What is an intermittent explosive barrier?

Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is a mental health disorder that causes a person to experience repeated bursts of aggressive behavior in specific situations. These incidents may involve aggressive, impulsive and violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts.

Many people are not familiar with IEDs. However, one study found that about 7 percent of the U.S. population may have the disease.

Read on to learn more about improvised explosive devices and how the disease affects those with it.

What are the symptoms of an improvised explosive device?

IEDs are similar to tantrums, and when a person has the disorder, they may experience the following symptoms:

  • anger
  • irritability
  • feel high tension
  • high energy level
  • Tremors (involuntary rhythmic tremors)
  • Palpitations (very noticeable throbbing, fluttering, or irregular heartbeats in a short period of time)
  • chest tightness
  • Arguing behavior and yelling
  • Getting into verbal or physical conflict
  • threaten others
  • physical attack on an animal or person
  • damage own or others’ property

The attacks appear to have come out of nowhere and are seen as a disproportionate response to the situation.

Who is most affected by the IED?

Men are twice as likely as women to have an improvised explosive device. Young adults and teens are also more likely to develop improvised explosive devices than other age groups. People who describe themselves as “others” (not white, black or Hispanic) were also more affected, the racial prevalence study reported.

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What Causes Improvised Explosive Devices?

Although the exact cause of IED is unknown, experts believe that a combination of factors may cause a person to develop the disease at some point in their life. Research has found that one of the most important factors in the onset of IED is childhood trauma.

Childhood is an important period of brain development in a person’s life. Children who have experienced traumatic experiences often have delayed or altered brain development. This means they may not be able to adequately learn the skills needed to manage emotions such as anger or anger.

While childhood trauma is thought to be a major driver of IED development, other studies have found that genetics and abnormalities in the brain may also contribute.

For example, one study found that inflammatory responses in the brain were associated with aggressive behavior in IEDs by analyzing different regions of DNA. The study found differences in these areas between people with IEDs and those without IEDs. These genetic differences may affect the risk of improvised explosive devices.

The study also found abnormal levels of serotonin in the brains of people with IEDs. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger in the brain) associated with happiness. It also acts as a mood stabilizer.

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How to diagnose improvised explosive devices?

Diagnosing an IED with Fifth Edition Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The DSM-5 outlines certain criteria that a person diagnosed with any particular mental disorder needs to meet. Criteria for IEDs in DSM-5 include the following recurrent behavioral outbursts:

  • Verbal or physical aggression that occurs twice a week for three months
  • Outbreaks of aggressive behavior involving physical damage or injury to property, people, or animals, 3 occurrences in 12 months
  • Anger that is severely disproportionate to the stressor
  • impulsive and unplanned outbursts
  • No behavior-related goals, such as financial gain or emotional intimidation

The DSM-5 also states that a person must be at least 6 years old and have no other mental health disorder to be diagnosed with an IED. These incidents can also cause significant distress to individuals, or relate to those who have suffered financial or legal consequences from the outbreak.

If a person meets these criteria, their doctor will decide whether to make a formal diagnosis of IED.

Conditions for simultaneous occurrence of improvised explosive devices

People with IEDs may be more likely to develop other psychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. One study linked IEDs to bipolar disorder, a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings, including highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). Studies have shown that up to 60% of people with IEDs may also have bipolar disorder.

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How to deal with improvised explosive devices?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, treating IED usually involves cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of psychotherapy or talk therapy that focuses on changing thoughts associated with anger and aggression. It is based on the idea that all thoughts, feelings, actions and bodily sensations are interconnected and can be addressed as a whole.

CBT can be performed in groups or individually, however, research has shown that IED patients who participate in group CBT treatment are better able to manage their anger and learn new coping skills to deal with their disorder symptoms in a group setting.

There are no specific drugs to treat IED, but some people with the disorder benefit from the use of antidepressants that affect serotonin levels in the brain, mood stabilizers that help calm overreactions, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety medications.

What are the complications of an IED?

In addition to an increased risk of mood disorders and substance use problems, people with IEDs typically have a lower quality of life and problems with all aspects of personal and professional relationships. They may also be at risk for physical health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and chronic pain.

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How do you deal with improvised explosive devices?

Coping with improvised explosive devices can be difficult because people with the disease cannot control their outbursts of anger. To make matters worse, in many cases, a person also faces unresolved childhood trauma.

To help cope with IED symptoms, people with the disorder need to seek professional treatment from a mental health professional and stick to their treatment plan.

Practicing relaxation techniques or other activities that can help people manage their emotions may also be beneficial for people with IEDs. Some good activities you can do to cope with your illness include:

  • meditation
  • yoga
  • breathing exercises
  • Avoid triggers, people, or situations that might make you angry
  • Not using drugs or alcohol

Suicide in Improvised Explosive Devices

According to research, up to 38.1% of people with IEDs have had suicidal thoughts (suicidal thoughts or thoughts) and up to 17.4% of people with IEDs will attempt suicide at some point in their lives. If you or someone you know is coping with an IED and is exhibiting suicidal behavior, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or seek help from the nearest emergency department.

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IEDs are a mental health disorder characterized by repeated outbursts of anger, rage and aggression that appear to be unprovoked. The disease may affect about 7% of adolescents and adults. While an IED can negatively impact a person’s life and overall health, there are treatment options that can help a person cope and manage their disease.

CBT and, in some cases, drugs have been shown to be effective in managing symptoms and reducing violent or aggressive outbreaks.

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Having an IED can be difficult to cope with, and many people may not even realize they have the disorder until long after it has developed. Because of the way you behave with your IED, people in your life may avoid you or think you’re just an angry person because of the disease.

This is why you should always seek treatment if you happen to have an excessive and aggressive reaction in an unwanted situation. Dealing with IEDs is no easy task, but with the right treatment, you can control your disease and improve your overall quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is intermittent explosive disorder the same as bipolar disorder?

    Although improvised explosive devices and bipolar disorder may manifest in similar ways, the two are not the same thing. Having said that, the co-occurrence rate of the two diseases is about 60%, which means that more than half of people with IEDs may have both diseases at the same time.

  • How can you calm down someone with an IED?

    To help someone with an IED attack calm down, you can practice active listening and emotionally separate yourself. Personalizing their behavior will only make things worse. To help another person through an episode, be empathetic and validate their feelings until they calm down. If you are in personal danger, remove yourself from the situation immediately.

  • How do you know if you have an improvised explosive device?

    It’s hard to tell if you have an improvised explosive device, but there are some signs that you should see a professional about your outbursts of anger. They include:

    • After an outburst of anger, you feel tired, guilty, or embarrassed about your actions.
    • You are often triggered by the same types of situations, such as being corrected in public or being told what to do.
    • During an anger attack, you cause bodily harm to others, yourself, or property.
    • In this episode, you can’t think clearly or think about any of the consequences.
    • Once the episodes start, you feel like you can’t control your behavior.
    • Your anger often affects personal and professional relationships.