Intermittent Explosive Disorder
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...
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