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In our experience, intermittent explosive disorder can mean serious problems for the individuals who have it and for their friends, family members, and co-workers.

It is our perspective that people who suddenly find themselves in an angry state as the result of something said or experienced have generally had their amygdalae triggered by some current event that seems to their amygdalae similar to an earlier one. The amygdalae do not actually think. They are the pair of almond-shaped parts of the brain which simply react in 15 miliseconds to any real or perceived threat.

We have found that self-soothing techniques can often be helpful in calming this reaction.

Mood-stabilizing medications like Neurontin have also seemed to be very helpful in allowing a slightly longer reaction time, thereby giving the thinking parts of the brain a chance to engage, process the situation, and initiate appropriate action rather than a potentially unhelpful reaction. We think serotonin-enhancing medications can also often be helpful in this regard.

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Again, as we see it, anger blowups are generally due to either an immediate threat or a perceived threat or are the result of an imbalance of some kind. These potentially physically and/or emotionally dangerous outbursts can, in our experience, usually be diminished in intensity and frequency when their source is understood and appropriate treatment is initiated and maintained.