Intermittent Explosive Disorder

What is intermittent explosive disorder?

Intermittent explosive disorder involves repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which you extremely overreact to a given situation.

Causes of intermittent explosive disorder

The causes of intermittent explosive disorder aren’t clear, but the likeliest cause is a combination of environmental factors (early exposure to similar bursts of violent anger), genetics and imbalances in serotonin levels in your brain.

Symptoms of intermittent explosive disorder

Explosive eruptions occur suddenly, with little or no warning, and usually last less than 30 minutes. These episodes may occur frequently or be separated by weeks or months of nonaggression. Less severe verbal outbursts may occur in between episodes of physical aggression.

Some other symptoms to look out for are rage, irritability, racing thoughts, increased energy, palpitations and chest tightness. After an explosive episode, you may feel a sense of relief and fatigue. Later, you may feel remorse, regret or embarrassment.


Intermittent explosive disorder is a chronic disorder that can continue for years, although the severity of outbursts may decrease with age. Treatment involves medications and psychotherapy to help you control your aggressive impulses.

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Treatments for Intermittent Explosive Disorder

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Symptoms and Screenings for Intermittent Explosive Disorder

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Causes and Preventions for Intermittent Explosive Disorder

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Education and Resources for Intermittent Explosive Disorder

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Support groups for Intermittent Explosive Disorder

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