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Treatment For Intermittent Explosive Disorder

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What Is Intermittent Explosive Disorder?
Causes
Symptoms
Treatments
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What Is Intermittent Explosive Disorder?
Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) entails aggression and anger in response to triggers like frustration or annoyance.
These episodes can be verbal or physical, and the person with IED may feel out of control during them.

What Causes Intermittent Explosive Disorder?
- You are a male
- You are younger
- You are unemployed
- You are divorced or separated
- You have less education

Symptoms Of Intermittent Explosive Disorder
- Feeling on edge or irritable
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Violent behavior
- Experiencing problems at work or school
- Showing or pushing physical fights
- Feeling like you need to keep your temper in check.
- Avoiding situations that may trigger an episode
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Feeling guilty or ashamed after an episode

Treatment For Intermittent Explosive Disorder
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Medications
- Acupuncture
- Biofeedback
- Relaxation techniques
- Herbal remedies
- Homeopathic remedies

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Most people lose their temper, but it may be a sign of intermittent explosive disorder (IED) when it occurs regularly. This mental health condition can increase aggression in people, causing them to lash out and sometimes even hurt others.

If you have IED, it's essential to get treatment. Unfortunately, the majority of people with this condition don't seek help. This article will explore the different treatment options for IED and the importance of early intervention.

What is intermittent explosive disorder?

Intermittent Explosive Disorder, or IED, is when someone has sudden bursts of anger and aggression. Imagine getting super mad and yelling or throwing things, not because you want to, but because something inside you snaps. This can happen when they are really frustrated or annoyed.

Kids or adults with IED feel like they can't control these angry outbursts. They might feel bad and sorry after they calm down. It's important to know that they don’t mean to get so angry or hurt anyone’s feelings.

A lot of people in America have IED, and it usually starts when they are kids or teenagers. Boys and men have it more often than girls and women. Many people with IED also have other mental health problems, like feeling sad (depression), being super worried (anxiety), or having trouble following rules (antisocial personality disorder). But few of them get help to manage their anger. [1]

So, if you or someone else has IED, it's not your fault, and there are ways to get help and learn how to handle those big angry feelings better.

What causes intermittent explosive disorder?

A table about the causes intermittent explosive disorder

The exact cause of IED is unknown, but it may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. For example, people with IED may have a family history. Furthermore, certain life events, such as trauma or abuse, may increase the risk of developing IED. [2]

You are at risk of getting intermittent explosive disorder if;

  • You are a male.
  • You are younger.
  • You are unemployed.
  • You are divorced or separated.
  • You have less education.

Symptoms of intermittent explosive disorder

The primary symptom of IED is experiencing episodes of anger or aggression that are out of proportion to the situation. Mayo Clinic explains that these episodes may be verbal, such as yelling or making threats, or physical, such as hitting or throwing things.

Other symptoms of IED may include:

  • Feeling on edge or irritable
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Violent behavior
  • Experiencing problems at work or school
  • Showing or pushing physical fights
  • Feeling like you need to keep your temper in check.
  • Avoiding situations that may trigger an episode
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling guilty or ashamed after an episode

How is intermittent explosive disorder diagnosed?

There is no specific test to diagnose IED. Instead, a mental health professional will likely ask you about your symptoms and medical history. They may ask you to complete a questionnaire about your episodes of rage and aggression.

There are several diagnostic criteria for intermittent explosive disorder.

Diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM-5)

The DSM-5 measures for IED include:

  • Recurrent episodes of impulsive, aggressive behavior
  • These episodes are out of proportion to the situation or event that triggered them.
  • These episodes are not premeditated or intended to harm someone.
  • Ill-tempered outbursts are usually not justified by the size or intensity of the problem at hand.
  • Episodes cause distress or impairment in social, work, or other areas of functioning.
  • These symptoms are not caused by another mental disorder, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or another psychotic disorder.
  • These symptoms are not caused by the use of drugs or alcohol.
  • The person must be older than six years old to be diagnosed with IED.
A man screaming into a phone

Diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM-4)

Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) is a condition where people have sudden, intense bursts of anger and aggression. They can't resist the urge to act out violently or destroy things. This is not a normal reaction to being upset or stressed; it is far more extreme.

To figure out if someone has IED, doctors look at certain rules. First, the person’s reactions have to be way too extreme for the situation. Like, if someone gets a little annoyed, it wouldn’t be normal to start breaking stuff or hurting others. Also, doctors need to make sure that these reactions aren’t because of another mental health issue.

Sometimes, IED can happen because of a head injury, a brain disease called Alzheimer’s, or using drugs or certain medications. Doctors can tell if someone has IED by talking to them and learning about their feelings and behaviors.

A person might receive an IED diagnosis if they have had three or more aggressive outbursts that they didn't plan and that caused harm to someone or damaged something. These outbursts can’t be a normal reaction to stress or provocation, and they happen a few days to a few weeks apart. So, if someone has episodes of extreme anger and aggression that they can’t explain or control, and it’s not because of another mental health issue or a normal reaction to stress, they might have IED. But remember, the right help can treat it.

