Attention Deficit (ADHD)
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Borderline Personality Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Intermittent explosive disorder involves repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation. Road rage, domestic abuse, throwing or breaking objects, or other temper tantrums may be signs of intermittent explosive disorder.
These intermittent, explosive outbursts cause you significant distress, negatively impact your relationships, work and school, and they 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.
Explosive eruptions occur suddenly, with little or no warning, and usually last less than 30 minutes. These episodes may occur frequently or be separated by weeks or months of nonaggression. Less severe verbal outbursts may occur in between episodes of physical aggression. You may be irritable, impulsive, aggressive or chronically angry most of the time.
Aggressive episodes may be preceded or accompanied by:
The explosive verbal and behavioral outbursts are out of proportion to the situation, with no thought to consequences, and can include:
You may feel a sense of relief and tiredness after the episode. 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, talk with your doctor about treatment options or ask for a referral to a mental health provider.
The exact cause of intermittent explosive disorder is unknown, but it's probably caused by a number of environmental and biological factors. The disorder typically begins in childhood — after the age of 6 years — or during adolescence and is more common in people under the age of 40.
These factors increase your risk of developing intermittent explosive disorder:
People with intermittent explosive disorder have an increased risk of:
TREATMENTS AND DRUGS
There's no one treatment that's best for everyone with intermittent explosive disorder. Treatment generally includes talk therapy (psychotherapy) and medication.
Individual or group therapy sessions can be helpful. A commonly used type of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, helps people with intermittent explosive disorder:
Different types of drugs may help in the treatment of intermittent explosive disorder. These medications may include certain antidepressants (specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs), anticonvulsant mood stabilizers or other drugs if needed.
COPING AND SUPPORT
Controlling your anger
Part of your treatment may include:
If your loved one won't get help
Unfortunately, many people with intermittent explosive disorder don't seek treatment. If you're involved in a relationship with someone who has intermittent explosive disorder, take steps to protect yourself and your children. The abuse isn't your fault. No one deserves to be abused.
Create an escape plan to stay safe from domestic violence
If you see that a situation is getting worse, and suspect your loved one may be on the verge of an explosive episode, try to safely remove yourself and your children from the scene. However, leaving someone with an explosive temper can be dangerous.
Consider taking these steps before an emergency arises:
Get help to protect yourself from domestic violence
These resources can help:
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:
For more information and Treatments, go to: mayoclinic.org