Anger Disorder
More Than Just A Bad Temper


Do you, or someone you know, suffer from anger disorder?

Do you know how it differs from general anger?
When do you need anger counselling, anger treatment or help with anger control?


We will give you the simple answers this page, and other useful links for you to explore the subject of anger management.

Anger is an emotion, and all emotions are okay. It is what we do with our emotions that makes the difference to our everyday living. And we are here to help you make your everyday living better.

If you are feeling lost or unsure of what to do about your emotions, please drop us a line and we will contact you.


About Anger Disorder

Anger Disorder, more properly known as Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) is a psychological condition characterized by sporadic episodes of aggression, violence, and destructive behaviour.

According to the dictionary definition, in an IED “the degree of aggressiveness expressed during an episode is grossly out of proportion to any provocation or precipitating psychosocial stressor.”

In other words, people who suffer from this disorder seem to be unable to control themselves - they explode with rage in a way which is often out of proportion to the event which triggered the anger.

New studies show that more people are affected by explosive outbursts of uncontrollable rage than previously. In fact, more than 7% of people in the US are experiencing anger disorder or IED.

Difference Between Anger Disorder
and a Short-Temper

Three main things distinguish anger disorder from other types of mood disorders which involve anger, such as bipolar disorder...

  • Serious property damage or harm as a result of one or more explosive episodes
  • Responses which are out of proportion
  • Lack of another explanation for the behaviour, such as the use of mood-altering medication, alcohol or an existing mood disorder



People may also experience feelings of fatigue, confusion, or distress after their explosive episodes, often compounded by guilt over their actions.

People with IED could be said to be simply short-tempered, but it goes beyond this point...

Most people with irritability and short tempers do have some sort of control over their actions and explosions of rage. These outbursts seldom result in serious damage or harm, thanks to self-control. Someone with anger disorder is actually unstable, lacking the ability to make choices which could prevent explosive occurrences. For example, a short tempered person might snap at an irritating co-worker in an understandable if inappropriate emotional display, while someone with IED could break a keyboard after making a typing error.

Helpful indicators of an anger disorder are frequency of anger, duration of "feeling and acting angry", and intensity of anger on a scale of 1 (mildly upset) to 10 (rage). If these indicators seem to be above the norm, then it perhaps time to get a professional diagnosis and seek anger counseling and treatment.

Treating Anger Disorder

Like many psychological disorders, IED can be treated with help from a psychological professional, but first it needs to be identified as a problem and diagnosed. And treatment is very important, because people with this disorder could potentially harm themselves or others in a fit of rage. They can also be frightening to live or work with - psychological treatment can also benefit those who interact with the sufferer.

The best anger management programs combine cognitive, behavioural, interpersonal strategies, with learning how to relax and also learning to use anger as a cue that it is time to relax. Anger counselling teaches you techniques on how to prevent the situation from "exploding."

Many treatments are highly effective, although it can take a few sessions with different therapists to find one that works for the individual. Therapy for IED also usually benefits the psychological health of the patient by addressing underlying issues.

Medication may also be used to treat chemical imbalances in the brain which could contribute to the disorder.

Much is still unclear about anger disorder or IED. But new studies show that IED can start at the early age of adolescence. So if it is possible to treat anger during the teen years, it might reduce an individual's risk of developing other mental health problems later in life.



It is not always easy to approach someone that you believe might suffer from this disorder.


They can be scary!

And you are never sure how they are going to react. Maybe seek help from a professional counsellor and get a strategy for speaking to the sufferer about getting help. You need to be brave to either seek help for your anger or to suggest it to someone else, but it could make all the difference to your future lives.

We hope you have found this information useful.

We also recommend Dr. Weisinger's Anger Work-Out Book , now in its 30th printing, as a useful tool for individuals who want to learn anger management skills in a wide variety of contexts and for therapists who want to help their client’s workout their anger.



More Useful Information

Go from Anger Disorder to Anger Management And Stress Relief
Go to DIY Stress Relief Home

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