Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Intermittent explosive disorder is characterized by hostility. It is an impulsive control disorder where patients display unwarranted anger and often explodes with rage. A person with the disorder explodes even with no provocation or valid reason.
Those with the disorder can also explain the feeling as they easily lose control and are overcome with anger. The behavior often begins during early teenage and an individual with the disorder can easily threaten or even attack objects, humans and animals. It is also said that the disorder is highly associated with anxiety, depression and can lead to substance abuse.
Once a person with the disorder releases the tension, he or she feels relieved and a sense of calm that lasts for long. One can also feel remorseful, embarrassed and shameful.
Causes of intermittent explosive disorder
Intermittent explosive disorder is caused by a combination of factors including environmental, physical and genetic factors. Genetics for example is highly associated with the condition because they are passed from parents to children. Even so, researchers have not found the exact gene that causes the disorder.
Physical elements include injuries or arousal of the brain. When an abnormality occurs in the area of the brain that regulates inhibition, intermittent explosive disorder occurs. This is because impulsive aggression is highly related to different abnormal mechanism in different parts of the brain. Serotonin for example sends chemical messages to the brain. It is therefore, composed differently in those suffering from intermittent explosive disorder.
Environmental factors refer to the place where a person grows up in. It has a large impact on whether a person will develop intermittent explosive disorder or not. Harsh punishments at home subject a child to the disorder because a child acts the way a parent acts.
If parents react negatively towards something or towards a given situation, the children will also react the same way. Additionally, if a child grows up enduring harsh punishments, it is more likely that he or she will feel a sense of redemption by subjecting others through the same amount of physical pain. Therefore, the environment is known to play a crucial part in causing the disorder and parents should try as much as possible to ensure children grow up in a favorable environment.
Risk factors of intermittent explosive disorder
- Exposure to violence and harsh punishments at an early age
- Males are at a high risk compared to females
- Physical trauma at an early age
- Exposure to emotional trauma
- History of substance abuse
- Certain medical conditions
Symptoms of intermittent explosive disorder
Physical symptoms include muscle tension, chest tightness, and pressure in the head, tremors, headaches, palpitations and tingling.
Behavioral symptoms include verbal and physical aggressiveness, angry outbursts, damaging property and road rage.
Cognitive symptoms include low frustration tolerance, feeling loss over thoughts and racing thoughts.
Psychosocial symptoms include feelings of rage, uncontrollable irritability and emotional detachment for short periods
Effects of intermittent explosive disorder
Legal problems, incarceration, self-harm, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, drug and alcohol addiction, child abuse, self-loathing and low self-esteem.
Therefore, it is essential to treat intermittent explosive disorder to prevent harm and other serious conditions including depressive disorders.
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