Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is a mental health condition characterized by recurrent, impulsive, and aggressive outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation at hand. These outbursts may manifest as verbal or physical aggression, such as throwing or breaking objects, domestic abuse, or road rage. These explosive incidents can have significant negative effects on the individual’s relationships, work, and school, and may also have legal and financial consequences.

The exact cause of IED is not well understood, but research suggests that it may be related to problems with impulse control, emotional regulation, and brain chemistry. Some studies have found that individuals with IED may have abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which play a role in regulating mood and impulse control. Additionally, some research suggests that individuals with IED may have structural or functional abnormalities in certain brain regions, such as the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, which are involved in the regulation of emotions and impulse control.

There are several risk factors that have been associated with the development of IED. These include a history of childhood abuse or neglect, a family history of aggressive or impulsive behavior, and exposure to traumatic events. Additionally, some studies have found that individuals with IED may have co-occurring conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or substance use disorders.

Treatment for IED typically involves a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Psychotherapy can help individuals with IED learn to identify and change the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to their explosive outbursts. Medications, such as mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics, may also be used to help control impulsivity and aggression.

It is important to note that IED is a serious mental health condition that can have significant negative consequences for the individuals who have it, as well as for their families and communities. Therefore, it is crucial that individuals who suspect they may have IED seek professional help as soon as possible. With proper treatment, individuals with IED can learn to manage their impulsivity and aggression, improve their relationships, and lead more fulfilling lives.

Shackled by Rage

Rage boils deep within my soul,

A tempest fierce and uncontrolled.

My mind a prisoner to my impulses,

A battle lost before it’s solved.

I lash out in fits of anger,

My words and actions sharp as knives.

I hurt the ones I hold dear,

Living my life in constant strife.

My mind races, my heart races,

I cannot quell the storm inside.

 I know the hurt and pain I cause,

But still, I cannot hide.

Intermittent explosive disorder,

A curse that I cannot shake.

I strive for peace, I strive for calm,

But the anger always takes.

I seek help, I seek redemption,

I want to break free from this chain.

I’ll keep fighting, keep striving,

To regain control of my brain.

Intermittent explosive disorder,

A battle that I must face.

With help and hope, I’ll find a way,

To find a better place.

I am standing in the middle of my living room, surrounded by the shattered remains of my coffee table. I can feel my heart pounding in my chest, my hands shaking with adrenaline. I can’t believe what I just did, what I always do. I can’t believe I let my anger take control again.

I have Intermittent Explosive Disorder, a condition that causes me to have recurrent, impulsive, and aggressive outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation at hand. Sometimes, it feels like there is a switch inside of me that flips, and I can’t control the anger and violence that follows.

I remember the first time it happened, I was in high school. I had gotten into an argument with a teacher over a grade I didn’t agree with. Suddenly, I found myself throwing chairs and desks, screaming and lashing out. I was expelled and sent to a therapist, but it never happened again, at least not for a while.

It wasn’t until college that it began to happen more frequently. I would get into arguments with friends or roommates, or I would get cut off in traffic and find myself throwing punches at the other driver. I have lost friends, jobs, and apartments because of my outbursts.

I have been trying to control my anger for years now. I have been to therapy and taken medication, but nothing seems to work. I try to avoid situations that make me angry, but sometimes it feels like life is just one big trigger. Sometimes it feels like I am living in a constant state of rage, just waiting for the next outburst to happen.

I know I need help, but it’s hard to ask for it. I am embarrassed and ashamed of my behavior. I don’t want people to see me as a monster, but that’s exactly what I am when I lose control.

I am sitting on the floor, surrounded by the broken pieces of my coffee table, and I feel tears streaming down my face. I am overwhelmed with guilt, regret and sadness. I know I need to call my therapist and ask for help, but I am too scared to take that step. I am too scared to face the truth about myself.

I know that IED is a serious mental health condition that can have significant negative consequences for me, as well as for my family and loved ones. But I also know that with proper treatment, I can learn to manage my impulsivity and aggression, improve my relationships and lead a fulfilling life.

I am determined to take control of my life, to take control of my impulses. I know it won’t be easy, but it’s something I have to do. I am going to keep fighting, keep striving, to regain control of my mind and my life. Because I know that deep down, I am so much more than my Intermittent Explosive Disorder.