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Mental Health Center

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Study: Millions May Have Rage Disorder

Up to 16 Million U.S. Adults May Have Ever Had 'Intermittent Explosive Disorder'

Rage Results continued...

Fewer of those surveyed -- between 2.7% and 3.9% -- had had intermittent explosive disorder in the previous year. Those figures represent 5.9 million to 8.5 million cases in a year’s time, note Kessler and colleagues.

The disorder typically started when sufferers were about 14 years old, according to the recollections of survey participants, who were all at least 18 at the time of the survey.

Researchers found “modest” patterns for other social and economic factors. Intermittent explosive disorder was relatively rare in people aged 60 and older. It was more common among men, young adults, workers with low incomes and low educations, and married people who weren’t homemakers.

Intermittent explosive disorder “is very widely distributed in the population rather than being concentrated in any one segment of society,” the researchers write.

Rage Rarely Treated?

Most people with the rage disorder -- about 60% -- eventually got professional treatment for emotional or substance abuse problems, the study shows.

That finding may mean that intermittent explosive disorder eventually leads to other mental illnesses or substance abuse.

The survey also shows that fewer than three in 10 participants with intermittent explosive disorder had ever received treatment for their anger, the researchers note.

Intermittent explosive disorder may be a “promising target for early detection, outreach, and treatment,” write Kessler and colleagues. They add that, given the condition’s early start, “early detection might well be an important addition to ongoing school-based violence prevention programs.”

The journal notes that the study was funded in part by the drug companies Eli Lilly and Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc.

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