Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED): How to Cope with Life’s Frustrations Before Resorting to Destructive Behavior

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Intermittent Explosive Disorder or IED, a disorder in which people exhibit impulsive, aggressive behavior, affects as many as 16 million Americans or 7.3% of the adult population. Experts disagree on the causes and treat ments for IED. This release is about a potential solution.

ridiculous to believe that everyone is a sociopath just because it’s a crazy world that we feel helpless to change.

A study based on data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, a survey of over 9,000 US adults, has found that Intermittent Explosive Disorder or IED affects as many as 16 million Americans or 7.3% of the adult population.

What exactly is IED? Simply put, it is a state of mind where a person feels so frustrated and out of control that he physically acts out, destroying property and even hurting other people, with minimal provocation to warrant such an outburst. An individual must exhibit this impulsively aggressive behavior more than three times in their life (and have no other mental or physical explanations like a clinical personality disorder or neurological disease), to be diagnosed with Intermittent Explosive Disorder. It is believed that IED first manifests in the teen years, and then escalates from there, as life’s daily frustrations begin to take a cumulative toll over time.

The Nature and Causes of Anger: Of Course We are Frustrated!

Americans especially are completely overwhelmed with stress. Everything from financial distress, broken relationships, peer pressure, unemployment, skyrocketing gas and food prices, war, threats of a bird-flu pandemic in which there supposedly isn’t enough vaccine for everyone, poverty, car accidents, threats of “terrorism,” crime, online predators…and the list goes on for miles. And none of these things seem to be in our control. And the truth is, to some degree, that is correct. Therefore, we are at a loss as to how to cope with that overwhelming sense of frustration. We become angry when we feel we are not “heard” or “seen,” or that our feelings don’t matter, or we feel helpless and powerless to change things. Enter Intermittent Explosive Disorder.

Essentially, from a biological perspective, it’s quite simple. Stress is everywhere. Then the pressure becomes so overwhelming that it has to sort of “escape” somehow. Like a kettle blowing off steam when it gets too hot. But that only brings temporary relief, potentially creating hurtful situations with others, and ultimately leads to…you guessed it, more anger!

According to Hale Dwoskin, an international speaker and author who has been teaching people emotional control for over 30 years with a simple technique called The Sedona Method, the truth is that anger is a secondary emotion, and there are emotions BEHIND anger that none of us want to feel—like fear, grief, and apathy. In anger, he says, we feel more “alive” than in these other emotions. So to keep from feeling paralyzing fear, unbearable grief, and deadened apathy, we tend to keep ourselves angry. Dwoskin reports that there is a better, healthier, and more productive way to get that same sort of quickening, and then some.

Dwoskin says that the most amazing news is that there are emotions behind anger and there are also emotions in FRONT of it! Emotions like courageousness, acceptance, and peace.

Calm in the Angry Storm: Letting Go Before Becoming an IED Statistic

Experts disagree on the causes of Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Many anger therapists are now categorizing IED with other psychotic and mental disorders. Dwoskin feels it is “ridiculous to believe that everyone is a sociopath just because it’s a crazy world that we feel helpless to change.” It is almost a contradiction, he says, that treatments like anger management courses talk about role playing and acting out the anger in a “healthy” way, almost begging to create a condition as intense as Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Therapies such as screaming into a pillow or hitting a beanbag with a bat can only go so far. While acting out anger can bring temporary relief, it has limitations on permanent effectiveness. All of the underlying issues and core reasons for the anger remain, festering under the surface.

Eventually, anger disorders such as IED may continue to grow without proper release until the individual is prescribed a treatment regimen that is expensive, ongoing and potentially embarrassing, such as cognitive therapy and anti-depressant medications, which have many negative side effects. These treatments are the same protocol for psychopaths.

Dwoskin says anger can be released well before it becomes dangerous to yourself and others. The Sedona Method is a technique that teaches you to easily let go of your anger and allow it to dissolve quickly, long before it ever turns into some kind of emotional disorder. You can take back your own personal power, and no longer be a slave to your anger. The results are quick, painless, and permanent, and without negative side effects.

The following questions are a piece of The Sedona Method that can be used right away to start letting go of anger before it reaches critical proportions:

Could I let this feeling go?

Would I let it go?


The Sedona Method Audio Course, a home study program, teaches people how to quickly and easily transform unhealthy anger into the ultimate sense of peace and calm right in the comfort of their own homes.

Hale Dwoskin, New York Times Best-Selling author of The Sedona Method, and co-author of the best-selling Happiness Is Free (five-book series) is the CEO and Director of Training of Sedona Training Associates, an organization that teaches courses based on the emotional releasing techniques originated by his mentor, Lester Levenson. Dwoskin is an international speaker and featured faculty member at Esalen and the Omega Institute. He is also a featured speaker in the made-for-TV movie, “The Secret.” For over a quarter century, he has regularly been teaching The Sedona Method techniques to individuals and corporations throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.


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