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Topic : 08/02 Explosive Anger and Its Aftermath

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Created on : Thursday, March 29, 2007, 12:45:35 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 04/06/07) Do you know a happy person who, if crossed, will explode in an instant with uncontrollable rage? Intermittent Explosive Disorder may explain why Dr. Phil's guests suddenly lose their temper, break things and even hurt other people. Carrie lives with constant uncertainty. She says her husband, Bob, can be totally calm one minute and be fist-fighting the next. He yells and curses at her, flips off other drivers and hit another man so hard it knocked his eye out; an act of violence that landed him in prison. Where does Bob's anger come from? After Dr. Phil shows Carrie and Bob a video of a previous guest, will Carrie decide to leave the anger prison she's been living in? Then, Traci says her 17-year-old daughter, Melinda, is tearing their family apart. In a matter of seconds, she can go from being a loving daughter and sibling, to throwing blenders and threatening her sister's life, for no apparent reason. Melinda says she's so full of anger that when she gets upset, she feels like she's going to explode. Do her mother and sister deserve the treatment they're getting, or is there something much deeper underlying Melinda's rage? Tell us what you think!

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August 8, 2007, 2:01 pm CDT

A little known condition, PMDD

Quote From: momma_bear1

The second story on this show is my sister in a nutshell! She is the most loving person you could find one minute and two minutes later she is screaming, cussing and slamming doors. As I was watching this show she is the first person that popped up in my head. It was amazing how much of a resemblance in attitude she and this girl have. It is very frustrating...especially when she is staying in my home.

My fiance has PMDD. Its basically PMS by the factor of 10-100. She is the most loving person and, I thought, quite insane. The monthly cycles were hell. Two weeks good-two weeks bad. This is not your garden variety PMS. The saddest part was that she didn't know/realize it for many years and would call the rest of us crazy and cruel. She finally saw something was very wrong. She tried Prozac first which helped a little, but not for long. Eventually she had to go on hormone therapy that placed her into menapause. We've been told by the fertility doctor that children are probably out of the question because she would need to detox from the hormone therapy for six-months prior to conceiving and stay off while pregnant. He believed this would be impossible, especially with the hormonal changes pregnancy causes. I am looking into natural hormone therapy for her, only so that she can get off the monthly shots.


Anyway, if you know a woman he goes INSANE monthly and can stay that way for weeks, you might want to talk about PMDD.


THIS IS NOT perimenapuase, she's been this way since her late teens.

August 11, 2007, 3:49 pm CDT

So proud of & thanks for sharing

Quote From: ohdang13

I am one of the many people in the world that sufer from ECD...explosive, compulsive disorder. My disorder started about the time that my hormones began to change.  At that time Dr.'s did not know there was a disorder like that. So I was just called a BAD kid.  There were no drugs when I was young to help control it and no counsiling was ever offered.


I was not actually diagnosised with ECD until about 10 years ago. I had been seeing a Pych Dr. for a while before that and was told I had everything from depression to PTSD. I was placed on one drug after another hoping something would stop the rage.  It even got to the point where I was put on Lithium and Thorizine. Needless to say, neither of those worked at all. 


But about 10 years ago a Dr. finally figured out what my problem was and found a med that works for me. I now take Paxil everyday. I have also done years of therapy to learn ways of controlling the outbursts before they occur.


This disorder I feel is one of the harder to understand and sympathize with. I mean lets face it, No one can really feel bad with a foul tempered person.  But speaking from experiance, ECD is just as bad as OCD...which I also sufer from.  


People with ECD do not want to feel angry all the time. It is a misserable life.  And people who sufer with this really do want to find a way to get past this and live a happy life.  I look back on my life before the meds and counsiling and feel ashamed of things I have done out of anger to complete strangers.  


For anyone who has this disorder I strongly urge you to get help!  I know without meds and counsiling you can never get this under control.  Believe me, I tried to do the self-medication thing and it does not work. Seek professional help now and stick with it.  There is no cure for ECD, but there are ways to control and manage it.



I have a teenage grandson I am raising & he is going through similar problems-he has a very ill  & bipolar mom. He was always an easy kid BUT the past 3 years this has errupted after some counseling & meds now.  It seemed his past life effected him more than I thought!


You offer GREAT advice & I will show him ,as he heard about Dr Phils show on this.

He has harmed himself by punching hard objects & it comes on so quickly. & it scares him!


His counselor told me to get the book "The Explosive Child"{Amazon} & it is very helpful.

It is hard to watch him tortured by this too.


You are to be commended for pursuing & hanging in there through this rough spell & I am so pleased for you. God Bless & keep up the good work!

