Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is a mental health disorder in which an individual engages in recurrent incidents of violent and aggressive behavior out of proportion to the situation. Men and women with this disorder may lash out and attack others, causing bodily harm or property damage. Following an explosive episode, a person may experience feelings of guilt, embarrassment, and regret about their actions.
At Pacific Grove Hospital we understand that right now you may be holding on to a great deal of anger and are, at times, unable to control your temper. We understand that you are suffering a great deal of shame and guilt as a result of engaging in inappropriate behaviors that may have hurt those closest to you. Intermittent explosive disorder can be treated and the staff at Pacific Grove is ready to show you the way.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
As many people lose their temper from time to time, it can be hard to determine if your loved one is struggling with intermittent explosive disorder. Here are some symptoms that may indicate your loved one may have a problem:
- Inability to control anger
- Attacks of rage
- Overacts to situations
- Has previously assaulted someone or destroyed property
Living with someone who has IED can be very challenging and very disruptive to the entire household. If you recognize some of the above symptoms in your loved one, you should consider speaking to them about getting help. While speaking to them about their disorder may seem difficult, it’s important to remember that if IED is not properly addressed, it can only get worse. Here are some things to keep in mind when having a conversation with your loved one:
- Educate yourself about this disorder
- Don’t minimize their feelings or judge them
- Assure them how much you care about them
- Offer unconditional support
- Go to appointments with them
- Research treatment facilities with them
In addition to helping your loved one, it is important to 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 they don’t mean to act in this manner it can still be hurtful and scary. Join community groups that can offer you support and allow you to process your emotions.
Why Consider Treatment at Pacific Grove
There are many problems that are associated with intermittent explosive disorder and if left untreated these problems may only get worse. Intermittent explosive disorder can cause serious relationship difficulties, which may end in separation or divorce. Due to their temper, an individual may get fired from work or expelled from school. They may find themselves facing a number of legal problems due to destroyed property, physical assault, or motor vehicle accidents. Finally, their inability to control their behaviors may cause depression or anxiety, making the situation more complicated.
An effective inpatient treatment program can help those struggling with intermittent explosive disorder learn to better control their disorder, reduce the amount of anger and attacks, and improve their overall quality of life. An inpatient treatment program can give an individual the medication and psychotherapy they need to successfully recover. Additionally, most programs provide family therapy that can help bring estranged family members back together.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Pacific Grove Hospital, we empower our clients by explaining the entire treatment process and making sure they understand what is going on every step of the way. This allows them to be active members of their recovery. The focus across all of our programs is on treating the whole person, which helps to ensure that we are treating more than just the presenting symptoms. We believe that through this approach our clients are better equipped to handle all aspects of their recovery and are in a better position to be successful in rebuilding their lives. Finally, we explain the entire treatment process with the patient’s family, fully integrating them into the recovery plan.
Types of Treatment Offered at Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove is a full service hospital designed to make your stay with us a transformative experience. Our dedicated staff provides you with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to create a healthier, more fulfilling life. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by one of our front office personal who will be able to answer any questions you may have and address any pre-admission concerns. Our highly trained clinicians will assess your current needs in a safe, non-judgmental environment so that we can determine the most appropriate level of care. The results of your assessment will be used to help your treatment team develop a plan of care for your stay.
Through years of experience we have learned that a combination of medication and behavioral therapy is the best approach to help individuals overcome their intermittent explosive disorder. Some therapies may include:
Medication management: Medication for intermittent explosive disorder may include some type of antidepressant, mood stabilizers, and anticonvulsants. All of these medications are used to help control some of the presenting symptoms and reduce the number of explosive outbursts. Each patient is seen by a psychiatrist once a day and medication is adjusted if needed.
Individual therapy: Individual sessions can help someone with IED understand and better control their thoughts and behaviors. Sometimes individual therapy can discover underlying feelings and the reasons behind the anger. Through a technique called cognitive-behavioral therapy, you’ll be taught to focus on conscious thought patterns and behaviors, helping you recognize the onset of the urge to explode. By identifying these triggers, you can develop ways to prevent the explosive behaviors from occurring.
Group therapy: Group sessions focusing on anger management and relaxation techniques can be effective for helping you learn to keep your anger in check. At Pacific Grove, different groups are held multiple times a day and cover a wide range of topics. Through group sessions, you will have the opportunity to connect with other individuals facing similar struggles.
Family therapy: Family therapy is held once a week on Sundays and allows family members to take a more active approach in the treatment process of their loved one, while processing their own emotions. Family members will learn more about IED, the recovery process, and how they can best support their loved one. In addition to family therapy, we offer regular visitation time.
As our treatment approach is centered on treating the whole person, we offer a number of experiential programs to best help you heal. Some of these programs include:
- Recreational therapist
- Expressive therapy
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
Discharge planning begins the moment you begin your stay with us. We make sure that your continuing care plan is ready to be enacted the minute you walk out our doors. When discharge time comes, you will meet with a therapist to ensure that you are properly connected to helpful resources in the community so that you are able to smoothly transition to your next level of care. We will help to set you up with stable housing and can help you secure a place of employment.
At Pacific Grove Hospital, we offer two step-down options for patients that have completed our inpatient program. Our partial hospitalization program (PHP) is held Monday through Friday from 8AM until 3PM and includes individual, group, and family therapy as well as educational information. People in this program are able to receive treatment during the day and return home in the evening – allowing a slow integration back into their lives. Additionally, we have an intensive outpatient program (IOP) which is similar to our PHP, but is held three days a week. Finally, some clients feel they have made enough progress in our inpatient program that they are ready to return home with referrals for traditional outpatient therapy.