7 Signs of Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) is a behavioural disorder characterised by intense, uncontrollable episodes of anger and violence. Though it’s less discussed than other mental health issues, it’s important to identify its signs early on. Here are seven key signs to look out for.

1. Sudden Episodes of Rage

One of the earliest and most distinct signs of IED is experiencing sudden outbursts of anger or rage that are disproportionate to the situation at hand. These episodes can last from a few minutes to several hours.

2. Physical Aggression

People with IED often display physical aggression. This aggression typically manifests as harm towards other individuals, animals, or property.

3. Impulsive Behaviour

Impulsivity, or acting without thinking about the consequences, is commonly observed in individuals with IED. This can lead to risky behaviours and poor decision-making.

4. Feeling of Relief after an Episode

Another sign of IED is the feeling of relief after an explosive outburst. This is often followed by feelings of remorse or guilt.

5. Frequent Verbal Outbursts

IED is not only associated with physical aggression. Frequent, uncontrollable verbal outbursts are also a common sign of this disorder.

6. Inability to Control Temper

An inability to control one’s temper, particularly in stressful situations, is another prominent sign of IED. People with IED might explode in anger over minor irritations.

7. Chronic Irritability

Chronic irritability, or being easily annoyed by others, is often a symptom of IED. This irritability might be constant or intermittently present.

Understanding the signs of Intermittent Explosive Disorder can help in seeking appropriate help at the right time. If you or someone you know is exhibiting these signs, it’s crucial to consult a mental healthcare professional.

Please note that this blog post is intended to be informative and does not substitute for professional medical advice.

Treatment Options for Intermittent Explosive Disorder

The first step in managing Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) is seeking professional help. Through a comprehensive evaluation, mental healthcare professionals can diagnose the condition and develop an effective treatment plan. Treatment for IED typically involves a combination of psychotherapy and medication.


Also known as talk therapy, psychotherapy is often the first line of treatment for IED. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can be particularly effective as it teaches individuals how to change thought patterns that lead to unwanted behaviours.


In some cases, medication may be prescribed as part of the treatment for IED. Various classes of drugs, such as antidepressants, mood stabilisers, and anti-anxiety drugs, have proven effective in managing the symptoms of this disorder.

Lifestyle Changes

Alongside professional treatment, certain lifestyle changes can also help manage IED. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and stress management techniques can contribute to overall mental wellbeing.

Remember, it’s never too late to seek help. If you or someone you know is struggling with Intermittent Explosive Disorder, reach out to a mental health professional today. It’s the first step towards regaining control over your life.

Prognosis of Intermittent Explosive Disorder

The prognosis for Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) is generally positive, especially when treatment is sought early and followed consistently. With a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications, individuals with IED can learn to effectively manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.

It is important to remember that the process of recovery varies from person to person. It may take time for some to notice significant improvements, and there may be periods of relapse. However, persistence with the treatment plans and regular follow-ups with mental health professionals can contribute to a successful management of IED.

As is the case with other mental health disorders, social support plays a crucial role in recovery. Family and friends can provide much-needed emotional support, encourage adherence to treatment, and aid in the identification of potential triggers, thereby helping to prevent or mitigate explosive episodes.

Finally, remember that seeking help is an act of strength, not weakness. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of IED, reach out to a mental health professional. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a significant difference.

Living with Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Living with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) can be challenging, but remember, you’re not alone. There are numerous support groups available, both online and offline, that can provide guidance, reassurance, and a safe space to share experiences and feelings.

Self-care is also an essential aspect of managing IED. Regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and adequate rest can improve your overall well-being. Experiment with relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, or meditation — these can help manage stress, reduce anger, and increase your sense of control.

It’s also crucial to remember that communication is key. Be open with your loved ones about your condition and how they can support you. Educate them about IED, its symptoms, your triggers, and your coping strategies. This can help them better understand your situation and provide effective support when necessary.

If you’re living with IED, remember to be patient with yourself. Recovery is a journey that takes time and everyone’s experience is unique. Celebrate your progress, no matter how small, and accept that setbacks are part of the process. With consistent effort and the right support, life with IED can be manageable and fulfilling.


In conclusion, living with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) can undeniably pose challenges but it does not have to define your life. The first step towards overcoming these challenges is seeking professional help and adhering to an effective treatment plan. Paired with lifestyle modifications, psychotherapy, and medication, the impact of IED can be significantly reduced, paving the way for a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Remember, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for managing IED. Each individual’s journey is unique and requires a personalised approach. Embrace your journey with patience, celebrate your victories, and remember that help is always available. Though the road to recovery may seem steep, with determination and support, it is entirely possible to enjoy a happy, healthy life with IED.


There are several resources available for individuals living with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) and their loved ones. These resources offer valuable information, support, and practical advice to assist with managing the disorder.

  • Mind – A UK-based mental health charity that offers a wealth of information on mental health disorders, including IED, and provides support for those affected.
  • NHS – The UK’s biggest health website offers reliable information and advice on a wide range of health conditions.
  • Rethink Mental Illness – A mental health charity providing expert, accredited advice and information to everyone affected by mental health problems.

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Reach out, seek help, and utilise these resources for better management of IED. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help and it’s okay to accept it. With the necessary support and treatment, life with IED can be navigated successfully.

Moving Forward

Living with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) can undoubtedly come with its unique set of challenges, but it’s important to remember that there are always options and support available. Seeking professional help, adhering to treatment plans, engaging in self-care, and utilising available resources are all integral steps towards managing IED effectively.

One must not discount the power of empathy, support, and understanding in this journey. Encourage open conversations about mental health in your homes, workplaces, and communities. Breaking the stigma associated with mental health disorders like IED can create a more supportive and accepting environment for individuals dealing with them.

Finally, remember that while IED is a part of your life, it does not define who you are.

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