Over the years I have gotten a lot of strange looks over KC’s behavior in public. This happens when he has a break down and becomes extremely angry over something small or feels that someone hurt him on purpose.
There have been whispers behind my back about this behavior. Whispers that I don’t discipline him enough and all he needs is a good swift kick in the butt (or spanking), that I need to get control over his behavior, be tougher stricter with him.
I will be honest, I have had those thoughts myself when it came to seeing parents in public and things happening with their children. Of course, this was all before I was blessed with KC. What’s that saying? Don’t judge a book by it’s cover or until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes you can’t really know what’s their going through. I think both of these are true. You don’t know what is going on just by what you see for the short 30 seconds to a minute as you walk by that uncontrollable child and the parent trying to get a grip on things. And you don’t know what really goes on behind the doors of their home.
So, for those who have stood by and judged me, due to my son’s breakdowns, you’re clueless of my life and what my child has been through, so stop assuming you know it all.
My son has a disorder called explosive disorder.
(Oh, here we go making excuses for his behavior. There’s no such thing as explosive disorder. Your making this one up. All you need to do is give him a good whooping.)
It’s more commonly known as Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED).
IED is a behavior disorder that is characterized by (yep you guessed it), explosive outburst that are violent and filled with extreme anger. They come out of nowhere as does little things, and it is a big time over reaction to everything.
KC was diagnosed with this in 4th grade by a psychologist. I didn’t really research about it when I was first informed of this. I went with what the psychologist said and got him in therapy and medication.
But as the years have gone by, I have done some research because I myself have wondered, is this for real? Does he really have this? Or are they just trying to sell me some kind of meds to just deal with the systems?
This is what I found out IED is an impulse control disorder and can cause the person to explode into anger over literally nothing. Their outbursts are extremely out of proportion to the event that has taken place and there is no thought to consequences. They feel relief after they have exploded like a release, they also have remorse or are embarrassed. Yep, I could see these traits in KC.
When I looked up the symptoms, I was amazed at what I found.
Physical aggressiveness – Yep
Verbal aggressiveness – Yep
Angry outburst (over nothing) – Yep
Physically attacking people or objects – Yep (more to the objects then people but he has attacked a person or two)
Damaging properly – Yep (he has had to pay for or repair a few walls)
Road rage – (he’s not old enough to drive though he has yelled at a few drivers on “my behalf”)
Headaches – He has had these
Muscle tension – Yep
Feeling pressure in the head – Yep
Low frustration / tolerance - Yep
Feeling a loss of control over thoughts -Yep
Racing thoughts – Yep
Feeling of rage – Yep
Uncontrollable irritability – Yep
Brief periods of emotional detachment – Yep
Feeling guilty or remorse after the episode – Yep
I also learned that they don’t diagnose this unless you have at least three of these types of episodes in a 12-month period. (KC was having one to two a week)
While looking into what caused it, I found out they aren’t real sure but that some of the contribution factors is being male ( well he is that), has been exposed to violence at and early age and explosive behavior inside the home (no neither of these) Having experience physical trauma. (Ding the concussion at 4). None of this was a factor until after his accident. They say it can start as early as 6 but mostly hit the teen years. We did start to see it at 6 about a year after the accident.
IED is real and living with someone who has it isn’t easy, because it also brings out other disorders like anxiety and depression. Which can be hard to deal with as well.
Through the next blogs I am going to share how this has affected our lives, how I personally have dealt with it (even sometimes didn’t deal with it). What I have learned and how we as a family are working with KC to help him overcome this disorder as he lives with it.