Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

I've read this in the local rag and now I'm looking at the various article related to the road-rage disorder. What a huge steaming pile. The CNN article is closest to the AP report I originally read, but the linked BostonHerald article strikes me as more appropriate in color.
Great - one more thing to push you over the edge. You know that road-raging !@#$* who cut you off on the Pike this morning? It turns out his honking, tailgating, bird-flipping behavior is not his fault. He's "suffering" from a freshly minted mental condition: Intermittent Explosive Disorder.
Reports note that the docs in charge of this oh-so-helpful-to-the-rest-of-us diagnosis were funded by no less an esteemed organization than the National Institutes of Mental Health.

So you know it has to be true.
Here's a little something to remember the next time a hotheaded motorist pulls a nutty when he perceives some vehicular crime on your part. You're not the victim, he is. Think of that as he kicks in the side of your car, or dashes off to get a baseball bat. Poor thing.
It won't be long now before the IED community demands to be accommodated with designated parking spots ("If we can't be near the mall entrance, we can't be responsible for what happens") and, of course, highway lanes. Goodbye HOV, hello IED lane (motto: "Get out of my #$% way!"). I'd hate to be the cop patrolling that stretch of road. (Proof that you belong in the lane is in how you react when you're pulled over to show documentation of your IED status. If a picture says a thousand words, a tantrum speaks volumes.)
I love the "IED status" tag. Read the rest, it's quite humorous.

CNN's article gives this on the "disorder."

By definition, intermittent explosive disorder involves multiple outbursts that are way out of proportion to the situation. These angry outbursts often include threats or aggressive actions and property damage. The disorder typically first appears in adolescence; in the study, the average age of onset was 14.

The study was based on a national face-to-face survey of 9,282 U.S. adults who answered diagnostic questionnaires in 2001-03. It was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

About 5 percent to 7 percent of the nationally representative sample had had the disorder, which would equal up to 16 million Americans. That is higher than better-known mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Coccaro said.

Pardon me if I'm skeptical. I'd define this as more like the "spoiled-brat" syndrome. I'll bet that there are a certain number of people in the group that have a real problem. But I'm doubting that you can define 5-7% of the population as having a disorder and not be stretching the facts.

How did this study determine what was "out of proportion to the situation?" Sounds like an opinion thing to me.

And how far does the "situation" go chronologically? If I had a really crappy day, and I'm driving in really lousy traffic, and someone cuts me off, to which I reply with flipping them off, is that road rage/IED?

Sorry, I'm throwing the bullshit flag on this one.

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