Have anger issues? Don’t beat yourself up over it

image Hello and welcome to a special edition of our in-depth medical feature Health Yak. Today we will be discussing a study that suggests as many as 16 million Americans — or roughly the number of people who never receive their appetizers during an average season of Hell’s Kitchen — suffer from periodic outbursts of anger.

I know what you’re thinking: What makes this different from a typical outburst of anger, like when I open the air vent in my car and release a cloud of spores the size of shiitake mushrooms?

The answer, of course, is that there is no difference. At least not until someone funds a clinical study, at which point it becomes an official “disorder” treatable by a new drug with minor side effects, such as having your liver grow to the size of Shaquille O’Neal’s seat cushion.

According to Dr. Emil Coccaro of the University of Chicago’s medical school, what used to be known as “road rage” has now escalated into a nationwide problem called Intermittent Explosive Disorder. By definition, IED involves “outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation.”

For example: Let’s say you’re at a drive-thru trying to order a bacon cheeseburger and, for the seventh-straight time, the person taking your order insists there is no one named “Macon the Sheep Herder” working there, and to please place your order.

And let’s say, in frustration, you exit your vehicle and rip the image of a cheeseburger directly from the menu board and begin gnawing on it, causing those in line behind you to drive off through the patio area.

Chances are, you could be an IED sufferer.

According to Dr. Coccaro, his conclusion was based on the results of a nationwide, face-to-face survey of 9,282 adults who were scored based on their response to highly formulated and complex diagnostic interview questions, such as “I’m guessing most dogs would probably introduce themselves by sniffing your face.”

Amazingly, all 9,282 participants in the study were identified as IED sufferers.

“Obviously, the disorder is more widespread than we thought,” stated Coccaro, who then added, “You got a problem with that?!”

To determine if you might be an IED sufferer, answer “Yes” or “No” to each of the following scenarios:

1) When my computer crashes, I try to remain calm by thinking about the solitude and freedom of skydiving, ascending through the clouds, and then letting my computer drop from 1,800 ft. into a lake.

2) On at least one occasion, I have attempted to affect change and contact someone in our nation’s capitol by yelling at the top of my lungs.

3) I find it difficult to remain calm when, after paying $40 for gas, I have to pay another 25 cents for AIR.

4) Because I have been told it is an important social issue facing our nation, I am frustrated by my inability to really care where another “50 Shades” book is ever written.

And lastly,

5) Recently, I have been performing yoga as a way to limber up before handing out a good butt-whoopin’.

OK, tally your score by giving yourself one point for “No” and two points for “Yes.”

Answer key: If you took the time to actually answer any of these questions you are an IED sufferer. According to the study, you should go ahead and join the millions of Americans already on some type of anti-depressant.

And if you have a problem with that, you KNOW where you can find me!

I’ll be waiting right here in the lotus position.


(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. Still looking for that perfect book for summer reading? This has been an excerpt Ned’s first book, Humor at the Speed of Life,available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.)

Published by

Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

55 thoughts on “Have anger issues? Don’t beat yourself up over it”

  1. Cool. A new Thing I can have 😀 My latest particularly explosive IED was last week, and it wasn’t my fault. His Majesty came to bed late, I was actually asleep, but allegedly snoring, so he poked me awake. He then proceeded to keep me awake by snoring himself VERY LOUDLY and complaining when I whacked him. Within seconds it was full blown war. In retrospect, I forgot the golden rule that one should never refer to a drunk man as a Drunken A***. It all got very ugly. I do like your Number 5 point; I’m off to yoga tonight, so will enquire about the best poses for butt-whoopin’ to snorers.

    1. Lol! As I once suggested to someone whoi slept with a snorer, try rolling them to the left. If that doesn’t work, roll them to the right. If THAT doesn’t work, keep rolling until you hear a large “thud.”

  2. I hear venting through one’s blog helps. Doesn’t it? Assuming anyone ever actually reads the damn thing?! And why don’t they read? I’m going to start tracking down all those non-readers and strap an internet device right in front of their faces, and if they still don’t read …

    Oh, wait. I remember that study now – I was one of the 9,282.

    My bad.

