If you're concerned because you're having repeated emotional outbursts, talk with your primary care doctor or make an appointment with someone who specializes in treating emotional disorders, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker. Here's some information to help make the most of your appointment.
What you can do
Before your appointment, make a list of:
- Symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for the appointment
- Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes
- All medications, vitamins and other supplements that you're taking, including the doses
- Questions to ask your doctor
Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Why am I having these angry outbursts?
- Do I need any tests? Do these tests require any special preparation?
- Is this condition temporary or long lasting?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- Are there any side effects from treatment?
- Are there any alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- How long does therapy take to work?
- Do you have any printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Be ready to answer them so that you can focus on points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
Aug. 25, 2015
- How often do you have explosive episodes?
- What triggers your outbursts?
- Have you injured or verbally abused others?
- Have you damaged property when angry?
- Have you ever tried to hurt yourself?
- Have your outbursts negatively affected your family or work life?
- Does anything seem to make these episodes occur more often?
- Is there anything that helps calm you down?
- Has anyone else in your family ever been diagnosed with a mental illness?
- Have you ever had a head injury?
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- Coccaro EF. Intermittent explosive disorder. In: Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2014. http://psychiatryonline.org/doi/book/10.1176/appi.books.9781585625048. Accessed July 23, 2015.
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- Path to safety. The National Domestic Violence Hotline. http://www.thehotline.org/help/path-to-safety. Accessed July 23, 2015.
- Finding resources in your area. The National Domestic Violence Hotline. http://www.thehotline.org/2012/07/finding-resources-in-your-area/. Accessed July 23, 2015.
- Palmer BA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 27, 2015.
- Rohren CH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 17, 2015.