The Mind Is a Terrible Thing

So, I’m watching the news last night. Yes, I managed to stay awake long enough. I don’t know why I bother.

On comes a story about IED — intermittent explosive disorder. Road Rage. The latest rage it seems, pun intended. It affects 16 million Americans a year! More common than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder! The chairman of psychiatry at the University of Chicago’s medical school claims that there is a “biology and cognitive science to this”. Sounds like a ca-ching to me.

“The symptoms?” you ask. Multiple outbursts that are way out of proportion to the situation. Outbursts often include threats or aggressive actions and property damage. The average age of onset was 14.

“The study?” you ask. A national face-to-face survey, in 2001-03, of 9,282 U.S. adults who answered diagnostic questionnaires . It was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

“The cause?” you ask. Inadequate production or functioning of serotonin, that mood-regulating and behavior-inhibiting brain chemical.

“The treatment?” you ask. Antidepressants, including those that target serotonin receptors in the brain, along with behavior therapy similar to anger management.

“Any other surprising facts?” you ask. Most sufferers in the study had other emotional disorders or drug or alcohol problems. Average number of lifetime attacks per person was 43, resulting in $1,359 in property damage per person.

My conclusion? Welcome to the world of hormones. EAT MORE CHOCOLATE.

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