Is Road Rage a Form of Intermittent Explosive Disorder That Can Be Diagnosed?

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Almost every person has experienced frustration while trying to navigate through traffic to make it to work on time or to catch that important flight to kick off a well-deserved vacation. However, some drivers may escalate their frustrations on the road to a level that is potentially dangerous for any motorist or pedestrian in their path. This behavior can result in a serious car accident because an angry driver could not control their emotions or actions. If you or a family member was injured in a road rage accident, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia road rage accident lawyer today. The Reiff Law Firm can help you hold a rage-filled driver accountable for their causing a serious car accident. Our firm is here to explain whether road rage is an intermittent explosive disorder that can be diagnosed.

What is Intermittent Explosive Disorder?

Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is a condition that occurs when a person exhibits unpredictable bouts of aggressive, violent, or rage-induced verbal statements. If a person has a habit of reacting to a stressful situation in a grossly disproportionate manner, they may be suffering from IED.

There are various studies that suggest that road rage is a sign of IED. This is likely because road rage and IED share many of the same signs and symptoms:

  • Chest tightness and increased energy
  • Racing thoughts
  • Irritability and rage
  • Temper tantrums
  • Arguing or shouting
  • Breaking property or punching objects
  • Threatening a person or causing physical harm to a person

After an IED episode, the aggressor may immediately experience feelings of relief. However, the aggressor may later experience guilt or embarrassment. If you believe that you are suffering from IED, you should seek medical attention to understand your treatment options for this condition.

To learn more about what causes IED, you should continue reading and consider consulting with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer.

Risk Factors and Causes of IED

There are multiple risk factors and causes of IED that may explain why a person may suddenly erupt into a dangerous temper tantrum. One risk factor that may increase the likelihood of developing IED if a history of physical abuse. Many individuals who experience childhood abuse or who have a history of traumatic experiences are more prone to suffer from IED later on in their life. Additionally, mental health disorders like antisocial personality disorder or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may play a role in a person developing IED.

A history of abuse or mental illness are not the only issues that should be considered when determining if a person’s road rage is a result of IED. According to a study conducted by the University of Chicago, IED may be the result of a parasite that may affect the brain. This parasite is known as the toxoplasma gondii, and it is often transmitted through eating undercooked meat or consuming contaminated water. It is believed that this parasite is responsible for altering neurological mechanisms in the brain.

It is also possible to be infected with this parasite if you make contact with your mouth immediately after cleaning out cat litter. Unfortunately, a cure for this parasite has not yet been developed.  However, this disorder is still being investigated so don’t start blaming our feline friends for that aggressive driver that cut you off on your morning commute to work.

There are multiple methods for alleviating the symptoms of road rage. Some doctors suggest attending therapy sessions that teach relaxation techniques. This can help an angry driver evaluate a proportionate response to unpredictable events on the road. Additionally, it would be wise to avoid alcohol, drugs, and other substances that can have an effect on a person’s mood.

As mentioned, road rage has many of the same symptoms of intermittent explosive disorder. While studies are still being conducted, it is reasonable to believe that road rage is a derivative of IED. This condition can affect a person for several years and could impact various interactions on the roads. If you perceive that a driver in your vicinity is experiencing road rage, you should keep your distance from that person. An erratic action from that person can result in a serious accident that could leave you with long-term or permanent injuries.

Our Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys are Ready to Work with You

If a rage-filled motorist hurt you or a family member, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney today. The accident attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm have a wealth of experience litigating personal injury cases for residents of Pennsylvania, and we would be proud to represent you. You do not have to deal with the consequences of a serious accident alone, contact the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000.

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