Honey, The Kids Have Anger Sickness

According to Harvard researchers 8 % of teenagers are “sick” with anger.

The blog entry at canada.com bears the heading, The age of rage: psychiatrists battle over teen anger diagnosis.

Harvard Medical School researchers, in a study based on in-person interviews with more than 10,000 adolescents ages 13 to 17, found that about eight per cent met the criteria for intermittent explosive disorder, or IED.

No. You are not super gullible if you believe this to be true. It’s true.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — psychiatry’s official catalogue of mental illness, now undergoing its first major revision in nearly two decades — IED’s central feature is impulsive aggression grossly out of proportion to the situation. People lose control, break or smash things and attack or threaten to hurt someone.

In other words, they go through their terrible twos or their teenage years.

This post didn’t speculate on the number of teenagers who might have oppositional defiant disorder, or conduct disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or even I’m hotter than you disorder. You know teens. It’s all about attitude.

But there isn’t agreement on just how many “episodes” or outbursts of aggression are necessary for a diagnosis of IED. As well, some have proposed broadening the criteria to include outbursts that don’t involve threatened or actual violence, but do involve verbal aggression — insults or arguments “out of proportion to provocation.”

We will deal with the bruiser verb at another time if we ever deal with it.

I think the moral of this tale can safely be said to be, “Nice kids don’t get IED.” Also, they are good with barbeque sauce.

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3 Responses

  1. At two, a child is in conflict; feelings of omnipotence – a parent at beck and call – clash with its realisation of its own vulnerability. This is a natural process and should not be interfered with chemically.

    Teenagers are dealing with hormones rushing around that they are not used to. Of course they do stupid things; it is part of growing up. Again, this process should not be interfered with chemically.

    What does need to happen is that parents learn some responsibility and decent parenting skills and stop looking for excuses; doctors and pharmaceutical companies will be only too happy to provide them otherwise.

    • Parental worship and raging hormones, yep, I think you’ve got something there.

      Parents looking for easy excuses to evade the difficult task of child rearing now have a few too many substitute parents, and crackerjack authorities, to turn to. This, I have no doubt, is alll too often the case.

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