Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is an impulse control disorder typically characterized by sudden, unprovoked angry outbursts. These outbursts tend to be impulsive, aggressive, and at times violent, as these individuals experience feelings of hostility that lead to reactions that are grossly out of proportion with the situation to which they are responding. When children and adolescents have intermittent explosive disorder, their behaviors can be unpredictable and frightening. Not only do these children pose the risk of hurting others during their outbursts, but they also run the high risk of hurting themselves as well. However, through appropriate and thorough treatment, IED symptoms can be alleviated and the children and adolescents suffering from it can overcome their challenges and go on to live happy, productive lives.
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we recognize how significantly challenging it can be to face daily life with a child who has intermittent explosive disorder and we have special programs designed to meet the unique needs of this population. We offer two residential treatment centers that are located on 37 acres of beautiful landscape, providing our clients with a serene and comfortable environment that they would not receive in a traditional high-rise, locked hospital. Our newest facility opened in February of 2014 and has allowed us to proudly offer treatment in a modern, clean atmosphere designed to provide the highest level of comfort possible as children and adolescents with IED begin on their path to healing. You and your child do not have to continue suffering. There is help available at Millcreek.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If your child has intermittent explosive disorder, you may feel as though you are constantly on edge because you know that anything you say or do could send him or her into a rage. Your child’s teachers may be repeatedly voicing concern about his or her poor academic performance or failure to interact appropriately with peers. You are probably also feeling extremely concerned about what the future holds for your child. If you have noticed any of the following behaviors being displayed by your child, then it is highly recommended that you seek guidance from a mental healthcare professional. Some of these warning signs can include:
- Damaging property
- Verbal and physical aggressiveness
- Sudden, unexpected, and unwarranted outbursts
- Periods of emotional detachment
- Uncontrollable irritability and frustration
- Threatening to attack people and/or objects, or actually participating in the attack
Why Consider Treatment at Millcreek Behavioral Health
Intermittent explosive disorder can cause extremely negative issues to develop in all areas of a child’s life. He or she will struggle at school, at home, in social settings, and within interpersonal relationships. When the behaviors are left unaddressed, and the disorder continues to go untreated, the child’s issues will only continue to worsen in severity. These children may find it difficult to complete school, develop and maintain healthy relationships, and find and maintain a career. Without treatment, people who suffer from IED will face continuous battles that could last a lifetime. However, with proper treatment, children and adolescents can overcome their challenges and go on to have bright futures.
Residential treatment centers are known to be incredibly successful in helping children and adolescents overcome the challenges that they face as a result of suffering from intermittent explosive disorder. When children begin receiving treatment in a residential program, they are able to leave the stresses and negative triggers that consume their everyday lives and enter an environment where their sole focus is healing. While in a residential treatment program, children and adolescents are also given the opportunity to meet and work with other individuals their age who may be struggling with some of the same issues that they are. In addition to the time they will spend working with other children and adolescents, clients will also develop the tools they need in order to appropriately express and control anger. These programs can also provide parents with the education they need in order to learn how to appropriately carry out behavior management techniques at home, while getting the support and guidance they need from the program’s staff.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we have made it our goal to help the children who come to us for treatment learn to make better choices and implement positive changes in all aspects of their lives, changes that will have a lasting effect on them as they continue to grow. We aim to meet all of our clients where they are at, based on their individual needs. We tailor treatment plans specifically to each child and adolescent by utilizing an integrated, multicomponent programming model that is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is an extremely effective model for treating a variety of populations and diagnoses. CBT is an evidence-based therapeutic model that works by targeting specific thinking errors and correcting maladaptive thoughts by replacing them with new coping skills and problem-solving techniques. Our caring, compassionate, and highly qualified staff have dedicated themselves to working with children and adolescents to facilitate change and to help them identify problematic behaviors and take responsibility for the changes that they need to make.
Types of Treatment Offered at Millcreek Behavioral Health
Prior to being admitted into one of our programs, everyone who comes to us for treatment will first undergo a thorough diagnostic assessment and psychiatric evaluation. These tests allow us to gain a full understanding of any presenting concerns and to identify the initial treatment needs. The findings of these assessments will be then be used by an interdisciplinary treatment team of professionals in order to develop a master treatment plan that will then be reviewed by one of our psychiatrists. This master treatment plan will specify objectives and identify treatment goals for each individual client, including tailored intervention components that will aid in meeting the child’s unique needs.
The program model at Millcreek is divided into four distinct phases, which include:
- Why am I here?
- Making the connection
- Learning new skills
All residents are required to complete all aspects of each phase in order to advance to the next phase in treatment. Some of the therapeutic methods that are used and some of the activities that residents will participate in as they advance through the program may include the following:
Medication: One part of successfully treating the symptoms of intermittent explosive disorder might be through the use of certain psychotropic medications. While there is no specific medication designed to treat IED in particular, there are medications that can be implemented in order to alleviate other symptoms that these children may be suffering from, such as anxiety or depression. All children who are placed on medication will be consistently monitored by their treatment teams in order to ensure the therapeutic effectiveness of the medications, as well as to make any changes that might be necessary.
Group therapy: Group therapy is held multiple times throughout the week. These sessions cover a wide range of topics, some of which may include coping skills, social skills, and behavior management tools.
Recreational therapy: All of the children and adolescents in our programs will participate in recreational therapy, which includes participating in activities such as sports, social outings, adventure programs, creative arts, and leisure. These activities are designed to aid in the development of appropriate social skills.
Education: Every child and adolescent in our residential program will attend our fully accredited school program, which is held Monday through Friday. Every child is given his or her own distinct, individualized education plan based on his or her specific academic needs.
Depending on the treatment track in which your child is enrolled, in addition to the presence of any other specific treatment needs, he or she may also participate in some or all of the following:
- Individual therapy (provided on a weekly basis)
- Family therapy (held at least 2 times each month)
- Student council
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
As your child’s time at Millcreek has come to an end, one of our case managers will meet with you and your child in order to help identify what the next best plan of action should be. These case managers can help schedule any necessary follow-up appointments with outpatient providers and can provide you and your child with specific resources that are available for support within your community. Additionally, for those patients who qualify, there is the option of entering into a waiver program where individuals can return home and still receive any additional assistance with daily living skills that may be needed. At Millcreek, we will do everything in our power to make your child’s transition back into his or her home life as seamless and as comfortable as possible.