August 11, 2007, 4:00 pm CDT

Hope is There-Hang In

Quote From: feser4

I've never watched a show before and felt so connected.  My 9 year old daughter has started having episodes of rage recently.  She can be playing with her sister and something is said or done and she is instantly screaming and even throwing punches.  I feel like I have failed her as a mother.  She has even started hurting herself, pulling her own hair, banging her head on furniture, and hitting her stomach.  I have tried talking with her but she just screams at me that I just don't understand or that I hate her.  She will also say that her sister is driving her crazy and she wants to hurt her so she'll leave her alone.  She's just so out of control that I don't know what to do. She can be so loving and cuddly with all of us one minute and the next she's a totally different child.  I get very frustrated.  I have a temper but have learned how to control it.  I don't claim to be a perfect parent by any means and my children are not abused.  They have almost anything they could ever want.  When she was 7 months old she was diagnosed with achondroplastic dwarfism.  She has had minimal medical problems associated with this.  She claims she has never had a problem with teasing.  We don't treat her any differently than we treat our other child.  I am at a loss here.


Any ideas or help is appreciated.


Hi I can feel for you-as I am bringing up a child that has a similar Anger disorder. His doctor told me to read "The Explosive Child" book & I got it on Amazon .

This shows you how the usual punishment given to "normal" children when they act out does not work & ADDS to the Problem!


The child is my grandchild & what I used with my own children did not make a dent in this one!

The doctor has a son that has some of this & he said it has helped him too.


May you seek help & counseling for her & I know I have shared this book with many & it helped!Good Luck-things will get better BUT do seek outside help.

You deserve it!

August 12, 2007, 8:02 am CDT


Several months ago I wrote to Dr. Phil regarding my grandson who suffers from IED.  He is now 18 yrs old and has once again been taken out of the house by the police.  He needs professional help so badly.  Everything is escalating.  I was told he attacked his step-father this last time and had to be pulled off of him by a neighbour.  This had to do with the usual $20. he is always asking his mother for.  My daughter is an enabler, I'm afraid.  When these episodes occur, the following day she is talking to him on the phone and running him to job interviews (if he gets the job he is usually fired a week or so later).  She has a job and has to take time off to cater to him or he threatens to destroy their home or to hurt someone.  She is so afraid he will think she does not love him.  She has taken him to several doctors, and counsellors.  It seems she thinks he will be 'cured' within a matter of one or two sessions, which evidently my grandson believes also.  He knows he has a problem, but I think he is using his problem to make his mother feel guilty for not curing him.  I think he blames her for his problems.  His mother and father were divorced when he was a baby and they have never been friendly since.  They both speak ill of each other in front of the children. 


My daughter needs counselling as well so that she is not feeling guilty all the time and enabling my grandson's behaviour.  I believed he was on drugs at one point (but he was tested and was negative for drugs) and I know that he smokes pot - I'm sure that is why he is always asking for $20. 


Can he get help?  Where should he go for the help? The dr's he has gone to don't seem to know anything about IED.  The family needs to be happy with each other.  Not on edge all the time.  I don't know where else to go.

August 22, 2007, 12:38 pm CDT


I feel I have an anger management problem. However; it doesn't come out all the time. It happens to be a rare incident. I keep things bottled up inside for soooo long, then something someone says or does triggers it. I have never harmed another person or myself. I am one who has road rage and throws papers at work (I am alone with both instances) I don't show my anger to anyone; I wait until I am alone. I just recently told my Mom and Dad about it. (I live with my Mom, and visit my Dad on the occasion.. they have been divorced for 20 years- basically since I was 7) One suggested going to a therapist, and the other suggested going to an anger management group (something like AA or NA but for anger) I've tried looking into the anger management group thing, but haven't had any luck. Does anyone know of such a thing? I am looking for a free group to attend; as I mentioned about similar to AA or NA- (In Southern California) If anyone has any ideas please let me know. I would really like to get ahold of this problem. I am 27 not married yet, but hope to be someday. As well as have kids. I would hate to keep this problem with me along that road. Reading others comments and discussions has helped me a bit. I am going to research some of the disorders mentioned. Perhaps I have one of them. Thanks!

August 22, 2007, 2:36 pm CDT

intermittent explosive disorder

I have a twenty four year old daughter who has been exhibiting this behavior since she was fourteen. She has physically hit me, calls me bitches, destroys things in my home. I'm the only one that she does these things to. I have actually gone to jail when she was seventeen trying to protect myself. It's worse now because now she has two little girls of her own and she is now doing this to people on the street. I'm afraid that she is going to come across the wrong person and be seriously hurt or maybe even killed.
September 22, 2007, 4:39 pm CDT

so...what do we do??

Quote From: kwlazice

I have a daughter whom is forever anry when is suits her the most. She has 2 children ages 4 and 2 months. I went to my dad's just before he died. She expected me to drive 12 hours with her and 2 kids inthe back. I chose to fly and be with my mom and my other siblings. With that being said, I am now selfish, cruel and ignorant, and an outright B**** . I(we) my husband and myself felt I needed to be there as soon as possible, he was given 4 days left, he died 2 days after I got there. When things do not go her way, she uses her children against us. We are right now not allowed to see them and probably this time, she is going to stick to it.

I try to make dessions best for me. My children range from 17 to 25. My other children understand but when given the word NO to her, the fangs come out and the words of hate come out. She uses the past and throws in my face, yet the dessions she made as a teen were her choices and her's alone. Why must people use children to get things in life. I was a single mom and know how prescious mom's are. I thank my mom all the time.


