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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 2, 2007, 8:15 pm CDT

08/02 Explosive Anger and Its Aftermath

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.


August 2, 2007, 9:14 pm CDT

Melinda on the show

I believe this girl Melinda is bi-polar.  My dad was diagnosed with it 13 years ago.  I grew up with a father who could be the greatest most likable person, and the next go into rages.  Almost as if he was posessed. It  was hell  growing up at times.  Not  not knowing what it was.  If you parent  is an alcholic you can say that what he suffers from, but try to explain it to your friends when he alienated them because of his outbursts!  It was a relief when we found a name for it, and he had medicine, I just wish he had gone to a professional councelor!  Alison
August 2, 2007, 10:38 pm CDT

08/02 Explosive Anger and Its Aftermath was a bit scary to watch what happens to me...on tv...and it happens for no reason.  Like a bomb exploding in my head.  Usually I can contain it with cutting...but at times, that doesn't work.  Sort of a relief to see that I am not alone...sorta. 
August 3, 2007, 3:33 am CDT

08/02 Explosive Anger and Its Aftermath

Quote From: pearly72

  I feel like the show was done on my life. Everything these people said was out of my own life. I coudn't believe I'm not the only one, & I'm not really going crazy(yet). I know it's not normal but at least I'm not alone.
August 3, 2007, 4:19 am CDT

Thank you for the update.

Quote From: carrie_s

And that is the difference between typical emotions and true disorders.  I am Carrie from the show.  Having witnessed Bob's struggles for so long, I can attest to the fact that this was behavior over which he did not have control no matter how badly he wanted to.  The guilt and frustration further compounded the issue.  Thankfully, I can report that things are better now.  It has taken a lot of focus and help from the PNP center for Bob to confront and change his ways.  Life is not perfect, but we are grateful that there are people out there who recognized, related to, and assisted with his turnaround.
I am so happy for you and Bob. Thank you for coming on the show. I think that ya'll probably helped a lot more people out there than you will ever know.
August 3, 2007, 4:40 am CDT

I SO agree with you.

Quote From: flthomcat

Almost two dacades ago ADD (and later ADHD) became the CATCH ALL for those who had behavioral problems. Every kid who was raised poorly and who wouldn't sit still in class found a doctor someplace to label him/her with ADD or ADHD.


In reality (as Dr. Phil once pointed out), these disorders MUST be labeled only AFTER a brain scan. As a middle school and high school teacher back when ADD and ADHD were "popular" and "over-prescribed," I have to wonder if this new "interm. anger syndrome" will not be a catch all (aka "an excuse") for those who are unhappy and/or immature and/or unable and/or unwilling to control their bad behavior.


I would guess that VERY FEW (percentage wise) of angry, misbehaving Americans actually have this syndrome. However, like ADD and ADHD, it will be liberally applied to provide an excuse to people who refuse to accept responsiblity and make positive changes in their lives (and personalities). Like ADD and ADHD It will take YEARS before doctors start applying the syndrome accurately and only after FULL testing.


I have worked VERY HARD over the last few decades to keep my anger problem in check. I can thank my father for my temper (he was emotionally abusive and a very angry person). It would have been easy to go on with life and NOT admit that only I can change my personality. For the sake of my husband and my children, I have done so. I wonder how many people have my former anger problem and who will grab onto this new syndrome INSTEAD of accepting responsbility and working to change themselves for the better. The syndrome may be REAL, but it is most probably limited to a TINY percentage of people with anger problems!

