Intermittent explosive disorder, commonly known as IED, involves frequent episodes of anger that are seemingly out of proportion to the events that triggered them.
According to Cleveland Clinic, people who struggle with intermittent explosive disorder have a low tolerance for frustration and adversity. Although IED is more common in children, it can also affect adolescents and adults.
The verbal and physical aggression that are trademarks of intermittent explosive disorder can be very damaging, but help is available. At Montrose Behavioral Health Hospital, we provide treatment for people who are living with intermittent explosive disorder and certain co-occurring behavioral health concerns.
Signs & Symptoms of Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Intermittent explosive disorder involves more than just occasionally losing your temper. If anger and explosive outbursts routinely get in the way of your career, relationships, or ability to function on a daily basis, it’s time to consider what else could be going on.
Common signs and symptoms of intermittent explosive disorder include:
- Getting into fights without a reason for involvement
- Frequent irritability
- Threatening to hit people or animals
- Throwing objects
- Episodes of road rage
- Frequent verbal tirades
- Tendency to damage property
- Uncontrollable rage
- Nasty responses without provocation
Intermittent explosive disorder signs and symptoms can be different depending on the person, but the episodes commonly associated with IED typically last 30 minutes or less. The impulses that lead to these outbursts, however, can be extremely difficult to control without professional intervention.
Intermittent Explosive Disorder Statistics
Intermittent explosive disorder isn’t one of the more common mental health conditions, but a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) found that it affects as many as 7.3% of adults in their lifetime.
Here are some other statistics about intermittent explosive disorder:
- According to a Harvard Medical School study, nearly 82% of those who had IED also suffered from depression, anxiety, or a substance use disorder. Yet only 28.8% received treatment for anger.
- IED may be more common among men than among women, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, but studies have not found a significant difference in gender prevalence.
- The mean age of onset for intermittent explosive disorder, according to one study that featured nearly 10,000 Americans age 18 and older, is 14.
Potential Effects of Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Due to the aggressive nature of behaviors associated with it, intermittent explosive disorder can be devastating to friends, family, and anyone else in close contact with a person who exhibits these episodes of rage.
Common effects you may experience if you suffer from IED include:
- Chronic unemployment
- Financial instability
- Loss of important relationships
- Lawsuits for damaged property
- Expulsion from academic environments
- Excessive use of substances, or addiction
- Onset or worsening of other mental health concerns
- Physical health troubles, possibly due to violent nature
- Criminal charges for assault
These outcomes aren’t guaranteed, and they may differ depending on the length of time you’ve been struggling, your medical history, and various other factors. But by getting personalized intermittent explosive disorder treatment, you can protect yourself and the people around you from negative long-term ramifications.
The Benefits of Intermittent Explosive Disorder Treatment
If you’re suffering from intermittent explosive disorder, you may feel like you have no healthy outlet to release built-up anger, resentment, and frustration.
Finding an intermittent explosive disorder treatment center can help you discover productive ways to manage these distressing emotions that can often feel so overwhelming. At Montrose Behavioral Health Hospital, you can work with professionals who understand what you’re going through and will do everything in their power to help you manage your symptoms and control your emotions.
Through therapeutic interventions, you can work to uncover the root cause that may have led to the powerful emotions that are holding you back. You can unpack and process previous trauma that may have kept you from living your best life.
At the same time, you can find solidarity with others who are going through similar struggles in group therapy sessions. By understanding that you’re not alone as you go through IED treatment, you can build support and find hope.
How to Find the Right Intermittent Explosive Disorder Treatment Center
No two people have the same experience when it comes to living with intermittent explosive disorder. Because of the nature of this condition, it’s particularly critical that you find an intermittent explosive disorder treatment place that takes a personalized approach.
When you’re searching for an IED treatment place, good questions to ask include:
- Do they offer different levels of care to meet me where I am in my healing journey?
- Will the admissions process help me get into treatment quickly, or is there a drawn-out approach that can take weeks?
- Will I receive a personalized treatment plan that focuses on my individual needs?
- What type of team will I be working with?
- Will I still have support when treatment is complete?
At Montrose Behavioral Health Hospital, we streamline our admissions process to get you the help you need as soon as possible. With multiple levels of care, personalized treatment plans, an experienced staff of clinical professionals, and comprehensive discharge plans, we can help lay the foundation for you to experience lasting healing.
Therapies Used in Intermittent Explosive Disorder Treatment
Prior to admission, you’ll take part in a thorough assessment to give us a better understanding of your medical history, any prior mental health treatment you’ve received, and your treatment goals.
We’ll use this information to develop your personalized intermittent explosive disorder treatment plan. Depending on your unique needs, this may include:
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Basic medical care provided by doctors and nurses
- Detoxification services if you also have a substance use disorder
- Medication management services to monitor any medication you may be taking
To help you get the most out of your time with us, our team may use treatment modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and, if necessary, the 12-Step model of recovery.
Living with intermittent explosive disorder can feel overwhelming for you and the people you care about. At Montrose Behavioral Health Hospital, we can help you discover that a happier, more fulfilling life is well within your reach.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Montrose Behavioral Health Hospital.