I am so worried about my daughter as well!!  She goes for weeks and months not speaking to my husband or myself or her depends on who has ticked her off.  I feel as though she tries to make things difficult so that we look as though we are not treating her properly or with the "worship" she expects.  I feel terrible to have to say things about her that are so uncomplimentary but we are at a loss...She is over 18 and we have no control whatsoever ....we can't force her to get help or to come home so that we can get her help.  I am sure this is a disorder.  When she wants her way, she will throw one of us "under the bus" to get her way with the other one of us.  She seems to create her own versions of what happens that makes her stop speaking to us.   When she does decide to talk, she gets very frustrated if we even try to insert a word while she talks..suddenly there will be a break in her talking ...we interject and she screams "there you go again..I'm not finished never let me finish" and storms off...then we dont hear from her for weeks.  I feel like she wants us to squirm and try to get her back to us.  We have had it with this behavior and are worried that since there must be something wrong with her, she will have and become a problem that will last thru her adult life.  So...what do we do...HELP!!!!
June 28, 2008, 3:53 pm CDT

I wouldlike to know more

Quote From: carrie_s

I've seen so many posts about how to tackle these anger issues that I want to share my experience with the PNP center and hopefully you can find similar help with a little direction.  When Bob went to the center, he was evaluated on many different levels: he had extensive testing for metal toxicity or chemical issues, which turned out to be normal.  He was introduced to biofeedback and breathing strategies while connected to monitors so he could actually see that there were physical responses related to his anger/anxiety and that he could take some control over it by regulating his body's responses (i.e. breathing exercises to relax).  He has received counseling to understand the source and characteristics of his anger issues.  And the most remarkable experience was when his brain waves were monitored to identify any abnormalities.  As it turns out, he basically has one very strong brainwave (the one connected to the fight-or-flight response) that is out of whack and tends to overpower his brain's response to stimuli.  With the use of an audio device designed by Dr. Lawliss and adjusted specifically to Bob's needs, he is better able to maintain more normal emotional responses.  And there are no medications involved whatsoever.  I know that the treatment at the PNP center can be costly, but I think the key is finding a doctor or doctors that will assess the problem from a physical AND psychological perspective simultaneously.  We had never found success with either one or the other, and Bob experienced his fair share of disorder labels, medications, counseling, etc.  We were so relieved to find the help offered by the PNP center, and I hope those of you looking to turn things around keep up the hard work it takes to find and utilize the help you need.
Hi, i am a 27 year women that is interetested in goingto the PNP clinic. I would like for us to have a discussion about this at later date , just not up for talk ing right now. I just joined this webs site so i'm still learning. Windering if you gotto takl to rank Lawlis himself. I did'nt know how i could find this topic again thats why i messaged you today.
August 22, 2008, 12:45 pm CDT

I understand

Quote From: deanna1954

My mother has this problem.  She has always had a terrible temper, but this last year, she has become uncontrollable.  She screams and swears and says such horrible things.  My brothers and I have stopped all communications with her.  When she does contact one of my brothers, it is to scream and carry on.  She says everyone has driven her to be this way, and this is her right.  She blames everyone else for her problems, and says she wishes she had never had children.  Well, her children are ages 52, 48, and 42.  We have tried everything we can think of besides committing her and are at our wits end.  It has been almost 12 months since I have had any contact with her, and I am so thankful, as she is so toxic to me that I finally had to stand my ground.  I am hoping to one day to know maybe she can be better and at least be civil to family.  Our family has had alot of tragedies, and she has driven all the rest of the family away. No one will take her calls anymore, because she has abused every family member.  What a travesty!!  I guess I don't  understand how someone can be so angry all the time at SO many people.  So sad. 

I understand what you are going through has the child and also your mother I too have only been recently diagonosed but living in britian they just give you tablets and leave you and dont chcek that the drugs are working.

I feel it for you also but i am lucky in a sense i realised I had a problem when my child was still young and have started to get help through that I can see that its through keeping my thoughts and emtions locked in when I should say at the time how it feels this then stores up and I explode it could be to the person thats made me feel this way or it could be my nearest and dearest.

I have told my child on numerous occasions that im sorry but other family members dont understand my mum thank the lord has allways stood by me and my sister she wont contact me till i calm down.

recently the attacks have been getting worse where ive been arrestead for assault on a security guard he put his had up and at the time i thought i was defending myself because he was going to hit me.  People giving me funny looks that sets me offf and when i phone somewhere and they put me through to the wrong department that sets me off also

I swear like im having a touretts fit and cant stop myself

please see with your mum please she needs you to understand research more onthe internet and see if there are any support groups has thats what im trying to do now myself  but please do not shut her dowm compleatly when she has one of these episodes cut of the phone or walk out  she will call you to apologise and even if she dosnt apologise its because after the attack she remember vauguly what she said and cannot beleive she would say these thing to the people she loves

good luck and keep in touch

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