When my son was in 5th grade, his teacher told me she thought that he had ADD and that he ought to be on medicine. Honestly, he didn't behave any differently than the other kids in the class. They were ALL pretty active and didn't always sit perfectly still in thier desks. I was a SAHM and fairly active in daily school activities. So I was present in the classroom a lot. Well, I DID tell the pediatrician what she had told me. He said,"Of COURSE she thinks he needs medicine! A lot of teachers out there would like to have ALL of thier students on medication if possible! He doesn't have ADD, if he did he wouldn't be able to sit there in that chair as still as he is." He told me that in his years of practice, it had become commonplace for normal kids to be diagnosed with ADD and be put on medication. He felt that it happened way too often. He said that there were definitely a small percentage of children with behavioral problems who DO need help. But not nearly as many as it seems. He felt that a large number of children had been misdiagnosed and medicated when there was no REAL problem to begin with. I think maybe that his teacher told ME what she did because I was there a lot and maybe she thought she would have one less active 11 year old in her class. You know kids are kids and at that age they are definitely a handful. It saddens me that it's possible that scores of children have been misdiagnosed and medicated unnecessarily. I am so grateful that I spoke to a Dr. who was not quik to jump on that particular bandwagon.
August 3, 2007, 7:14 am CDT

how can I get help

I thought I was the only one who had a husband like this.  I am disabled in a wheelchair and he abuses me mentally and wont help me out of the house in over a year now.  I stay in my room alot to keep from setting him off.  Maybe seeing that there are others out there like me can help me keep my sanity. 
August 3, 2007, 8:30 am CDT

my daughter

Our family is on the other side of this type of relationship.  We raised our daughter in a Christian environment, with reasonable restrictions.  Before she went into high school, she was a sweet loving accepting person that would do anything for anyone.  After she met Prince Charming, she became difficult at best to get along with.  He had an incrdible amount of control over her because his anger would frighten her into compliance.  When he wasn't angry, he was charming.  He understood exactly how to manipulate her into thinking all the turmoil in their lives was either her fault or ours.  The fact that he was cutting himself and ending up in mental institutions fell to the fault of his father.  My daughter, after being thrown through doors, having fists slammed into lockers above her head and keeping her 90 pounds of weight down in order to have him be able to scan her waist with his hands, (for examples) is out of the relationship, but she is scared.  The awesome part of all this is that our relationship with her is on the mend and we are becoming friends.  I am forever thankful she is out and pray that she has the skills to recognize the problems as she develops relationships in her future.
August 3, 2007, 12:59 pm CDT

i understand

Quote From: seonawagner

I am only 18 years of age, but am very angry and can blow just like that. I have had years of couseling, nothing has helped...I'm always afraid that people around me are going to leave me once i have an episode... I have no clue of what I am so angry about and wish to have someone to relate this too... it's hard for people to udnerstand...My boyfriend has been there and I appreciate it...But my family has all gone away.... I just want someone to talk to who understands and who can help... This show has helped to open my eyes a little more and see what I;m doing to my family... Its time to make some changes...Thanks

i really understand where you are coming from...hun i am hoping that i can talk to you about this because i have no on that understands me and from what it sounds like you and i have alot in common...i mean i had to lose all my family to understand i even had a problem and now i trying really hard to fix things but its difficult because my anger is uncontrollable....I'm scared that if i don't change my boyfriend is going to leave me...its been over a year that we have been together and he started seeing this side of me after only two months...its difficult to explain to people how i am...I'm not trying to be mean i really am a good person but once i explode there's no going back and the things that i say really are the most hurtful things....anyways i really do wanna talk to you and see if maybe you could help me...cause until i saw the show yesterday i felt like the only one in the world with an issue....



August 3, 2007, 1:06 pm CDT

08/02 Explosive Anger and Its Aftermath

Quote From: seonawagner

I am only 18 years of age, but am very angry and can blow just like that. I have had years of couseling, nothing has helped...I'm always afraid that people around me are going to leave me once i have an episode... I have no clue of what I am so angry about and wish to have someone to relate this too... it's hard for people to udnerstand...My boyfriend has been there and I appreciate it...But my family has all gone away.... I just want someone to talk to who understands and who can help... This show has helped to open my eyes a little more and see what I;m doing to my family... Its time to make some changes...Thanks
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