This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Read the latest issue online

CAMHS won't see you now

Intermittent explosive disorder: nonsense...or all too real?

From Dr Peter Hickman

Castle Douglas, Scotland

I applaud Phil Peverley's response (Columnists, 15 June) to reading about the new 'diagnosis' of intermittent explosive disorder (IED). The idea that antisocial behaviour should be labelled as an illness reflects a poverty of understanding of fallen human nature.

This kind of nonsense is not new. A few years ago I received a letter from a psychiatrist about a young man suffering from 'oppositional defiance disorder' (ODD). I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. No doubt in due course we will hear that 'patients' with IED have a higher incidence of ODD and/or ADHD in childhood.

Tony Blair promised to be 'tough on crime, and tough on the causes of crime'.

Unfortunately, he does not seem to know what the causes of crime are, and neither do the psychiatric 'experts' describing these so-called 'disorders'.

In my experience, in most cases the 'patient' suffers from 'discipline deficiency disorder' (DDD) and simply needs a good hard whack on the backside (when Big Brother is not watching).

• Name and address supplied

I am a GP, a single working mother. Please believe me: IED exists. I know because I lived with it for 10 years and as a victim of domestic abuse I feel no one cares or knows as long as there are no bruises.

When I heard about IED on the radio I nearly crashed the car – I have never heard my ex-husband described so well and so precisely.

The other point about IED that went largely unreported in the UK was that the research findings related it to

spousal abuse and domestic violence.

At last I feel I am believed, if only, according to Phil Peverley, by a US classification of 'nut job illnesses'.

Male aggression is too often accepted by society because it is deemed to be 'normal' if it emanates from, for example, city slickers (my ex-husband) or professionals, because:

• they wear suits

• their anger is unrelated to drug or alcohol abuse, and

• there are 'no bruises'.

In fact, I would categorise Phil Peverley's own response to the new research findings as a good example of 'rage unrelated to the supposed insult'.

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say