Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is a mental health condition characterized by repeated episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior, or angry verbal outbursts that are completely out of proportion to the activating situation.
Individuals with this disorder may attack others and their possessions, which can cause bodily injury and property damage. Other symptoms of IED may include road rage, domestic abuse, throwing or breaking objects, and temper tantrums. However, after the episode of explosive behavior has passed, people with this disorder will usually feel remorse, regret, or even embarrassment.
In spite of its serious nature, IED can be treated and controlled with proper medication and therapeutic treatment from a qualified hospital, center, or clinic, and Longleaf Hospital, located in Alexandria, Louisiana, is one such place. Here, a caring staff of mental health and medical professionals can help adolescents and adults to learn to control the aggressive behaviors associated with this disorder and reclaim control of their thoughts and actions.
IED can be dangerous to the affected individual and others around him or her, so it is critical to seek treatment for this condition as quickly as possible. Let Longleaf Hospital help you get your anger under control and set you on the path to peace and healing.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Living with someone who has IED can be very challenging as this condition can cause extreme disruption to the entire household. While you likely know it is important for your loved one to seek treatment, approaching him or her about the topic can be difficult, especially if they react with anger and aggression.
As you consider encouraging your loved one to access care for IED, please consider the following points:
- The first thing that you can do before talking to your loved one is to get as much education about intermittent explosive disorder as you can. Learning and gaining knowledge about IED can give you a better idea of what your loved one is going through. If needed, talk to a therapist who treats this disorder to get a better idea of the types of treatment available that can help your loved one.
- When you do approach your loved one about getting treatment, make sure that you don’t minimize their feelings or judge them in any way. While their behavior is disruptive, they are not doing it on purpose and often are not able to control their anger. Tell them how much you care, and assured him or her that you are only concerned and want what is best for his or her overall wellbeing.
- If your loved one does agree to seek treatment, be there to support him or her as best you can. Offer to make appointments, check in on a regular basis to see if there is anything you can do, and offer reassurance that getting professional help is a good choice.
Throughout this process, make sure that you are also taking care of yourself. Having someone you’re close to diagnosed with IED can be mentally and physically exhausting. While you may know that the person does not intend to hurt you or to act in this manner, it can still be hurtful and scary. Do the healthy activities that refresh and rejuvenate you, and join community groups that can offer you support and allow you to process your emotions in a safe space.
Why Consider Treatment at Longleaf Hospital
During an episode of intermittent explosive disorder, individuals may lash out at loved ones for no apparent reason, threaten to attack anyone who is nearby and may actually assault someone or damage someone’s possessions. Adolescents and adults with this disorder are unable to stop themselves from becoming violent and seem to have no control over their aggressive impulses. Untreated intermittent explosive disorder greatly impacts an individual’s life because it can prevent someone from obtaining employment, create a breakdown of personal relationships, can lead to expulsion from school, and in severe cases can lead to acts of extreme violence.
Fortunately, there are a number of treatments that can help individuals learn to control their behavior. An inpatient treatment program can help individuals with this disorder get the medication and therapy they need, while at the same time learning new life strategies that will help them better manage their anger. Individual therapy, group therapy, and family sessions can teach valuable coping strategies, anger management techniques, social skills, and appropriate behavioral interactions. Without proper treatment, the violence and anger associated with this disorder will only get worse.
Longleaf Hospital is committed to helping children, teens, and adults who are struggling with IED and other co-occurring mental health conditions get their lives back on track. Our treatment environment is designed to make all of our patients feel comfortable and safe as they work toward healing, and our staff is dedicated to providing the individualized services that will help you meet your goals for recovery.
Types of Treatment Offered at Longleaf Hospital
Located in Alexandria, LA, Longleaf Hospital is the area’s leading provider of individualized psychiatric care for children, adolescents, teens, and adults who are suffering from IED and a host of other conditions. Having recently completed a full upgrade of clinic facilities in 2015, Longleaf offers a tranquil setting in which to heal. Our hospital is set amongst a peaceful wooded area, but is easily accessible off of highway 28 near the Alexandria Coliseum.
At Longleaf Hospital, we seek to provide the highest level of psychiatric care while treating each child, adolescent, and adult. Our program’s mission is to support long-term success for patients both during treatment at this clinic and after they return home. This is accomplished through the work of our expert team of highly qualified mental health and medical staff who are committed to providing dignity in treatment and to empowering patients to lead healthy, productive lives.
