What Causes Intermittent Explosive Disorder?
Intermittent explosive disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme uncontrollable episodes of anger, often resulting from trauma.
What is Intermittent Explosive Disorder?
IED, or intermittent explosive disorder (IED), is a mental health condition characterized by extreme and uncontrollable episodes of anger. An IED explosion can occur without warning; you might destroy property, assault people, or even contemplate violence during those times. With treatment, though, you can learn to manage your anger and live well with IED.
The cause of IED is unknown, but it's thought to be related to a chemical imbalance in your brain. In addition, research shows that people with IEDs are likely to have experienced significant trauma earlier in life. While environmental factors may play a role in causing IED, most people diagnosed with it will experience no apparent precipitating events before an explosion. Your genetic makeup is also a factor. People with a family history of IED are much more likely to develop it themselves.
Is Intermittent Explosive Disorder a Mental Illness?
Fundamentals of Intermittent Explosive Disorder
People with the intermittent explosive disorder have extreme difficulty controlling their anger and rage. Though they are aware that their anger is inappropriate and out of proportion, they feel helpless to stop it or get angry on purpose to avoid something they fear. To understand causes of intermittent explosive disorder, it's essential to look at the various factors involved in developing this condition, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and environmental factors like childhood trauma and abuse.
Intermittent Explosive Disorder Symptoms in Adults
Behavioral Symptoms of IED
There is an apparent cause of intermittent explosive disorder in some cases. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may have developed impulsive and angry behavior. The same applies if you are abusing drugs or alcohol regularly. Mental health disorders like depression and bipolar disorder can trigger anger management issues.
Physical Symptoms of IED
Anger is a normal emotion. However, it can become dangerous when it spirals out of control. If you think you may be struggling with IED or other symptoms of anger management issues, it's essential to seek help. By taking proactive steps now, you can manage and treat your intermittent explosive disorder symptoms and avoid serious legal problems down the road.
Intermittent Explosive Disorder Causes and Risk Factors
People with intermittent explosive disorder experience recurrent episodes of extreme anger and impulsiveness that lead to violent or destructive behavior. The precise cause of intermittent explosive disorder is unknown. However, some factors likely contribute to its development. Some studies suggest that people with intermittent explosive disorder may have lower serotonin levels in their brains than others do. Serotonin plays a role in regulating mood and aggression.
What Causes Intermittent Explosive Disorder?
Intermittent Explosive Disorder Risk Factors
As with most mental health disorders, biological, psychological, and social factors likely play a role in intermittent explosive disorder. If you or someone you know struggles with violent outbursts that seem to come out of nowhere, talk to your doctor about treatment options for intermittent explosive disorder. There are several effective treatments available.
Intermittent Explosive Disorder Diagnosis and Complications
Although a diagnosis of intermittent explosive disorder is most made in adulthood, symptoms generally emerge in adolescence or even childhood.
How is Intermittent Explosive Disorder Diagnosed?
Diagnosis can be made using criteria and requires you to meet three or more of the following criteria within 12 months: frequent loss of temper; recurrent physical fights; threatening others or engaging in physical fights that cause injury or property damage; destructive acts that cause significant property damage to your belongings (e.g., breaking furniture) when angry.
Complications of intermittent explosive disorder are very similar to those of adult ADHD. Having an intermittent explosive disorder can make it challenging to succeed at work and in other areas of your life. You may face many problems because of your anger, such as being fired from a job, and losing friends or relationships. This can lead to depression or suicidal thoughts. Medication and therapy can help reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Treatment for Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Treatment of intermittent explosive disorder (IED) usually focuses on methods to better manage stress. Because increased levels of stress often precede outbursts, many IED sufferers benefit from relaxation, breathing exercises, and counseling. When anger is caused by another mental health disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder, treatment for that primary condition may be enough to calm rage symptoms. And in some cases, several medications can help reduce anger without affecting moods or other behaviors.
If you have an anger problem, your doctor will first ask about your symptoms and perform a physical exam. If he thinks you have IED, he'll likely recommend that you see a therapist to help identify stressors and develop techniques for coping with these difficult situations. For example, therapists might teach relaxation techniques or cognitive-behavioral strategies to help you manage anger as it occurs.
Please contact us at Anew Treatment Center to schedule your next appointment. We are here to provide compassionate care throughout your mental health journey. Reach out to us today to learn more about our comprehensive approach to treatment.
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