PEAS Health

Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Health

How to Deal with Intermittent Explosive Disorder

road rage disorder

Rage disorder also known as intermittent explosive disorder is characterized by sudden spurts of anger that a person cannot control. People with rage disorder get angry even without cause and might destroy property and harm another person.  It usually starts during teen years, and is indicated by depression, anxiety, and drug abuse or alcoholism.

Male are more susceptible to this disorder than female. Those who have rage disorder or IED say that they cannot control their anger.  If you are living with one under one roof, beware at all times because he might cause you serious injuries. Once the anger abates, the persons feels relief, as well as remorse and embarrassment for what he has done.

Causes of Rage Disorder or IED

There are several causes of rage disorder or intermitten Explosive Disorder.  Its origin may be genetic, physical, or environmental.  There is a contention that parents with IED may have the higher probability of having offspring with the same disorder. However, there is no evidence yet that it is passed on from parents to children.

This can also be caused by physical abnormalities especially in the brain. It is believed that the aggressive tendencies of people with rage disorder are caused by the inability of the brain to control inhibition and arousal. It might also be possible that the serotonin composition of the brain may differ from that of people not having this disorder.

The environment contributes greatly to the development of rage disorder. There is evidence that children who had experienced harsh punishments from their parents tend to have this problem. They become easily enraged and they inflict pain on others. It is believed that this is their way of exonerating their pain by making others experience the same.

Divorce, separation of parents or family members separated can also trigger IED in the children. Children tend to become angry to everyone and they become highly sensitive and aggressive.

Poverty can also cause IED Living in dire poverty can make the person angry with everyone and he tends to manifest his frustrations by getting angry.

Various researches have shown that most sufferers of rage disorder are males and that they are mostly young.  His episodes might cause physical injuries to him and to others as well as having to pay for property that he destroys.

There are factors that make a person more prone to have rage disorders than others. People who experience the following are more likely to develop IED or rage disorder.

  • People who grow up in surroundings where violence is common. Witnessing commission of violent acts especially by family members may result to development of IED.
  • People who experienced emotional trauma.

Emotional trauma can be caused by the death of a love one, parents getting divorce, or being abandoned by parents or other people that the person considers important to him.

  • People who are alcoholics or users of illegal drugs.

Being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs can make a person unreasonably angry and he may become violent.

  • People suffering from medical conditions that can trigger anger.

It can be observed that some medical conditions can make a person irritable and angry most of the times.  These include diabetes, high cholesterol, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and autism.

You will know that you are a candidate for IED if you experience these symptoms:

  • Your heart beats erratically.
  • You feel a tingling sensation.
  • Your chest feels tight.
  • Your muscles are tensed.
  • Your head aches.
  • You cannot tolerate stress.
  • Your thoughts race.
  • You cannot control your thoughts.
  • You are always irritable.
  • You feel rage.
  • You experience being detached from people and things around you.

It is important to know the symptoms of rage disorders in order to avoid getting harmed by someone who is suffering from it. The symptoms include being physically and verbally aggressive, attacking people physically, angry outbursts, road rage, and the tendency to damage objects and property. Because of this behavior, the person will have difficulty in having good relationship with others.

The violence can also make the person harm members of his family or find trouble in school or at work. He usually gets into fights and might be spending his life in and out of prison. His depression, low self-esteem and self-loathing can cause him to think about committing suicide. He might resort to substance abuse or alcoholism, which can worsen the condition.

Treatment for Rage Disorder

Only few people seek help to remedy their condition. Most people with rage disorder do not acknowledge that they are suffering from any ailment and they refuse to get medical help. This increases the number of people who become more and more violent each year.

Several drugs have been used to minimize the episodes and keep the person from becoming violent. Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors that can have a calming effect on the sufferer of rage disorder may be prescribed.   Mood stabilizers can also be given to keep the person from getting enraged or becoming violent.

Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT has been proven to show positive and persistent results but the only setback is that sufferers of IED should be willing to participate in the sessions. Because some of them deny the fact that they have IED, only a few join the sessions.  Group counseling can also be helpful as long as the persons involved cooperate.

Dietary supplements that can be taken to treat IED are herbs with adaptogenics, which reduces physiological stimulation when energy level is high. Omega-3 fatty acids are also known to regulate aggressiveness. People whose intake of omega 3 fatty acids is below the required amount tend to become irritable, depressed, angry, and aggressive.

If you live with a person confirmed to have rage disorder, beware.  You might end up a victim of physical aggression. Remember that the person cannot control his rage and so it would be best to avoid confrontation as much as possible.

Back to Top