Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is a behavioral health disorder that’s characterized by violent, impulsive, or angry attacks that are entirely inappropriate for the situation. During these spells, you may get extremely angry with other people or situations, and you may take our your anger on other people – hurting those you love most – in an effort to make the tension and buildup in your head stop – even for a little while. Instead of hurting people, maybe you take out your aggression on other people’s property, causing damage and breaking things that don’t belong to you. The impulsiveness of IED may have caused other people to pull away, unsure what you’ll do next, and how to handle your symptoms. You may find your loved ones pulling away as they watch your behavior, not sure what they can do to help. It’s time to take the step and get your IED under control and learn the tools you need to lead a life free from anger, violence, and aggression.
At Vantage Point, we’ve helped countless children, adolescents, adults, and older adults learn to successfully manage the anger they feel inside themselves. We’ve taught many people to cope with triggers for anger and violence, and we’re not here to judge you for things that may have happened in the past. We’re ready to focus upon what matters – the future. We’re ready to help you build the life you deserve surrounded by the love and support of those who matter to you most.
How to Help a Loved One or Family Member into Treatment
Life with someone who has intermittent explosive disorder can feel like a rollercoaster – you may never understand what sets him or her off or how you can diffuse the situation without escalation. You may have had your prized possessions broken and live in the shadow of anger and frustration, unsure what to do next. Your emotions may be all over the place – sadness as this isn’t the life you’d wanted, frustration at his or her inability to control the anger, and anger at the whole situation. You know in your heart that your loved one needs help and support that you can no longer give. Here are some tips for guiding your loved one into treatment:
Safety first: Before you approach the subject of inpatient treatment for intermittent explosive disorder, you must first make certain everyone is going to be safe. People with IED may be unpredictable for others, but you may understand your loved one’s patterns. Make sure any small animals, pets, and children are in a safe place before beginning the discussion of treatment. If you do not feel safe discussing treatment for IED with your loved one – don’t.
Seek the help of professionals: As IED is an impulse-control disorder, the best person to advise you upon how best to help is a professional who has helped others with this disorder. Speak to him or her without your loved one and see if he or she has any strategies for helping your loved one into treatment for IED.
Present your case: Rather than accusing your loved one of having “a problem,” approach the situation lightly and carefully. Use “I” statements instead of accusatory “you” statements. Stick to the facts rather than the emotions behind it. Discuss strategies for approaching your loved one with your IED-specializing therapist to ensure they are appropriate for the situation.
Why Seek Inpatient Treatment for Intermittent Explosive Disorder
If you’ve been living with mismanaged or unmanaged IED for a long while, it’s likely that the effects of this impulse-control disorder are beginning to catch up to you. You may have IED as a secondary diagnosis for another mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety, which can further complicate your symptoms. You may have lost those closest to you as you lashed out at them in anger over seemingly minor infractions. Holding down a job may be near-to-impossible as your anger may have slipped in through the cracks. Maybe you’re using drugs to try to cope with the unpleasant symptoms only to find that you can’t easily stop using. Legal problems may have resulted from your actions while in an aggressive tear, such as road rage, property damage, and physical altercations. You know that it’s time to begin the slow process of regaining your life but you may not know how. An inpatient treatment plan may be the best kick start to your recovery.
An inpatient treatment center that specializes in impulse control disorders such as IED can help you learn the tools you need to manage your anger and express it in healthy manners. Through a multidisciplinary approach to care, you and your treatment team will work in tandem to develop real-world strategies that work for you and help you diffuse the anger and express it in ways that can help rebuild your relationships. Best of all, an inpatient program will allow you the opportunity to temporarily escape the stresses and pressures of your daily life and focus all your energy upon what matters – recovery from IED.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Vantage Point, we understand that mental illness is a complex diagnosis, often accompanied by co-occurring disorders that can further complicate care. That is why we utilize a multidisciplinary approach to treatment that ensures all needs are identified and met during initial assessments and during ongoing treatment team assessments. When you come to us for help, we’ll constantly evaluate ways we can help you, what works and what doesn’t, and alter your individualized treatment plan as needed to ensure you’re getting the most out of your stay with us as possible. At Vantage Point, we do everything we can to ensure your continued success long after you leave our doors.
Treatment Options Offered at Vantage Point
When you first come to us for treatment for your intermittent explosive disorder, our expert team of assessment personnel will work hard to put together the assessments that will help us most learn about you and help you fully engage in your care. Medical assessments are performed to make sure you’re not struggling with any medical-related problems caused by your IED while psychiatric evaluations will diagnose and begin treatment for any co-occurring, comorbid mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression. We’ll take the results of these examinations and your treatment team will work with you and your loved ones to create a plan of care for your stay with us that meets your ongoing treatment needs.
Medication is often used in the management of intermittent explosive disorder. While there are no specific medications used for IED, there are a number of drugs your treatment team may use to help you manage your IED. These may include antianxiety agents, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and mood stabilizers. These medications may also help to manage any co-occurring mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder or depression. The usage of medication will be determined by you and your treatment team.
Individual therapy can help people who have intermittent explosive disorder learn the sorts of situations that may trigger explosive episodes and teach them appropriate responses to these situations. These sessions can help you learn to manage your anger and control your inappropriate responses. Your therapist can also suggest ways to mend some of the troubles IED has caused in your life.
Group therapy can be tremendously helpful for people who have IED as it allows you the opportunity to work with others who have similar challenges. Group helps you relearn social skills and practice them in an appropriate, moderated setting. Groups will focus upon anger management, relaxation techniques, and medication compliance.
Family therapy can be of great importance to people struggling with IED as many with this disorder are struggling with strained family bonds. We’ll work with you and your loved ones to help mend broken bonds, educate your family about intermittent explosive disorder, and discuss ways in which your loved ones can help support you as you begin your journey to recovery.
In addition to traditional therapeutic approaches, Vantage Point offers several other types of therapeutic approaches. These include:
- Expressive therapy
- School-based programs (for children and adolescents)
Continuing Care and Levels of Care
Our staff begins planning for your discharge the moment you arrive with us to ensure you have appropriate care when your time with us comes to an end. Close to discharge, you’ll work closely with your treatment team and loved ones to make sure you have a plan of care that meets your continuing needs. Some of our clients opt to join a residential program, which allows for a longer treatment period to work through your challenges. Others may opt for an outpatient program such as an intensive outpatient program (IOP) or a partial hospitalization program (PHP), which will allow you to work on your recovery throughout the day while returning to your home in the evenings. Other people may feel they’ve made enough progress with us to discharge to our traditional outpatient program with referrals to community resources.