Intermittent explosive disorder(IED): Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment (2022)

Intermittent explosive disorder is a condition in which there are repeated sudden impulsive episodes of aggressive violent behavior or angry outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation Road rage and domestic abuse may be signs of this disorder explosive disorder

These outbursts make you very unhappy negatively impact your relationships work and school and can have legal and financial consequences

Intermittent explosive disorder is a chronic disorder that can continue for years although the severity of outbursts may decrease with age Treatment involves medications and psychotherapy to help you control your aggressive impulses

Intermittent explosive disorder(IED): Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment (1)

Explanation of medical terms and concepts(IED)

Intermittent explosive disorder is a lesser-known psychological disorder marked by episodes of unwarranted anger. it's commonly delineated as “flying into a rage for no reason.” In a private with intermittent explosive disorder, the activity outbursts are out of proportion to the situation. however common is intermittent explosive disorder? it's calculable that between one to seven % of people can develop intermittent explosive disorder throughout their lifetime.


Explosive eruptions occur suddenly and without warning They usually last less than 30 minutes These episodes may occur frequently or be separated by weeks or months of nonaggression Milder verbal outbursts may occur in between episodes of physical aggression The person has a short temper and is often angry

Aggressive episodes may be preceded or accompanied by:

  • Rage
  • Irritability
  • Increased energy
  • Racing thoughts
  • Tingling
  • Tremors
  • Palpitations
  • Chest tightness

The verbal and behavioral outbursts are out of proportion to the situation and have no thought for consequences The child may throw things hit others or run away

  • Temper tantrums
  • Tirades
  • Heated arguments
  • Shouting
  • Slapping, shoving or pushing
  • Physical fights
  • Property damage
  • Threatening or assaulting people or animals

After the episode you may feel relieved and tired Later you may feel remorse regret or embarrassment

When to see a doctor

If you recognize your own behavior in the description of intermittent explosive disorder, speak along with your doctor regarding treatment choices or provoke a referral to a psychological state professional. folks diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder can learn a range of cope techniques in therapy. These will facilitate forestall episodes. They include:

  • Relaxation techniques
  • Changing the ways you think (cognitive restructuring)
  • Communication skills
  • Learning to change your environment and leaving stressful situations when possible
  • Avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs


The cause of intermittent explosive disorder is unknown, but some conducive factors are identified. They include: A genetic element (occurs in families) Being exposed to verbal and physical abuse in childhood Brain chemistry (varying levels of serotonin) will contribute to the disorder Having experienced one or a lot of traumatic events in childhood A history of psychological state disorders, as well as attention deficit disorder disorder (ADHD), delinquent mental disorder, borderline temperament disorder Nearly eighty two p.c of these with intermittent explosive disorder have conjointly had depression, anxiety or abuse disorder

Intermittent explosive disorder can begin in childhood — after the age of six years — or during the teenage years It's more common in younger adults than in older adults The exact cause is unknown but it probably results from a number of environmental and biological factors Biological factors are involved

  • Environment.Most people with this disorder grew up in families where explosive behavior and verbal and physical abuse were common Being exposed to this type of violence at an early age makes it more likely these children will exhibit these same traits as they mature
  • Genetics.There may be a genetic component that causes the disorder to be passed down from parents to children
  • Differences in how the brain works.There may be differences in the structure and function of the brain in people with intermittent explosive disorder compared to people who don't have the disorder

Risk factors(IED)

These factors increase your risk of developing intermittent explosive disorder:

  • History of physical abuse.People who were abused as children or experienced multiple traumatic events have an increased risk of intermittent explosive disorder
  • The history of other mental health disordersPeople with antisocial personality disorder borderline personality disorder or other disorders that include disruptive behaviors such as ADHD have an increased risk of also having intermittent explosive disorder


People with intermittent explosive disorder have an increased risk of:

  • Impaired interpersonal relationships.They may be perceived by others as always being angry They may have frequent verbal fights or there can be physical abuse These actions can lead to relationship problems divorce and family stress
  • Trouble at work, home or school.
  • Problems with mood.Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety often occur with intermittent explosive disorder
  • Alcohol and other substance use problems Alcohol and other drugs can be harmful to your healthProblems with drugs or alcohol often occur along with intermittent explosive disorder
  • Physical health problems.Medical conditions are more common and some examples include high blood pressure diabetes heart disease stroke ulcers and chronic pain
  • Self-harm.Intentional injuries or suicide attempts sometimes occur


If you have intermittent explosive disorder prevention is likely beyond your control unless you get treatment from a professional Combined with or as part of treatment these suggestions may help you prevent some incidents from getting out of control:

  • Stick with your treatment.Attend your therapy sessions to practice your coping skills If you are prescribed medication be sure to take it as prescribed Your doctor may suggest maintenance medication to prevent recurrence of explosive episodes
  • Practice relaxation techniques.Deep breathing may help you stay calm Regular use of deep breathing and relaxing imagery or yoga may help you stay calm
  • Changing how you think about a frustrating situation by using rational thoughts reasonable expectations and logic may improve how you view and react to an event
  • Use problem-solving.Make a plan to find a way to solve a frustrating problem Even if you can't fix the problem right away having a plan can refocus your energy
  • Learn to communicate clearlyPay attention to what the other person is trying to communicate and then think about your best response
  • Change your environment.When possible avoid situations that upset you Scheduling personal time may enable you to better handle an upcoming stressful or frustrating situation
  • Avoid mood-altering substances.Do not use alcohol or recreational or illegal drugs

Diagnosis (IED)

Your doctor will likely make a diagnosis of intermittent explosive disorder and eliminate other physical conditions or mental health disorders that may be causing your symptoms

  • Do a physical exam.Your doctor will try to rule out physical problems or substance use that could be contributing to your symptoms Your exam may include lab tests such as a blood test
  • Do a psychological evaluation.
  • Use the criteria in the DSM-5.The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is a book that mental health professionals use to diagnose mental conditions

Treatment (IED)

Intermittent explosive disorder may best be treated by a combination of psychological feature behavioural medical care (which consists of relaxation training, dynamic the ways that you're thinking that [cognitive restructuring] and header skills training) and medications. In particular, selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor is that the most studied drug for intermittent explosive disorder. different medication that are studied for the condition or have been suggested if fluoxetine fails embrace phenytoin, oxcarbazepine or carbamazepine. In general, the categories of medicines that may be tried include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antianxiety and mood regulators.

Pour the decoupage into the bowl with the leaves and mix it well Stir until all of the decoupage is mixed in


Psychological rehabilitation

Child medical and psychological care

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  • Which situations or behaviors may trigger an aggressive response
  • Manage anger and control inappropriate responses Learn techniques such as relaxation training thinking differently about situations and applying communication and problem-solving skills


Different types of medications may help in the treatment of intermittent explosive disorder These may include some antidepressants specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) anticonvulsant mood stabilizers or other drugs if needed

Coping and support

Controlling your anger

Part of your treatment may include:

  • Unlearning problem behavior.Coping well with anger is a learned behavior Practice the techniques you learn in therapy to help you recognize what triggers your outbursts and how to respond in ways that work for you instead of against you
  • Developing a plan.Work with your doctor or mental health professional to develop a plan of action for when you experience anger For example if you think you might lose control try to remove yourself from the situation Go for a walk or call a trusted friend to try to calm down
  • Improving self-care.Exercising and practicing stress management each day can help you tolerate frustration
  • You can use the decoupage to make a border that is wider than the leafThese substances can increase aggressiveness and the risk of explosive outbursts

If your loved one won't get help

Unfortunately many people with intermittent explosive disorder don't seek treatment If you are in a relationship with someone who has intermittent explosive disorder take steps to protect yourself and your children Abuse isn't your fault No one deserves to be abused

If you see that a situation is getting worse and suspect that your loved one may be on the verge of an explosive episode try to safely remove yourself and your children from the scene Leaving someone with a temper can be dangerous

