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Why do I get angry easily? Understanding Intermittent Explosive Disorder

why do I get angry easily

Do you find yourself getting angry and lashing out at the slightest offence? So many things can cause anger. But if you've ever asked yourself, "Why do I get angry easily for no reason," it may be a disorder -- intermittent explosive disorder.

Intermittent explosive disorder -- one reason you may get angry easily for no reason

Generally, everyone has their anger triggers: you may get angry when you feel misunderstood, threatened, frustrated, powerless, or scorned. But when you seem to get angry and aggressive easily with little or no reason, you just might have intermittent explosive disorder.

What is intermittent explosive disorder?

Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) or impulsive aggression is a mental health condition characterized by frequent sudden anger outbursts that are out of proportion. The aggression typically "explodes" on a scale disproportionate to the situation that triggered it. Most times, it is unwarranted.

You may get angry easily, even for no reason, because you have intermittent explosive disorder.

People with intermittent explosive disorder tend to have a low tolerance for frustration. In short, they can get offended at the slightest of triggers and may lash out or get physically aggressive at the slightest of offenses.

But it's a mental disorder for which they have little control, and it's really not their fault. Outside of the anger issues, they are generally normal, everyday people.

But actually, there are indeed some control measures.

Do you think you or a loved one is battling intermittent disorder and need help? First, let's look at the signs and symptoms to be sure before seeking remedies.

Symptoms of intermittent explosive disorder

Intermittent explosive disorder affects up to 7.3 percent of adults, and 11.5-16 million Americans. The tell-tale sign of this anger disorder is frequent outbursts that seem unwarranted or out of proportion.

If you're experiencing the following symptoms, you may be living with intermittent explosive disorder:

While the signs may seem like normal anger, the key point is that it frequently occurs, impairing your relationships, social life, and general well-being.

But what causes intermittent explosive disorder, and what can you do to avoid getting angry easily?

What causes aggression disorder?

Researchers from the University of Chicago have discovered that people with intermittent explosive disorder have a weakened connection in regions of the brain linked with language processing, social interaction, and sensory input. This can occur at birth, and the aggression symptoms may manifest as early as age 7.

Genetic factors also contribute to IED as it appears to run in families. So you can get angry easily simply because that's how your parents are. In addition, some studies show that people with IED have low serotonin levels. People who experience verbal or physical abuse during childhood are also prone to get angry easily.

How to treat intermittent explosive disorder

Want to stop getting angry and aggressive over nothing? One of the best treatments for anger disorder is psychotherapy (talk therapy), aimed at changing the thought patterns that lead to aggression. Medication, such as Fluoxetine, is also often involved.

IED treatment aims to eliminate or substantially reduce the symptoms so that you no longer experience impulsive anger outbursts. As a result, you gain more control over your reaction to negative emotions.

If you find yourself getting angry easily for little or no reason, the following medications can help:

For your own safety, you should never self-prescribe with any of these drugs. I understand that you may want to address the situation ASAP, but it's always best to have a mental health care provider working with you.

If this is your situation, kindly reach out to me now so I can evaluate your condition and prescribe the treatment that's right for you.

Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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