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People who have IED most often experienced explosive rage, as well as verbal abuse and physical abuse, in their family when they were growing up. The exposure to this type of behavior, as well as a genetic component and body chemistry, may contribute to causing IED. Risk factors for developing IED include being physically abused as a child, having a drug or alcohol abuse issue, and having another mental health issues, such as a mood disorder. On the other hand, some believe that IED may predispose people to abuse drug or alcohol or have other mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.
Outcomes of IED can include self-injury and suicide attempts. Depending on where the explosive episodes occur and their severity, it could also lead to school suspension or expulsion, loss of one's job, separation or divorce, or criminal complaints.
IED is characterized by violent behaviors that are impulsive as well as assaultive.
Tthe urge to commit the impulsive aggressive act may occur from minutes to hours before the "acting out" and is characterized by the buildup of tension. After the outburst, the IED patient experiences a sense of relief from the tension.
While many patients with IED blame someone else for causing their violent outbursts, they also express remorse and guilt for their actions. ["Yeah I don't know how many times I have heard the, I did not do it, it's mom's fault" It wasn't me!!]
Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) is one of a cluster of five impulse control disorders. IED is characterized by episodes of violent or aggressive behavior that includes harm to others or destruction of property. These episodes typically result from minor incidents and the patient’s reaction is out of proportion to significance of the triggering event. The episodes begin with little provocation but they can last for hours, and usually end abruptly. The patient may break or destroy objects or property, become combative and hurt others, and often feels confused or suffers amnesia about the event. Following the event, patients will often exhibit guilt and accept responsibility for their actions. Between episodes, there is no evidence of violence or increased physicality.
It is important to differentiate these symptoms from any other medical or mental disorder.
Aggressive reaction or violence that is totally disproportionate to the triggering event
Violent behavior, assault, fighting, homicide
Destruction of property, breaking or smashing objects that belong to the patient or to others