There are literally countless TV series featuring parents trying to understand and handle their teenager children behavior. For the most part, teenagers today seem to be enraged with everything, starting with school and ending with their parents. A new study comes to give parents a brand new reason for concern as it shows that anger disorder is common in teenagers.
The journal Archives of General Psychiatry published this week a study on teenagers’ anger problems. The data analyzed by Harvard Medical School researchers shows one in 12 teenagers are likely to be diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder. On the overall about two-thirds of today’s teens have had episodes of uncontrollable anger.
Some of you might find familiar the symptoms of the intermittent explosive disorder. This involves violent bursts of anger and even aggression that might last anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes. Mayo Clinic experts say that someone suffering with this disorder might experience irritability, tightness in the chest, feelings of rage and even a headache. For the moment, the disorder’s trigger is still unknown.
Study researcher Ronald Kessler explains that one third of the teens in the study that experience uncontrollable anger and even engaged in violence were on a treatment for emotional problems. But only 6.5 percent of these teens were getting the treatment appropriate for their anger issue. The problem at hand is even more important given that most of them don’t even know something is wrong.
“People who have these anger problems very often do not consider it a problem” says Kessler. “They don’t go in for help. They may get arrested, but they don’t seek help on their own…Some things like this and other social disorders can fall through the cracks, and this is one of them” the researcher told TIME in a statement.
For the most part, parents with teenagers under their roof are having a hard time knowing whether or not there’s need for anger management. “It’s tough for a parent because you only have one kid or two kids to compare with, and it’s hard for you to know what normal is” explains the researcher.
“It’s the kind of thing if you start seeing it over and over again, it’s not getting smaller as the kid gets older, it’s something that you need to address” says Kessler.