Addiction A-Z

Intermittent explosive disorder

Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is characterized by repeated episodes of aggression and violent behavior where you may react out of proportion of the situation and explode. Those suffering with IED may attack others, causing injuries to the body and also property damage. Usually the disorder begins to develop within the early teens. The early onset of IED is seen around age 13 in males and 19 in females. Intermittent explosive disorder can become so severe that it can put you at risk for depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders. This is caused by severe stress and life experiences. In order to be diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder, you must have had at least three episodes of impulsive aggressiveness. These episodes can occur at any point in the individual’s life. During an episode, you experience a loss of control, which can include breaking items that are valuable to you, threatening to and have followed through with hurting someone. According to the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health, records show that about 11.5- 16 million Americans have been affected by intermittent explosive disorder, in their lifetime.

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