What Is Intermittent Explosive Disorder?
We have all had experiences where we lost our temper and felt angrier than the situation may have warranted. Living with this on a daily basis can be overwhelming when you do not have the coping skills necessary to redirect these emotions. Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is characterized by chronic bouts of anger that are disproportionate to the igniting factor. The sensation that you cannot control your own actions and responses is often followed by immediate relief and, later, intense shame or guilt due to the lack of self-control. Negative consequences often do not affect IED and it can occur even in situations where an angry outburst can cause lasting damage to professional or personal relationships.
According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health, IED affects approximately 7% of adults, or around 16 million people. The same percentage of young adults meet the criteria for IED. To be diagnosed with IED, you must have experienced at least three situations during which you reacted with disproportionate anger to a trigger that did not warrant such a volatile response. Anyone who has had three instances within a twelve-month period is considered to have a severe case of IED.
What Are the Symptoms of IED?
It can be hard for family and friends to recognize the signs of IED since they can be mistaken for irrational anger. People with IED may also have trouble communicating effectively about what they are feeling and experiencing during one of these bouts of rage. This might make it more difficult for them to get help as they may be seen as trying to avoid responsibility for their actions. It is essential to understand that EID is a mental health disorder that can be effectively treated.
Before experiencing an IED episode, you may notice the following physical reactions:
IED symptoms include the following when they take place in response to situations that do not warrant such an aggressive response: