There are 10 million men in the United States who are said to have an uncontrollable anger disorder called intermittent explosive disorder or IED. These men cannot control their tempers, and because of this, it can make them physically sick as well as socially threatening. Previously known to be a rare disorder, it is often said to be misdiagnosed as other mental problems. These men do not see psychiatrists because they cannot control their tempers in order for the treatment to be effective. What is especially alarming is the fact that about 10 percent of men display the symptom of IED while only 0.5 percent are diagnosed.

These men are more likely to damage property, threaten, and even injure other people. They are more likely to get divorced, have jobs inferior to their education, and have fewer friends. They are also at greater risks of having heart attacks and strokes. Those who have the disorder tend to blow up at least a few times a week, having arguments and temper tantrums. They do it to help relieve their stress, but, in the end it could kill them. There is a three-part test to help diagnose this uncontrollable rage. First, there must be a real threat present to justify the anger. Secondly, the level of anger has to be proportional to the threat. Finally, the actions taken against the threat helped to reduce it while doing the least amount of harm to oneself and others.

This disorder may be a combination of two causes, nature and society. Anger is a natural response to threat. The sensory regions of the brain triggers the autonomic nervous system’s fight or flight response to the threat. Those with IED have low serotonin levels which lead to disengaged frontal lobes, the analytical parts of the brain that match threats with an appropriate response. Those with IED can’t determine how far to go when faced with a threat. Instead of analyzing a person’s emotions, facial expressions, body language, vocal intonation, and other cues to help determine the threat, they see any hostility towards them as a great threat. This may cause them to take things too far and be unable to stop and let things lie.

Society can also be a cause for the disorder. One problem that aids in people’s heightened aggression is the idea of overpopulation. Today, about 80 people live in one square mile on average. In New York City, the number of people per square mile is a staggering 23,700 people. The closer people live to each other, the greater the opportunity to create conflict. Commuting times have also increased from 15 minutes to 26 minutes, a stressful part of anyone’s day. For those with IED, it is a daily opportunity to lose one’s cool.

While this problem affects so many men, about half the number of women are at risk as well. Luckily, drugs such as Prozac and other SSRI meds which have Serotonin uptake inhibitors an help keep one’s neurotransmitters circulated helping to curb one’s anger. This will prevent future illnesses, danger, and negative behavior in people who cannot help the way they are otherwise.

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