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Intermittent explosive disorder


Anger is a natural and automatic response to physical or emotional pain. This can occur when a person does not feel well, feels betrayed, threatened, rejected or experiences some type of inner suffering.

It is known that we have all felt anger for some unpleasant situation or event that we have had to live at some point in our lives; But those who suffer from fits of anger or intermittent explosive personality disorder experience chronic anger, hatred and frustration , and this prevents them from continuing with their normal lives.

The anger rampant, domestic abuse, throwing or breaking objects, or other forms of aggression may be signs of an intermittent explosive disorder.

What is intermittent explosive disorder?

Intermittent explosive disorder is, like all personality disorders, a set of alterations in the development and functioning of cognitive processes, which are not considered normal. People with this disorder feel uncontrollable impulses of anger, hatred, and aggressiveness.

People with outbursts of anger have a general pattern of impulsive and aggressive behavior. They also feel that their anger is always justified and they are dominated by hatred – a feeling that causes them to be emotionally blind and does not allow them to see other feelings.

The thoughts are responsible for generating anger, because this by itself could not be unleashed. Thoughts that can trigger anger include: intrusive thoughts , assumptions, unreal and negative thoughts, and misinterpretations of some situations.

Causes of intermittent explosive disorder

As in most personality disorders, the specific causes that originate it are still unknown.

It is estimated that there is a set of factors that may be the main responsible for causing this disorder. These include: biological, psychological, social factors and factors related to the environment.

Most people with this disorder grew up in families where aggressive behavior and verbal and physical abuse were seen as normal, so they get used to this behavior and see it as the only acceptable behavior.

You may also be interested in:   Cotard syndrome

Among the psychological factors , it has been proven that those who suffer from this disorder have some abnormalities in the way serotonin -neurotransmitter- works in their brain.

Symptoms of intermittent explosive disorder

Treatments for intermittent explosive disorder

The treatment for this type of disorder will depend exclusively on the cause that originates it.

As for most psychological disorders, psychotherapy is one of the most widely used treatments. Among the different types of psychotherapy , cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most used to treat attacks of anger generated by intermittent explosive disorder.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps the patient to find the focus of his condition, understand why it happens and look together with his psychotherapist for ways to lead a healthy life according to his condition.

Medications are used as a complement to psychotherapy, helping to reduce the symptoms caused by the present disorder. The drugs that are usually prescribed include: anxiolytics and antidepressants. Anxiolytics are used to calm anxiety, and antidepressants work by inhibiting  serotonin reuptake.

Groups can also be visited to control anger management . These are interdisciplinary groups, where different professionals help with different types of practices, to control irrepressible attacks of anger. These support groups can be made up of: psychologists, psychiatrists, yoga teachers, specialists in meditation techniques, among others.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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