If you go crazy at other drivers who cut you off in traffic – honking your horn, making rude gestures, or verbally assaulting them – you’re either a New York City Cab driver or you may have a bigger psychological problem than plain old road rage.
According to The Week Magazine, 16 million North Americans suffer from something called Intermittent Explosive Disorder – also known as IED. It’s basically an extreme case of road rage. People who suffer from it erupt into screaming outbursts that are way out of proportion to the situation - the outbursts are usually related to road rage, revenge, or a fight with their spouse. And people with severe forms of IED may end up assaulting other people or damaging personal property. In fact, one survey found that a person with IED has an average of 43 ‘explosive’ incidents, and will cost themselves over one thousand dollars in property damage over their lifetime as a result of their anger!
How can you tell if you or someone you know is suffering from IED? According to psychologists, a person with the disorder feels like their anger goes from zero to 100 in a matter of seconds over a situation that most people wouldn’t get upset over. The disorder typically first appears in adolescence - usually the average age of onset was 14, and a diagnosis usually requires three major episodes in which a person becomes more enraged over a situation than most people would in the same situation.
If this description fits you or someone you know, talk to your doctor about possible treatment solutions. It may be a mad, mad world. But that doesn’t mean you have to participate.