Treatment for intermittent explosive disorder

A Wikipedia article says there isn't a complete cure for Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), but don't worry, because there are ways to help manage it. The best way to deal with IED is by using both medicine and talking to a counselor. These professionals can help people with IED understand and control their intense anger and aggression. [3]

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT for short, is a special kind of talk therapy that helps people with IED. It helps them spot and change negative thoughts and actions. It's like a detective for your mind, finding those tricky thoughts that make you super angry and helping you turn them into positive ones.

CBT is good at helping people learn cool tricks to manage their anger in a healthy way. So instead of getting super mad and yelling or breaking things, someone using CBT can calm themselves down and handle their feelings like a pro.[4]

This therapy is a superstar at reducing the symptoms of IED. It not only helps people feel less angry but can also lift them up if they're feeling down. It's like having a tool kit for your emotions, making you ready to fix any problem that comes your way! [5]

Group therapy

Group therapy can be a promising treatment method for people with IED. Group therapy can help people with IED learn how to cope with their anger in healthy ways. In group therapy, people with IED can share their experiences and learn from others who have similar experiences.

Group therapy can be a promising treatment method for people with IED. Group therapy can help people with IED learn how to cope with their anger healthily. [6]

Medications

There isn't a special medicine made for treating Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), but there's still good news. Doctors can give medicines that help with the feelings and problems that come along with IED, like being sad or super worried. Scientists discovered that medicines which help with depression, anxiety, or mood can also be superheroes for people with IED. So, even though there isn't a medicine labeled "for IED," these other medicines can step in and make a big difference! [7]

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are antidepressants that can help people with IED by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that can help regulate mood.

  • Anti-hypertensives

Anti-hypertensives are a medication that can help people with IED by reducing impulsivity and aggression.

  • Lithium

Lithium is a medication that can help people with IED by stabilizing mood swings.

  • Anticonvulsant medications

Anticonvulsant medications are a type of medication that can help people with IED by reducing impulsivity and aggression.

Alternative treatments

Some alternative treatment options may be beneficial in the treatment of intermittent explosive disorder. Among these alternative treatments are:

  • Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that can help treat IED symptoms.

  • Biofeedback

Biofeedback is an alternative treatment that can help people with IED by teaching them how to control their body's response to stress.

  • Hypnosis

Hypnosis is an alternative treatment that can help people with IED by teaching them how to control their anger responses.

  • Relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques, like meditation or yoga, can help treat the symptoms of IED.

  • Herbal remedies

Herbal remedies, such as chamomile or valerian, can help treat the symptoms of IED.

  • Homeopathic remedies

Homeopathic remedies, such as Ignatia or belladonna, can help treat the symptoms of IED. If you wan more ideas on

Prognosis

The prognosis for people with the intermittent explosive disorder is generally good. With treatment, most people with IED can reduce their symptoms and lead a normal, productive life.

If you or someone you know has IED, there is help available. Treatment can make a big difference in managing the symptoms of IED. If you are unaware of where to start, consult your doctor or mental health professional. They can assist you in locating the resources you require to get started on the road to recovery.

If someone you know behaves aggressively and tries to harm himself, contact National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for help. This free and discreet service offers crisis support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Please remember that recovery is possible. With treatment, people with IED can live a healthy and productive life.

Conclusion

Intermittent explosive disorder is a severe condition that can cause a lot of distress and disruption in a person's life. However, there is help available. With treatment, most people with IED can reduce their symptoms and lead an everyday, productive life. If you or someone you know has IED, don't hesitate to seek help. Remember, recovery is possible.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.

FAQ

What Is The Best Treatment For Intermittent Explosive Disorder?

The best treatment for intermittent explosive disorder will vary from person to person. Some people may benefit from medication, while others may find therapy more helpful. It is important to work with a mental health professional to find the best treatment for you.

Is There A Cure For Intermittent Explosive Disorder?

There is no cure for intermittent explosive disorder, but there are treatments that can help reduce symptoms and allow people to lead a normal, productive life. If you or someone you know has IED, don't hesitate to seek help. Recovery is possible.

Does Intermittent Explosive Disorder Go Away?

The intermittent explosive disorder is a chronic condition that does not go away independently. Treatments are available, however, to help reduce symptoms and allow people to live normal, productive lives. If you or someone you know has IED, don't hesitate to seek help. Recovery is possible.

References

  1. National Institute of Health: Intermittent Explosive Disorder Affects up to 16 Million Americans
  2. Healthline: Intermittent Explosive Disorder
  3. NIM: Intermittent explosive disorder subtypes in the general population
  4. Wikipedia: Intermittent explosive disorder
  5. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Intermittent Explosive Disorder
  6. Pubmed: Cognitive-behavioral therapy for intermittent explosive disorder
  7. Science Direct: Intermittent Explosive Disorder

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