If you have intermittent explosive disorder, prevention is likely beyond your control unless you get treatment from a professional. Combined with, or as part of, treatment, these suggestions may help you prevent some incidents from getting out of control:
Sept. 18, 2012
- Stick with your treatment. Attend your therapy sessions, practice your coping skills, and if your doctor has prescribed medication, be sure to take it.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Regular use of deep breathing, relaxing imagery or yoga may help you stay calm.
- Develop new ways of thinking (cognitive restructuring). Changing the way you think about a frustrating situation by using rational thoughts, reasonable expectations and logic may improve how you view and react to an event.
- Use problem-solving. Make a plan to find a way to solve a frustrating problem. Even if you can't fix it right away, it can refocus your energy.
- Learn ways to improve your communication. Listen to the message the other person is trying to share, and then think about your best response rather than saying the first thing that pops into your head.
- Change your environment. When possible, leave or avoid situations that upset you. Also, scheduling personal time may enable you to better handle an upcoming stressful or frustrating situation.
- Avoid mood-altering substances. Don't use alcohol or street drugs.
- Ebert MH, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Psychiatry. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3289149. Accessed Aug. 7, 2012.
- Nickerson A, et al. The relationship between childhood exposure to trauma and intermittent explosive disorder. Psychiatry Research. 2012;197:128.
- Intermittent explosive disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Aug. 7, 2012.
- Coccaro E. Intermittent explosive disorder in adults: Epidemiology, clinical features, assessment, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 7, 2012.
- Coccaro E. Intermittent explosive disorder in adults: Treatment and prognosis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 7, 2012.
- McCloskey MS, et al. Prevalence of suicidal and self-injurious behavior among subjects with intermittent explosive disorder. Psychiatry Research. 2008;158:248.
- Safety planning. National Domestic Violence Hotline. http://www.thehotline.org/get-help/safety-planning/. Accessed Aug. 7, 2012.
- Finding resources in your area. National Domestic Violence Hotline. http://www.thehotline.org/2012/07/finding-resources-in-your-area/. Accessed Aug. 7, 2012.
- Kung S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 23, 2012.
- Coccaro EF. Intermittent explosive disorder as a disorder of impulsive aggression for DSM-5. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2012;169:577.