What Is Intermittent Explosive Disorder?

Counselor in Columbus, OHBetween 11.5 and 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder (IED) in their lifetime. This disorder is caused by multiple factors including environmental, physical, and genetic components. Aggression against objects, threatening other people, and direct aggression against another person are all hallmarks of IED. The symptoms of IED are dependent upon numerous factors. These factors include but are not limited to the presence of co-occurring disorders, chemical dependency, coping strategies, social skill development, and genetic makeup. Categorized as an impulse control disorder, those with IED explode with sudden rage, often without provocation or reason. If you're searching for a highly trained counselor in Columbus, OH to help you with anxiety, call Legacy Freedom today for help.

IED can be managed with treatment and education. However, identifying the symptoms of IED can be challenging. The disorder is typically not diagnosed until there have been at least three episodes of impulsive and aggressive behavior. Usually, the disorder manifests in adolescent years and has the potential to predispose those affected by it with co-occurring disorders like anxiety, substance addiction, and depression.

There are multiple risk factors for developing IED which include:

  • Substance abuse history
  • Physical and emotional trauma history
  • Encounters with violence at a young age
  • History of head trauma
  • Introduction of explosive behavior in the home from siblings or parents
  • Being male

Common co-occurring disorders with IED include PTSD, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depressive disorders. Identifying the primary signs and symptoms of IED can help give you or someone you love a complete picture of what IED looks like.  Those with IED may:

  • Experience headaches, chest tightness, feelings of pressure in the head, palpitations, tremors, muscle tension or tingling in the hands or legs
  • Angry outbursts, road rage, damaging property, physical aggressiveness, verbal aggressiveness, physically attacking objects or people
  • Feelings of emotional detachment or rage
  • Uncontrolled irritability
  • Inability to control frustration
  • Racing or uncontrollable thoughts

Depending upon the combination of behaviors and symptoms experienced, those with untreated IED may experience suicidal thoughts or behaviors, difficulty at work or at home, legal issues related to their outbursts, impaired personal relationships, self-harming behaviors, low self-esteem, substance abuse, or addiction problems. As a result, children of parents with IED are at an increased risk of experiencing abuse and being exposed to violent behaviors.

Many with IED describe the need to release the tension they feel by having an explosive outburst. Those who have IED report feeling embarrassed or experiencing feelings of remorse after their episodes. This pattern of behavior can be disturbing to the individual and those around them.

Holistic Counselor in Columbus, OH - Legacy Freedom

If you or someone you love are experiencing symptoms of intermittent explosive disorder, Legacy Freedom of Columbus can help. We know that controlling your anger and emotions is part of being able to function in a healthy and productive way. Getting to the root of why you have these episodes can help you understand the reason why you feel the need to explode. Confronting these deeper issues and learning to cope with them in positive and healthy ways has the ability to transform your relationships with those you love.

Our holistic approach to mental health treatment utilizes traditional talk therapy, group therapy, life coaching, and alternative therapies. Focusing on you as a whole person, not just your anger disorder, helps you heal more completely. Learn more about our alternative treatment offerings on our blog. Don't wait to have another outburst, call or click to connect with our highly trained counselor in Columbus, OH, and begin to manage your anxiety today!

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