A. Recurrent outbursts that demonstrate an inability to control impulses, including either of the following:
B. Aggressive behavior is grossly disproportionate to the magnitude of the psychosocial stressors
C. The outbursts are not premeditated and serve no premeditated purpose
D. The outbursts cause distress or impairment of functioning, or lead to financial or legal consequences
E. The individual must be at least six years old
F. The recurrent outbursts cannot be explained by another mental disorder and are not the result of another medical disorder or substance use
**Note: This diagnosis can be made in addition to the diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, or autism spectrum disorder when recurrent impulsive aggressive outbursts are in excess of those usually seen in these disorders and warrant independent clinical attention
Intermittent explosive disorder is a set of symptoms where the individual explodes impulsively. The impulsivity of the explosive behavior is important, if the outbursts or aggressive behavior are planned out ahead of time, this diagnosis would not be correct.
Someone suffering from an explosive disorder has a short fuse and can explode in rageful, aggressive, and even physically violent behavior, multiple times per week up to multiple times per day.
A key factor for this diagnosis is someone who, even if they attempted to do so, could not control these impulsive outbursts.
Intermittent explosive disorder can have many causes and many times it is diagnoses alongside other diagnoses such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). An explosive disorder is common in children who have difficulty controlling their impulsive behavior which makes ADHD a likely partner for explosion disorders.
Possible psychological causes of intermittent explosive disorder include:
Intermittent explosive disorder treatment is primarily psychotherapy. For the best therapy treatment with children, a combination of individual therapy with the child, and family therapy with the child’s parents and environment should be included.
Treatment for adults should include individual psychotherapy combined with family therapy as necessary.