Patients who come to Longleaf may be struggling with a wide variety of psychiatric concerns, and treatment for IED will consist of various supports that are tailored to address each patient’s unique strengths and challenges. For adult patients who are struggling with a co-occurring substance use disorder in addition to IED, Longleaf is pleased to provide comprehensive care to address chemical dependencies of many types, including addictions to alcohol, benzodiazepines, heroin, opioids, marijuana, PCP, methamphetamines, cocaine, hallucinogenic, synthetics, and more.
Options for treatment at our clinic span the continuum of care and include several options in order to provide the ideal treatment environment for every patient. We are also proud to offer specialized supports for active and retired military personnel and their dependents.
Upon admission, each patient is thoroughly assessed prior to beginning services at Longleaf, and a personalized plan of care is devised to encourage the most beneficial outcomes possible, no matter what level of care the patient is engaged in.
Short-term acute inpatient care is offered for children and adolescents ages 11-17 and adults ages 18 and above. In this setting, patients can receive a variety of supportive services designed to help them overcome symptoms of IED, including:
- Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)
- Rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT)
- Medically assisted, supervised detoxification programming
- 12-Step based services
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Medical services from nurse practitioners and doctors
In addition to the treatment modalities listed above, all children, adolescents, and adults who seek care at Longleaf will have access to the following therapies:
- Individual therapy: Master’s level social workers provide this one-on-one service to allow all patients to process issues from the past and present that have contributed to the onset of symptoms of IED. In this private, confidential setting, individuals can discuss the challenges and successes that arise in treatment, and make a plan for continued success after leaving Longleaf.
- Family therapy: Family therapy is offered twice weekly and is designed to engage a patient’s loved ones in his or her recovery journey, to heal damaged relationships, and to increase the functionality of the family unit.
- Medication management: If an individual’s symptoms can be effectively treated with prescription medications, our team can include medication management services into his or her personalized treatment plan. All medication decisions will involve the input and consent of the individual in treatment and/or his or her parents or guardians.
- Group therapy: All patients at Longleaf will have many opportunities to participate in group therapy. Offered daily, this intervention is used to help patients learn from each other, and to combat the sense of isolation that is common amongst those suffering from the symptoms of mental illness, including IED. Group discussions are varied but could include topics such as anger management, impulse control, coping skills, and discharge planning.
At Longleaf Hospital, we are proud to have a long history of providing superior service to active duty military members, veterans, and their families. Our military support efforts are led by our medical director, a retired Army colonel who works closely with all military members who heal at Longleaf. We do not have a specialized treatment track for military members, but we ensure that the unique issues and challenges that are experienced by members of the military community are addressed in each patient’s personalized treatment plan, and we place a premium on ensuring that all military-affiliated patients receive the customized care that will best prepare them for long-term success.
In addition to Longleaf Hospital’s acute inpatient care program, the partial hospitalization program (PHP) is another option for support that is available to adult patients age 18 and above. PHP at Longleaf, which typically spans a time period of 2 to 6 weeks, has been proven successful in addressing IED. This option is suitable for patients who require a high level of support, but who are able to return to their home environments in the evening.
Programming within this level of care is based on 12-Step ideology, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and motivational interviewing. Medication management is also available within PHP at Longleaf, and patients can meet with a psychiatrist twice per week while in this program. Individual, family and group therapies are also provided, as well as thorough discharge planning.
The least acute option for care for IED at Longleaf Hospital is the intensive outpatient program (IOP). This form of support can be used as a step-down level of care from other programs, or for adults age 18 and above who do not require a higher level of care. Typically lasting 8 to 12 weeks, IOP at Longleaf consists of medication management services and various time-tested therapeutic techniques designed to address symptoms of IED.
Learn More Today
The admissions staff at Longleaf is available to speak with referral sources and prospective patients and their families 24/7. Upon contacting Longleaf, a licensed intake counselor can provide an initial assessment, and answer any questions that you may have about healing at our hospital. The decision to seek care for IED may be a difficult one, but the compassionate professional team at Longleaf Hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana, is here to ensure that you find the very best support for yourself or a loved one.