Intermittent Explosive Disorder is a behavioral impulse control disorder characterized by extreme, sudden expressions of anger, often to the point of uncontrollable rage.If the condition persists for a long time, it can cause problems for the person suffering from it, such as pushing friends and loved ones away, or even endangering those close by.If you have a friend, family member, classmate, or coworker who is suffering from these symptoms, there are a number of precautions you can take to ensure your safety.
Step 1: An escape plan is needed for emergencies.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, so hopefully you won’t need to leave.If you need to escape, you should go to a friend’s house.It’s a good idea to let your friends and family know about the situation so they can come to your aid.An emergency bag should be packed and ready for use.Personal items can be included in this bag.Don’t be afraid to call the police if the situation gets out of hand.
Step 2: You should avoid the situation.
If a coworker or someone you don’t know has an IED episode, remove yourself from the situation.You are not responsible for the person’s anger because it has nothing to do with you.If the option is available, avoid the person when he or she is having an episode if you want to try to help.
Step 3: There are dangerous objects to be aware of.
The person might try to hurt you.If you know in advance that an episode is about to occur, it’s a good idea to remove firearms from the location.Lock them away until you’re certain it’s safe, such as a locked room or an actual safe.
Step 4: The person has atrigger.
If you are close to the person, try to find out what triggered his or her IED episodes.This could be driving, doing homework, paying bills, or any other event that could cause upset.You should pay attention to the person’s behavior and the situation he or she is in before an episode occurs.You will be more prepared to help the person avoid an episode by directing them away from thetrigger or comforting them to prevent a full on attack if you are aware of the triggers.
Step 5: Practice using statements that are sympathetic.
A great way to keep an IED episode from getting out of hand is to listen to what the person is saying.This will show him or her that you are trying to understand what they are feeling, but you aren’t a threat.You can say “So you feel angry that the waiter disrespected you by not giving you his attention?” if the person expresses frustration at being ignored by a waiter.
Step 6: Talk to someone about psychotherapy.
Someone who occasionally gets angry is not the same as an IED.A person with IED experiences anger that seems out of proportion.The person may be helped by a professional.An effective tool for someone suffering from IED is cognitive-behavioral therapy.You can find a mental health treatment center near you by searching on the following website.The person learns to relax with the help of relaxation training.These techniques can help manage the anger that comes with IED.Research shows these methods to be effective if they are resistant to therapy.
Step 7: Positive channels for anger can be found.
IED shows up because people don’t find positive ways to channel their anger.Unless there is a way to turn anger into something positive and constructive, it is not a bad thing.Anger needs to be respected and given a way to express itself.Martial arts, exercise, and even a sport like basketball can help people channel aggression in ways that are less destructive.
Step 8: Teaching self-calming techniques.
If the person is a friend, family member, or someone you are close to, offer to teach him or her techniques for self-calming.It is useful to start with diaphragmatic breathing.The person should be taught to breathe deeply into his or her stomach, hold the breath for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly.The “rest and digest” part of the nervous system will be activated by this type of breathing.The technique of progressive muscle relaxation involves relaxing each muscle group in your body.You can start with the toes and work your way up to the head.It can be visualized as well.Imagine laying out at a beach in a calm, peaceful scenario.Imagine what the beach is like for all of your senses and try to fully enter the situation.
Step 9: Inform someone.
If you aren’t close to the person, try to get in touch with a family member or friend that may be able to help.If you need help calming the person down, you can also do this.If you are certain of your own safety, try to help.
Step 10: The person should be moved to a different location.
Try to remove the person from the location of the triggering event if the anger is caused by traffic.This can help calm his or her nerves and keep you safe.If he or she is experiencing road rage, offer to drive and then get to a safe location as quickly as possible without breaking any driving laws.
Step 11: Wait a second.
IED episodes won’t last more than 30 minutes.After a while, the person will usually begin to calm down and feel better.If you want to help the person during a crisis and you are certain of your safety, all you need to do is try to prevent him or her from getting more heated until the episode is over.
Step 12: There are physical signs to look for.
You can use physical indicators to prepare yourself for an IED episode.If someone you know with IED starts shaking or complaining about chest tightness, this could be a sign that the episode is about to start.
Step 13: You should be aware of mental symptoms.
If the person complains to you about sudden irritability, racing thoughts, or raging emotions, these could be signs of an IED episode and can be used as an early warning system for dealing with the situation to come.You shouldn’t rely on this kind of reporting if the person has difficulty saying their experience in this way.
Step 14: Interpersonal symptoms to notice.
Sometimes the person doesn’t need to tell you how they feel, it comes out in the way they act towards you.These are indicators of an IED episode if you notice the person starting to shout, throwing a tantrum, engaging in heated arguments, or threatening you.If threats of violence come into play, distance yourself from the person and seek help.
Step 15: Understand where IED comes from.
The causes of IED are environmental, genetic, and biological.Many people who develop IED grew up in families where they were expected to deal with conflicts and frustration.Understanding why the person is acting the way they are in order to take their behavior less personally and how they have learned to cope with life can be helpful.IED can show up in late childhood and persist for a long time.
Step 16: IED can be confused with other disorders.
There are other psychological disorders that look similar to IED.Some personality disorders can have the same symptoms.If you are unsure if the person has IED, you may want to talk to a psychologist.