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Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Overview :

People diagnosed with IED sometimes describe strong impulses to act aggressively prior to the specific incidents reported to the doctor and/or the police. They may experience racing thoughts or a heightened energy level during the aggressive episode, with fatigue and depression developing shortly afterward. Some report various physical sensations, including tightness in the chest, tingling sensations, tremor, hearing echoes, or a feeling of pressure inside the head.

Many people diagnosed with IED appear to have general problems with anger or other impulsive behaviors between explosive episodes. Some are able to control aggressive impulses without acting on them while others act out in less destructive ways, such as screaming at someone rather than attacking them physically.

Although the editors of DSM-IV stated in 2000 that IED "is apparently rare," a group of researchers in Chicago reported in 2004 that it is more common than previously thought. They estimate that 1.4 million persons in the United States currently meet the criteria for IED, with a total of 10 million meeting the lifetime criteria for the disorder.

With regard to sex and age group, 80% of individuals diagnosed with IED in the United States are adolescent and adult males. Women do experience IED, however, and have reported it as part of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

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