17 February 2009

Treating Anger Disorders

In the past, many doctors have resisted exploring anger disorders because there were very few options for treating it but now that has changed. Treatments are now available for people with anger disorders such as Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). The options include psychotherapy as well as medication.

Psychiatrists have found that people who cannot control their anger have a number of other psychological issues that require treatment. Treatment consists of behavioral self-control techniques, stress management, and cognitive therapy to change the irrational belief system that triggers the violent behavior. There are probably some depression issues, too A little Prozac might be nice in the meantime.

Anti-depressant drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are now being prescribed because studies have suggested that people who have violent, aggressive outbursts may have decreased levels of serotonin in frontal parts of their brains as compared to everyone else.

Some people with IED are often misdiagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder. Both types of patient may have explosive outbursts of rage but those people with IED do not necessarily have the same manic "highs" as people with bipolar disorder. That is the difference.

Researchers are currently working with the World Health Organization to assess and compare the prevalence of IED in 30 nations. A definition of intermittent explosive disorder was only added to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980. It's still a new frontier for psychiatric medicine.

Click HERE for a discussion of IED and Domestic Violence.


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