Explosive Disorder (Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED))

Explosive disorder or intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is primarily characterized by outbursts of violence and anger (generally lasting less than 30 minutes) which are disproportionate to the situation. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM 5) categorizes IED as under the “Disruptive, Impulse-Control, and Conduct Disorders”. The specific criteria include verbal or physical aggression which often occurs twice a week for three months. It should be noted that such aggressive behaviors are not premeditated nor motivated by a tangible reward. The individual should at least be 6 years old to be diagnosed.

The risk factors include history of physical abuse, multiple traumatic experiences, and other mental health concerns. Individuals with IED often face problems relating with others and are more prone to abuse substances due to their unstable moods. They may also engage in self-harm, and are at risk to have certain physical health complications such as ulcers, hypertension, and chronic pain.

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