04 June 2009

Intermittent Explosive Disorder - Roger Heater's Story

This post is from my guest writers, Tammy Moss and Roger Heater:

"From Institutions to Freedom" tells the story of Roger Heater who has lived with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) for over three decades

As a child Roger suffered from temper tantrums and rage attacks. What began as tantrums, banging his head on the floor, ended in rage attacks, flipping furniture over, and destroying his bedroom. These attacks lasted thirty minutes to two hours sometimes. At times his parents were forced to sit on him and hold him down so he wouldn’t cause any damage to himself, or them.
By age 12, Roger was made a ward of the court and spent the next four years being shuffled around shelters, group homes, mental institutions, and psychiatric hospitals throughout the State of California, during which time he experienced several different forms of discipline and medications.
In the 70’s, Roger was placed in an institution where they mixed mentally handicap adults with kids. At age 13, he was living with adults as old as 70. Being stripped of his belt, shoes and pockets emptied, he was placed in a 7’ by 4’ room with no outside window or door knob on the inside. He was restrained on beds by being wrapped in sheets from the ankles to his neck. As early as 9 years old he was subjected to several different anti-depressants including Ritalin, Valium and Lithium.

Over the next 15 years Roger self-medicated with marijuana that he began to smoke excessively from as early as age 14. It seemed to control his hyper energy and aggressive behavior. By age 19 his impulsive and addictive personality began to crave the drug cocaine.

Four years later, after almost overdosing one evening, Roger began a self therapy treatment that involved one day at a time of not touching the drug and performing at local amateur comedy clubs throughout the Bay area. Just like marijuana, comedy became an excellent outlet to release his extra aggression. By age 34, with two addictive drug habits and two failed marriages behind him, the comedy stage alone was no longer enough to keep his anger under control. His aggressive and abusive behavior landed him into a psychiatric hospital twice within a 6 month period.

Three decades of Roger's IED incidents:
  • Age 4; Temper tantrums began, Roger would lay flat on his stomach and repeatedly bang his head on the floor, his mother had to hold him until he calmed down.
  • Age 11; He was running head first into walls, destroying his room so bad that everything was removed except his bed and dresser.
  • Age 16; Roger took out 32 car windshields with a baseball bat causing over $5,000.00 worth in damages.
  • In his early 20's after receiving a hamburger with mayo at a Jack in the Box drive-thru, he threw it back at the server and sped off in a screaming road rage into heavy expressway traffic, almost causing a three car pileup.
  • In his early 20's to mid 30's he mentally and physically attacked 3 separate wives. During a rage attack he was known to lift wives up off the floor by their throats.

After struggling for over three decades, Roger was finally given a diagnosis in 1995. He was told he had a mental disorder called Intermittent Explosive Disorder (I-E-D). This disorder was still unknown to the public and researchers at the time, so proper medications and therapy were still in the testing stage. Over the years while learning what he could about the disease he taught himself how to overcome and survive living with it. After more than 14 years of touring and performing comedy all over the United States, he developed a strong ability to keep any size groups attention and his strong stage presence continues to shine even when delivering material on a much darker subject. His sense of humor, passion and understanding for this disorder stands out in every delivery.

Roger is in the process of writing his book- “From Institutions to Freedom” in the hopes that sharing his story with others will motivate and show others that instead of ‘you can’t’ -you can!

Stimulus Pro-bono opportunity~~
During these tough economic times, we are giving a limited amount of pro-bono talks in Las Vegas, California, Utah and Arizona. Don't wait! Email us to schedule. Contact us @ tmoss1026@yahoo.com

Roger is dedicated to speak wherever there is a need. A man who never took “you can’t” as an excuse, Roger fought through each and every obstacle and came out proving everyone wrong.

Roger is sharing his story all around the country. Please email us with where you are from and names of organizations that may benefit in hearing this powerful, motivating story

To learn more about IED and to book a pro-bono talk, visit our website- http://www.heaterproductions.com/


  1. Wow this is the stuff hero's are made of.

  2. Thanks for the visit and comment, Debi. I'm sure Roger appreciates your support! :D

  3. Thanks for the information...

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  4. Anonymous7/21/2009

    Mind is good but it is with some less people :)

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  5. Hi,

    My name is Heather Jones and I am the assistant editor of Epsychologist.org. I am contacting you today in hopes of developing a relationship with your website; we have seen your site and think your content is great. Epsychologist.org offer a free informational resource to both the general and professional public on several issues.

    I hope you show some interest in building relationship, please contact me at heather.epsycholosgist.org@gmail.com.

  6. Heather, I am honored!

  7. rahul jain3/16/2011

    Does smoking marijuana make IED more intense?

  8. Anonymous10/16/2011

    Hi Thanks A lot about Your Articles ... very Nice
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  9. Rahul - I've heard talk that it might help control IED but please talk to your doctor and don't do anything you might be arrested for!