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What kind of disorder is intermittent explosive disorder?

The name of this disorder speaks quite a lot about it. Maincharacteristics of this mental disorder are episodes of violent and aggressivebehavior that tend to repeat and that do not correspond to the situation in question atall. These aggressive episodes usually last from 10 to 20 minutes, and in away, they are similar to attack. It is interesting that sometimes the signs thatmight announce this episode may appear even hours in advance. The patientssuffering from this disorder usually feel some kind of tension before theepisode, and after it ends, they feel some kind of a relief. In spite of believingthat their aggression is justified, they feel embarrassed, regretful or upset, and bewildered by their impulsive and often assaultive behavior.

The main symptoms of this disorder may accompany aggressiveepisodes, or they may precede them, and they include increased energy, tremors,palpitations, rage, irritability, headache, and tightness in the chest. As for the cause of this disorder, the fact is that it has not beendetermined yet, but various environmental and biological factors play a veryimportant role. For example, many patients grew up in families in which verbaland physical abuse used to be common, and exposure to this at an early agemakes the children more prone to developing and exhibiting the same behavior. Suchchildren grow up with the belief that the best means for restoring theirself-esteem is violence, because they learned by observing their parents orfamily members that such behavior is justified. It is not excluded that genetics may be responsible for thisdisorder and that it could be inherited. It has been determined that in peoplewith this disorder the levels of testosterone are higher than normal.

Can it be cured and how to deal with it?

This disorder cannot be cured, but there are methods thatcan help in the treatment. Medications such as antidepressants, anticonvulsants,anti anxiety medications, as well as those that stabilize mood have proven tobe very helpful, but the doctor has to decide which are the best choices foreach particular case. Cognitive behavioral therapy is frequently used in thetreatment of people who suffer from intermittent explosive disorder, since ithelps in identifying such situations and behaviors that usually trigger aggressiveepisodes, and it teaches how to manage anger and keep under control theresponses that are inappropriate. Depending on the case, the therapy may beindividual or group, but family support is also of crucial importance.

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