IED: One in 12 U.S. teenagers suffers from 'intermittent explosive disorder' says a new study from Harvard
One in 12 American adolescents is on such a short fuse that they could be suffering from IED - intermittent explosive disorder, psychologists have said.
The condition, which shares the same initials as 'improvised explosive device', is characterised by persistent and uncontrollable anger attacks.
A new study, based on a household survey of 10,148 young teenagers in the U.S., found that nearly two thirds had a history of anger attacks involving real or threatened violence.
It also found that one in 12 met strict criteria for a diagnosis of IED. Across the country, that would equate to almost six million individuals.
IED, recognised as an impulse control disorder, usually begins in late childhood and persists through the middle years of life.
To be diagnosed with IED, a person must at any time in life have had three episodes of 'grossly out of proportion' impulsive aggressiveness.
For the new study, published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry, a more stringent definition of IED was used which ruled out other mental disorders contributing to angry outbursts.
The research also indicated that IED was not being properly treated.
Although 37.8 per cent of teenagers with the disorder obtained treatment for emotional problems, only 6.5 per cent were specifically given help with anger management.
Lead researcher Professor Ronald Kessler, from Harvard Medical School, said: 'If we can detect IED early and intervene with effective treatment right away, we can prevent a substantial amount of future violence perpetration and associated psychopathology.'
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