National Institute of Health
A little-known mental disorder marked by episodes of unwarranted anger is more common than previously thought, a study funded by the National Institutes ofSome may see this disorder as giving people an excuse to say, "It's not my fault, I have intermittent explosive disorder." However, since most people who exhibit this disorder regularly blame those around them, this would be progress.
Health's (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has found. Depending
upon how broadly it's defined, intermittent explosive disorder (IED) affects as
many as 7.3 percent of adults -- 11.5-16 million Americans -- in their lifetimes.
Having the problem categorized as a disorder should make thoughtful people pause before blurting out a question to the victim of this behavior asking what they did to set the other person off. (Victim blaming.)
The reason I hope naming this disorder reduces victim blaming is this quote from NIH
To be diagnosed with IED, an individual must have had three episodes of impulsive aggressiveness "grossly out of proportion to any precipitating psychosocial stressor," at any time in their life, according to the standard psychiatric diagnostic manual. The person must have "all of a sudden lost control and broke or smashed something worth more than a few dollars ... hit or tried to hurt someone ... or threatened to hit or hurt someone."If a response is not in proportion to the immediate stimulus and the outburst isn't an anomoly, then victim blaming must be thrown out as a possible explanation, whether the response is verbal abuse, physical abuse or rape.
Since a disorder is an internal disturbance in normal functioning, the blame for symptoms of the disorder are also internal to the person who harms others. Other people's actions which preceded the outburst are merely triggers for outbursts that are already bubbling just below the surface.
What may not be internal are the contributing factors that make someone a boiling cauldron. Theses contributing factors can persist long after the causes have been removed. An example of this suppresseda supressed feeling of powerlessness from childhood abuse that comes out in an adult as acts of domination.
The disconnect in causality (blaming victims rather than internal motivations) is why I would agree with using the term disorder. If the root cause is a feeling of powerlessness, then programs that only deal with anger may not be effective.
Since my preference is prevention maybe having this disorder named will help some people decide to get help before a court orders them to choose between jail and treatment.