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Intermittent Explosive Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Jan 30, 2024

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Causes Of Intermittent explosive disorder

Symptoms Of Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Risk Factors Of Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Diagnosis Of Intermittent explosive disorder

Treatment Of Intermittent explosive disorder

Conversational therapy

Prevention Of Intermittent explosive disorder

Complications Of Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Intermittent explosive disorder is characterized by frequent, unplanned periods of impulsive, aggressive, or violent behavior as well as verbal outbursts of wrath. The reactions are excessive given the situation. Road rage, object tossing, spousal abuse, and temper tantrums could all be signs of intermittent explosive disorder.

There is much distress caused by these sporadic explosive eruptions. They can cause problems in the workplace or the classroom, destroying relationships. They might also result in legal problems.

When someone has intermittent explosive disorder, years may go by. However, the strength of outbursts may lessen with age. You will receive treatment to help you learn to manage your aggressive impulses, which may involve medication and talk therapy.


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Causes Of Intermittent explosive disorder

Intermittent explosive disorder can begin in childhood or adolescence and last until the age of six. Compared to older adults, younger people are more prone to experience it. Genetics, learned behaviors, the home environment, or changes in the brain could all contribute to it.

  • Environment: Most people with this illness grew up in environments where verbal and physical abuse was commonplace and violent behavior was accepted. Early exposure to or experience with this type of violence increases the likelihood that these traits may manifest in later life for young children.
  • Heredity: Genetics could have a role. There might be a gene associated with the tendency to react more quickly under stress. Parents may pass on this gene to their offspring.
  • Differences in the brain functions: People with intermittent explosive disorder may have distinct brain chemistry, structure, and functioning in comparison to people without the illness.

Also Read: Narcolepsy: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Symptoms Of Intermittent Explosive Disorder

The onset of angry outbursts and impetuous attacks is sudden and unplanned. Most of the time, they don't go past thirty minutes. Episodes like this could occur weekly, monthly, or more frequently. Words may still fly out of mouths or less violent physical assaults may still occur in between these times. You may be rash, hostile, agitated, or angry most of the time.

Before you engage in combat, you may:

  • Anger.
  • Intolerance.
  • Greater intensity and stress.
  • Tingling
  • Trembling
  • Racing thoughts.
  • A pulse rate that is fast or pounding.
  • Chest tightness.

Outbursts of anger, both verbal and behavioral, that are excessive and unwarranted for the situation. A few of the outbursts include:

  • Outbursts of anger
  • Long speeches 
  • Anger.
  • Heated disagreements.
  • Shouting.
  • Shoves, thrusts, or smacks.
  • Violent confrontations.
  • Property damage.
  • Posing a risk or a threat to people or animals.

You may feel both relieved and worn out after the outburst. You may later feel guilty, embarrassed, or ashamed of what you did.

Also Read: Trichotillomania: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications


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Risk Factors Of Intermittent Explosive Disorder

The following variables raise your risk of developing intermittent explosive disorder:

  • Previous instances of physical abuse: Abuse, trauma, or other traumatic, shocking, or unpleasant occurrences throughout one's youth may raise one's risk of developing intermittent explosive disorder.
  • History of subsequent mental health problems: Individuals with borderline or antisocial personality disorders may have an increased risk of developing intermittent explosive disorder. Other medical conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which can lead to disruptive behaviors, could potentially play a role. 

Also Read: Binge-Eating Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention And Complications

Diagnosis Of Intermittent explosive disorder

To diagnose intermittent explosive disorder and rule out other conditions that could be the cause of your symptoms, your healthcare provider will likely perform the following tests:

  • Make a physical assessment: To rule out any medical conditions or drug or alcohol addiction that might be causing or exacerbating your symptoms, this may be done. Your exam may include laboratory tests.
  • Make a mental health evaluation: You talk to the doctor about your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and symptoms.

Also Read: Absence Seizures: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Treatment Of Intermittent explosive disorder

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for patients with intermittent explosive disorder. Talk therapy, usually referred to as psychotherapy, and medicine are typically used in conjunction with treatment.

Also Read: Social Anxiety Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Conversational therapy

Focused on developing skills, individual or group therapy sessions might be advantageous. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a well-liked form of therapy that helps people with intermittent explosive disorder:

  • Identify the causes of change: Determine what situations or behaviors can cause someone to react violently.
  • Use soothing techniques: Regular yoga practice, deep breathing, or peaceful imagery can help you keep your composure.
  • Develop new cognitive strategies: This method involves learning to approach a difficult situation from new or different perspectives This is something you can learn to achieve with professional help by identifying and replacing unrealistic expectations and beliefs with more reasonable ones. These techniques might improve how you interpret and react to an experience.
  • Use strategies for fixing problems: Think about how you can solve a frustrating problem by using force instead of being confrontational. Having a plan could help you refocus your efforts even if you are not able to fix the problem right away.
  • Learn how to communicate more effectively. Be mindful of what the other person is trying to express. 
  • Before answering with the first thought that occurs to you, think about the best response you can provide.
  • In the time between therapy sessions, use the techniques you've learned in frequent practice.
  • Pharmaceuticals Intermittent explosive disorder may be treated with a variety of pharmaceuticals. Typically, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are some of the antidepressants that belong to this group. It may be essential to take additional drugs or anticonvulsant mood stabilizers. To prevent explosive outbursts, some people need to take long-term medicine.

Also Read: Borderline Personality Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Prevention Of Intermittent explosive disorder

Prevention is likely beyond your control if you have intermittent explosive disorder and are receiving therapy from a mental health professional.

As soon as you start the treatment plan, follow it and use the new skills you've learned. Take all prescribed medications as directed. Avoid alcohol and drug use.

When possible, try to avoid or leave uncomfortable situations. Allowing yourself some personal time to unwind could also help you cope with an upcoming challenging or distressing situation.

Also Read: Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Complications Of Intermittent Explosive Disorder

The following are more common in people with sporadic explosive disorder:

  • Problems in relationships: People with intermittent impulsive disorder are often assumed by others to be permanently irritable. Abuse, whether verbal or physical, may happen frequently. These behaviors may lead to marital problems, divorce, and stress in the family.
  • Problems in the office, at home, or in school: Financial hardships, legal troubles, auto accidents, suspension from school, and other complications can result from intermittent explosive disorder.
  • Problems relating to feelings: Mood disorders such as sadness and anxiety are often coexisting with intermittent explosive disorder.
  • Problems with alcohol and drug abuse: There is a strong correlation between alcohol or drug use disorders and intermittent explosive disorder.
  • Problems with physical health: Unrelenting pain, ulcers, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke are among the more common medical conditions.
  • Suicidal attempt: Suicide attempts and self-harm attempts are common.

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