Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is an impulse-control disorder characterised by sudden
episodes of unwarranted anger. It involves repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive,
violent behaviour or angry verbal outbursts in which the person 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
significant distress, negative impacts on relationships, work and school, and can even 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.
Feelings of irritability, impulsivity, aggression or chronic anger at most time. Aggressive
episodes may be preceded or accompanied by: rage, irritability, increased energy, racing
thoughts, tingling, tremors, palpitations and chest tightness.
The explosive verbal and behavioural outbursts are out of proportion to the situation, with no
thought to consequences, and can include: temper tantrums, tirades, heated arguments,
shouting, slapping/shoving or pushing, physical fights, property damage and threatening or
assaulting people or animals.
The exact cause of the disorder is unknown, but it's probably caused by a number of
environmental and biological factors.
Most people with this disorder grew up in families where explosive
behaviour and verbal and physical abuse were common. Being exposed to this type of
violence at an early age makes it more likely these children will exhibit these same traits
as they mature.
There may be a genetic component, causing the disorder to be passed down
from parents to children.
Differences in how the brain works.
There may be differences in the structure, function
and chemistry of the brain in people with intermittent explosive disorder compared to
people who don’t have the disorder.
It is important for anyone with Intermittent Explosive Disorder to be treated by a mental health
provider who is experienced with the impulse-control disorder. At Mobile Health Consult, our
effective psychotherapies emphasizes key components of helping you out of this disorder. These
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one of the most widely researched helpful form of
therapy for IED. This involves cognitive restructuring.
With CBT, children, adolescents and young adults learn about the connections among their
thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Once these connections are made, patients and therapists
actively collaborate to meet specific goals, such as helping patients notice and change their
unhelpful thoughts, improving their problem-solving abilities and increasing their
involvement in positive activities that promote healthy choices.
- Neurofeedback Therapy is a therapeutic intervention that provides immediate feedback
from a computer-based program that assesses a client's brainwave activity. The program
then uses sound or visual signals to reorganize or retrain these brain signals.
- Brain Entrainment Therapy is a brain training therapy that provides pre-set brain training
protocols to improve cognitive functions by enhancing alertness, attention, concentration,
memory and reduce hyperactivity.
- Biofeedback Therapy is an excellent intervention for ADHD. It utilizes deep
diaphragmatic breathing techniques and provides physiological feedback. It can help
improve attention, concentration, reduce impulsivity and ability to focus on cognitive tasks.
Additional components of treatment include alternative modalities such as education about
symptoms, teaching skills to help identify the triggers of symptoms, and skills to manage
the symptoms. We take a personalized approach to each patient and family, understandingthat not all children, adolescents, and young adults are the same, and treatment should be
sensitively designed for each patient. People diagnosed positive on IED who continue to
engage in these activities find that over time they are less likely to suffer risk factors or side
For consultations on Intermittent Explosive Disorder, visit our website on
www.mobilehealthconsult.org and remember to follow us on twitter @mobilehealthng;
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