Before an emergency arises consider taking these steps:

  • Call a domestic violence hotline or a women's shelter for helpWhen the abuser isn't home or from a friend's house
  • Keep all firearms locked away or hidden.Do not give an abusive person the key or a combination to the lock
  • Pack an emergency bagthat includes items you'll need when you leave such as extra clothes keys personal papers medications and money Hide it or leave the bag with a trusted friend or neighbor
  • Tell a trusted neighbor or friend about the violenceso that he or she can call for help if they are worried about something
  • Know where you'll goIf you ever feel threatened even if it means you have to leave your home at night you can practice getting out of your home safely
  • Come up with a code word or visual signal that means you need the policeand show it to your friends family and children

If you are a victim of domestic violence get help

These resources can help:

  • Police.In an emergency call 911 or your local emergency number or your local law enforcement agency
  • Your doctor or the emergency room.Doctors and nurses can help treat injuries and document them Doctors and nurses will let you know what local resources are available to help keep you safe
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233This hotline is available for crisis intervention and referrals to resources such as women's shelters counseling and support groups
  • A domestic violence shelter or crisis centerShelters and crisis centers provide emergency shelter as well as advice on legal matters and advocacy and support services
  • A counseling or mental health center.Many communities offer counseling and support groups for people who are being abused
  • A local court.Your local court can help you get a restraining order that legally orders the abuser to stay away from you or face arrest Local advocates may be available to help guide you through the process You can also file assault or other charges when appropriate

Preparing for your appointment

If you are having repeated emotional outbursts talk with your doctor or make an appointment with a mental health professional A psychiatrist psychologist or social worker can help you Here is some information to help you The most of your appointment You should make the most of your appointment

What you can do

Before your appointment, make a list of:

  • Symptoms you're experiencing,When you go to the doctor tell him everything
  • Key personal information,Include any major stresses that have recently occurred in your life as well as any triggers for your outbursts
  • All medications,I am taking vitamins herbs and other supplements I'm also on a special diet that includes the right amounts of vitamins herbs and other supplements
  • Questions to askyour doctor

Ask your doctor some basic questions Questions to ask your doctor include:

  • Why am I having these angry outbursts?
  • Do I need any tests? Do these tests require any special preparation?
  • Is this condition temporary or long lasting?
  • What treatments are available and which ones do you recommend?
  • Are there any side effects from the treatment?
  • Are there any alternatives to the primary approach that you are suggesting?
  • I have other health conditions How can I best manage them together?
  • Do you have a generic alternative to the medicine you are prescribing?
  • How long does therapy take to work?
  • Do you have any printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Ask more questions

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions such as: How long have you had this problem? (This helps your doctor determine if the problem is new or old.) What medications are you taking? Have you recently changed your diet or exercise habits? Do you have any other health problems? Do you feel tired weak or dizzy? Do you have any pain in your joints or muscles? Is there any discharge from your penis vagina anus mouth

  • How often do you have explosive episodes?
  • What triggers your outbursts?
  • Have you ever harmed or hurt others?
  • Have you damaged property when angry?
  • Have you ever tried to hurt yourself?
  • Has your outburst negatively affected your family or work life?
  • What do you think is the reason for these episodes occurring more often or less often?
  • How can you calm down?
  • Is anyone in your family ever diagnosed with a mental illness?
  • Have you ever had a head injury?
  • Are you currently using drugs or other substances?

Be ready to answer these questions so you can spend more time on the points you want to discuss with the doctor

General summary

Intermittent explosive disorder is characterized by repeated episodes of impulsive aggressive or violent behavior that are disproportionate to the situations that trigger them Also called impulse control disorder intermittent explosive disorder results in verbal threats and physical violence toward objects or other people Because there is no intent to injure another person it differs from conduct disorder which describes destructiveness directed at people and animals While this condition can be disabling because of the consequences of outbursts such as job loss and divorce it also has a significant genetic component; if someone has this disorder there is an 80 percent chance he will have children who share it Typical triggers

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