What Is Intermittent Explosive Disorder?

What Is Intermittent Explosive Disorder?

Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is a unique mental disorder that results in episodes of sudden and severe violence and anger. Issues such as road rage, family violence, vandalism, and assault become key problems for people with this disorder. Intermittent explosive disorder can occur along with other mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder, depression, or personality disorders. It can be treated, but the patient must put forth great effort and willingness to change these patterns of behavior.

Drug and alcohol abuse can make this disorder more violent and complicated, and many people with IED also struggle with substance use at some point in life. Unfortunately, some people with this disorder end up being arrested or serving jail time at some point in life. These complicating factors can make IED more difficult to treat, but integrated treatment programs can help patients recover from anger issues, depression, and complicated addictions like substance abuse all at the same time.

Living with Someone who Has Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Living with or being in love with someone who has intermittent explosive disorder can be dangerous. This disorder leads to sudden bursts of anger that can cause the affected person to destroy household items or become violent to loved ones. Intermittent explosive disorder or any mental illness is not an excuse for violence. If you are afraid for your safety or the safety of those you love, please consider taking steps to ensure the wellbeing of yourself and your loved ones.

If your loved one needs help for IED or substance abuse, you may want to consider staging an intervention. An experienced, certified interventionist can help you plan an intervention with your safety in mind. Because interventionists have experienced a number of negative reactions, they can help you prepare and plan the best course of action to convince your loved one to safely seek help.

When Drug Abuse Looks like Intermittent Explosive Disorder

In some cases, drug abuse and intermittent explosive disorder can look similar. Stimulant drugs like cocaine, Adderall, Ritalin, and meth can all create angry episodes in the drug user. Opiates like heroin, OxyContin, Vicodin, or oxycodone can also create these effects. Any person who is addicted to a drug can become suddenly violent when that drug is taken away or when that drug interferes with normal thought processes.

Alcohol can also create symptoms of intermittent explosive disorder. It is important to seek help from a licensed clinician to determine the root causes of these problems before it is too late. IED is a ticking time bomb that will lead to arrest, violence, or harm to yourself or those you love if left untreated.

Anger and Depression Help

If you are concerned about your own anger or the anger of someone close to you, please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline. Your confidential call will be answered by a recovery professional, and we will be happy to help you learn more about your treatment options and choices. We can connect you with licensed interventionists, rehab treatment programs, family counseling, and more.