  3. I think advertisements for medications are allowed in Canada. Fortunately, we get to watch the American commercials on cable. You know the ones. The other day, in the audio fine print, there was “may cause suicidal thoughts.” What????
    By the way, I’m typing this as a group of alpha males have a loud conversation outside my office about wall displays. Those would be homicidal thoughts.

    1. Lo! Yes! I’ve noticed the side effects of many medications are worse than the symptoms. Last night I saw an add for something to help with the “discomfort of Crohn’s disease” and the potential side effects included heart attack, paranoia and cold sores.

      I think I’ll stick with diarrhea and fatigue, thanks. I can live with being tired of wiping my butt.

      1. I’ve worked in medical advertising…my favourite products were a vaccine against travelers diarrhea where a side effect was diarrhea (guess you got to stay home for this kind) and a flu vaccine that might cause flu-like symptoms (but it’s not flu, so that’s good, right?).
        Another good product was a birth control ring that suggested a FAQ might be: Will my partner feel it when I’m using it? Although the gov’t-approved response was “No, your partner should not be able to feel it if used properly.”, I always thought a better marketing answer would be: “If you’re lucky, girlfriend!”

                1. Lol! Now that I look at it, we should probably explain “UH” stands for “‘Uncle’ Henry” and not dry humping sounds.

  4. Not enough anti-depressants, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I think they should put anti-depressants in the water supply. Which begs the question – Just exactly what are we building here that we can’t tolerate ourselves?

    1. I honestly think we are, as a society, in constant information overload. We’ve forgotten how to unplug and reboot. It’s only a matter of time before we crash. Just like my computer at work. Which is about the same age as me…

      1. Oh, I hope it is that simple Ned. i think that what we doing is creating a monetized society where adversity and aggression is seen as the norm. i don’t think this is humane and i think it is twisting us until our brains leak out. Hence i-e-d,our brains leaking out. As for my computer, the letters are falling off. I bought some super glue and toothpicks yesterday and attempted to reinstall the letters. I had completely forgotten just how effective superglue was. I first glued my fingers to the tube when I squeezed it too hard and it oozed down the side.;then i glued my fingers to the toothpick; then I glued the toothpick to the letter; then I glued the rubber tit to the wrong place on the letter; then I gave up and cut my losses. However it was successful, in a way. At first I was upset because the letter would not fit back on the keyboard as the rubber tit was not properly placed. Then after some grumping i noticed that the letter was now sitting properly – except it was upside down. ha! So when i am typing please excuse the fact that all my o’s are upside down. What you see as “o” is really “o” when turned upright. Thank you for your patience. O_o 😀

  5. Anger causes a lot of inter-personal problems. Until that golden day when all conflicts are resolved through modern jazz dance-offs, IED will continue to destroy innocent lives.

  6. I’d write a clever quip, but one of my pet peeves is how big pharma has to create diseases to treat and come up with new pills to give us all side effects, while making billions of dollars. Over the past few years, I’ve worked out so much of my crap that when a guy road raged on me the other week, I was shocked and stunned. It took me a while to actually get mad about it; and then it passed pretty quickly and I laughed, thinking how absolutely ridiculous he acted and looked, stomping on his brakes and giving me the bird. Freedom is not reacting to other people’s drama (at least not reacting much or for long).

      1. Don’t get me wrong, I can blow my top like Mt. St. Helens. But I’ve learned that when we blow our top it’s because we are reacting to something inside us. A feeling that has burrowed into us starts getting pinged on in a very big way, then rises up and ka-blam! And it’s actually possible to help this stuff go away so a person literally doesn’t react. Pretty wild when it happens. I remember the first time I experienced it, when my kid was getting rock brain trying to do his homework. Instead of becoming instantly frustrated and pissed off (like I’d done a thousand times before), I literally felt nothing. It was like a void. It was so strange I started laughing. Fortunately, it got the kid laughing and his rock brain slacked off. Such a trip!

        1. It’s like an out-of-body experience, isn’t it?

          I like to mix things up and keep my kids guessing by losing my mind over something minor— like leaving a Cheerio on the counter — then laugh quietly when they drive the car through the garage door.

          Helps me keep the upper hand psychologically…

  7. I’m a fairly chill person but I get IED when I see people chucking their rubbish on the ground and not in the bin. My girlfriend and I once car chased a dude until he pulled over and screamed at him after he threw his empty drink can out the window of his car!

No one is watching, I swear...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s