MNAS Clinic: Dr. Roshita Khare - Consultant Psychiatrist & Sexologist

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Psychiatric Disorder

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is an impulse-control disorder characterized by sudden episodes of unwarranted anger. The disorder is typified by hostility, impulsivity, and recurrent aggressive outbursts. People with IED essentially “explode” into a rage despite a lack of apparent provocation or reason. Individuals suffering from intermittent explosive disorder have described feeling as though they lose control of their emotions and become overcome with anger. People with IED may threaten to or actually attack objects, animals, and/or other humans. IED is said to typically begin during the early teen years and evidence has suggested that it has the potential of predisposing individuals to depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. Intermittent explosive disorder is not diagnosed unless a person has displayed at least three episodes of impulsive aggressiveness.

There are a variety of symptoms that people who have intermittent explosive disorder will display based upon individual genetic makeup, development of social skills, coping strategies, presence of co-occurring disorders, and use or addiction to drugs or alcohol. The following are some examples of various signs and symptoms that a person suffering from IED may exhibit:

Intermittent explosive disorder (IED)

Behavioral symptoms

  • Physical aggressiveness
  • Verbal aggressiveness
  • Angry outbursts
  • Physically attacking people and/or objects
  • Damaging property
  • Road rage

Physical symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Chest tightness
  • Palpitations
  • Tingling
  • Feelings of pressure in the head
  • Tremors

Cognitive symptoms

  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Feeling a loss of control over one’s thoughts
  • Racing thoughts

Psychosocial symptoms

  • Feelings of rage
  • Uncontrollable irritability
  • Brief periods of emotional detachment