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  DR. Michael Shery, clinical psycholoGY

  2615 Three Oaks Rd, Ste. 2A, 

  Cary, Illinois 60013  847 275 8236 (24 Hrs);





“Since 1976, state-of-the-art counseling which treats the problem, not just the symptom…”





                  Doctoral degree: University of Southern California, 1975





        Referrals accepted from Alexian Brothers, Good Shepherd, Centegra, Loyola, Northwestern University, University of Chicago and the Mayo Clinic hospitals and physicians.


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Am I Just Angry, or Is It Worse: Is It Intermittent Explosive Disorder?



 Sudden fits of anger, violent outbursts... these are some of the symptoms that characterize Intermittent Explosive Disorder.

People who manifest IED are normal most of the time, but they also have scary episodes when they erupt with sudden and unpredictable displays of rage. When this occurs, they behave in ways that normally would mortify them.

For example, they might break anything that is immediately available or even set things on fire. They also may harm someone or even try to harm themselves.

Some of us react to frustrations normally, while others react to the very same things violently. This would suggest that there is a behavioral dysfunction in those who react so disproportionately to the original trigger.

This is called Intermittent Explosive Disorder and it may even afflict a person without he or she even being aware of it. It can be hard to understand because when there is no provocation, these patients appear normal and even charming.

However, when a stimulus presents itself, the extreme and abnormal display of rage can be terrifying. In fact, people who suffer from IED seem to manifest such an altered state that, under ordinary circumstances, they appear unaware of the pathological intensity of their behavior or the serious risks it entails.

What causes Intermittent Explosive Disorder? Research seems to suggest that children reared in family settings in which the parents frequently and bitterly argue are likely to express their anger violently and inappropriately, as adults.

Also, poverty-stricken families tend to have a disproportionate share of kids that grow-up to have IED. This could be the result of a family under such stress and experiencing such frustration that dysfunctional displays of anger are more likely to take place.

Also, poverty-stricken kids are more likely to compare themselves unfavorably with others, leading to more dissatisfaction and frustration. Even though none of these factors guarantees the spawning of IED, they make its manifestation more likely.

Other influences on the possible spawning of IED include a possible genetic propensity. Also, watching violent movies and playing violent video games could be additional causal factors for the spawning of IED.

How can you detect the existence of Intermittent Explosive Disorder? Think about your most recent angry episode and answer the following questions.

If the answers to many of them are 'yes', then it is more likely that you have IED:

1. Did you feel almost as though an entity within you was compelling you to react with hostility or the causing of harm? Some people report the propensity within themselves to fight is extremely compelling. Their own emotions become so strong that they have a compelling or "involuntary" type of quality to them.

2. Did you feel your anger as a wave? Did you experience it as a feeling or set of sensations boiling within you that you wanted to quickly expel or force-out?

3. Were you normal just prior to the sudden and extreme rage overwhelmed you? Did it erupt suddenly?

4. Is the person with you during your sudden episode of rage frightened? IED patients often trigger terror in those who witness their outbursts.

5. Did you experience regret or remorse after your IED episode? Most IED patients feel great remorse after the fact.

If you have some of these symptoms, it is important that you get some kind of help before things get way out of hand!

This usually involves:

1. Individual counseling or psychotherapy. The purpose of counseling is to understand yourself better and get objective feedback, support and guidance from a professional with experience in treating IED.

2. Marriage counseling related to IED. You and your partner learn how to mitigate the dire impact that IED has had on your partner or kids. You also learn how to communicate better and problem-solve effectively.

Abusive IED communication and anger management versus healthy dialogue and interaction is discussed. You and your partner, together, get objective feedback, support and guidance from a professional experienced in treating IED's impact on relationships.

Importantly, both types of counseling can be received from private practitioners and non-profit community agencies.

3. Self-therapy kits (STKs), articles and books -If going to counseling seems initially like too big a step, reading articles and books, attending seminars and using self-therapy kits (STKs) can be helpful. STKs are self-help programs that tutor you, step-by-step on how to deal with your abusive anger.

As opposed to books and articles, they teach these skills using a multimedia format: CDs, DVDs, MP3s, e-books, workbooks, audios, videos etc.

Important Caveat: If your behavior is dangerous, your first step should be personally consulting with a professional!


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About The Author

Dr. Mike Shery is a licensed clinical psychologist and is affiliated with almost all health plans, including:  ValueOptions, Medicare, Cigna, Coventry, Cigna Behavioral Health, United Health Care, Aetna-Allied, First Health, Healthstar, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, ComPsych, Magellan Health, Meridian, HFN, Tricare, Humana, most union local plans, most school district plans, Unicare, ChoiceCare, CAPP, Multiplan, Mental Health Network, Managed Health Network, United Behavioral Health, PPONext, Private Health Care Systems, Humana-Military and Beech Street .


He has practiced clinical psychology for approximately 30 years and is board certified as a specialist in professional counseling by the International Academy of Behavioral Medicine, Counseling and Psychotherapy. He is the director of Affiliated Counseling and Referral Services and is a member of the American Counseling Association.


The office is located in Cary, IL and in select cases phone consultations are available for those who don’t live locally> Telephone Counseling.

To make an appointment> New Patient Registration or to learn more about the psychological services he provides call him at 1-847-275-8236 (24 Hrs).


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In-Office Services are located in Cary, Illinois and are convenient if you're coming from: 

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