Understanding and treating Intermittent Explosive Therapy

There are several known brain disorders. Some like obsessive compulsive disorder tend to baffle the person affected as well as those around them. Others like Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) may result in the person with the disorder being ostracized by those around them.

Unlike obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Intermittent Explosive Disorder is not well known in most social circles. IED refers to a brain disorder, specifically an impulse disorder in which a person is unable to control their anger under any sort of stressful situation. The person tends to act aggressively in any such situation and may physically attack those around them in response to what they are feeling. While some may take this to mean that these people are generally having anger management issues, the cause of the anger could actually be IED. In several ways, IED compares to OCD in that the individual feels the irresistible urge to act on their anger impulses.

IED can occur several times. In fact, it may happen without most people realizing that it is actually a disorder. The individual may become stressed even under minor condition and thus act out.

Treatments for IED
There are several treatments available for treating Intermittent Explosive Disorder. These treatments involve treating the anger issues thus resulting in lower attack incidents and a generally healthy social life.

Treating IED involves several steps. First, the consulting physician must rule out any other probable cause. This may involve numerous tests. As IED is an anger-related disorder, there are several other mental illnesses that closely resemble it. The actual treatment involves the use of psychotherapy and psychotropic drugs.

Just like OCD, IED has been linked to low serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin controls an individual’s mood. Low levels of the hormone may result in one’s mood being particularly gloomy. The medication prescribed to patients with the illness includes drugs that have serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Other medication that may be prescribed to the IED patient includes anticonvulsants which have proven to be quite helpful in managing the violent outburst common with these individuals.

Anti-anxiety medication may also be prescribed to help these individuals to cope with stressful environments. Often, the stress in the environment triggers the violent outbursts that are characteristic of this disorder. Lithium is a common anti-anxiety drug that is often prescribed to these patients.

Lastly, psychotherapy has proven to be quite effective in treating the violent outbursts that these individuals may show. This form of treatment involves enabling the individual to gain control over such outbursts by cognitive behavioral therapy as well as anger management classes.

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