate coaching. A treatment that seems to help some adults with Intermittent Explosive Disorder is cognitive therapy.Cognitive therapy is defined as a relatively short-term form of psychotherapy based on the concept that the way we think about things affects how we feel emotionally. It focuses on present thinking, behavior, and communication rather than on past experiences and is fixated toward problem solving. Many drugs can be used to help control IED including anticonvulsants, anti-anxiety agents, mood regulators, and antidepressants. Others have found that group therapy that focuses on rage management has helped.
Also, relaxation techniques help calm down the sufferers and neutralize their anger.