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What Illness Can Cause Aggression?

Is Aggression A Mental Disorder?

This article looks at: What illness can cause aggression? Find out more about the signs of aggresive behaviour and how it liks to ilnesses.

Signs of Aggression and Aggressive Behavior

Aggression is often wrongly defined, so you might wonder what it entails. Aggression refers to the various hostile actions a person does to protect themselves or attain dominance over others. Usually, this includes threatening behaviours or those seen as violating the rights of others.

What Illness Can Cause Aggression?
What Illness Can Cause Aggression?

More often than not, violence doesn’t just spontaneously happen; there are usually several warning signs. For example:

  • A person with a short temper
  • An antisocial person
  • Someone who displays aggression or violence towards others unfairly or unrealistically.

Many passive behaviours are early signs of aggression. For example, if someone starts giving you the silent treatment, it could signify that they’re about to lash out.

Aggression symptoms

Although we are all imperfect, it’s human nature to sometimes lash out with aggression. Friendships sometimes stay unbreakable, coworkers can get into heated arguments, and families can fight from time to time.

While anger and aggression are both normal emotions, they seldom feel good. And when we “lose control” or lash out at another person, we usually regret it afterwards. Thankfully, most of these episodes don’t last long, and we can calm down relatively quickly. We can apologize and move forward.

Everyone experiences anger, but some people have a more difficult time than others keeping it under control. If your uncontrolled anger is spilling over into different areas of life and preventing you from succeeding, it may be time to ask for professional help.

If a usually gentle person becomes aggressive or has drastic personality changes while sick, this could be because of a medical condition or minor brain damage.

What Contributes to and Causes Aggressive Tendencies?

Though the aggression root cause may be unique to each individual, researchers have discovered that certain risk factors might play a part in aggressive behaviour.

Genetic. If any mental health disorders that cause aggression run in your family, you may be more likely to experience aggressive outbursts.

Environmental. Your likelihood of violence increases in specific environments.
For example, you may demonstrate aggressive tendencies if you experience violence, crime or another traumatic event. If you can’t handle stress or adversity healthily, this will also contribute to your likelihood of reacting aggressively.

Mental health disorders can cause a range of symptoms, including aggression. If left unaddressed, mental illness can lead to aggressive actions.

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disorder that causes mental decline and memory loss.

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD for short, is a learning disability that impairs attention and focus.
  • Autism ranges in severity
  • Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes patients to experience drastic mood swings.
  • Conduct disorder leads to dementia.
  • The intermittent explosive disorder is a mental health condition where someone has recurrent episodes of impulsive, aggressive behaviour.
  • Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is characterized by children acting oppositionally and defiantly towards adults.
  • Unfavourable conditions commonly lead to unhealthy thinking, feeling, and behaviour.
  • Psychotic disorders like schizophrenia
  • Substance use disorders

Risk Factors.

  • If a crime has victimized you,
  • Children witness violence, corruption, and disorder at a young age.
  • A history of substance abuse.
  • Having low self-worth
  • If you don’t know how to cope in an effective manner
  • Children and adolescents who do not have mentors
  • Having a mental health disorder
  • Making peace with a traumatic experience

Intermittent explosive disorder

Intermittent explosive disorder is diagnosed when a person frequently demonstrates impulsive, aggressive behaviour or angry verbal outbursts disproportionate to the situation.

Road rage, domestic abuse, throwing or breaking objects, and other temper tantrums may indicate an intermittent explosive disorder.

If you have the intermittent explosive disorder, sometimes known as IED, you are all too familiar with how it feels to go about your life one minute and the next minute be in the middle of an outburst.

Outbursts can cause many problems and disrupt your life, but they tend to happen less often as time goes on. Various treatments, such as medication and therapy, can assist you with controlling your aggressive behaviour and thoughts.

The intermittent explosive disorder can be difficult to prevent without help from a professional. However, these suggestions may help you keep future episodes under control when combined with treatment from a mental health specialist.

Following your treatment plan is key to managing your condition. This means going to therapy sessions, using the skills you learn outside of the session, and, if you’re taking medication – making sure to take it as prescribed by your doctor. You might also need maintenance medication to stop future episodes from happening.

If you want to stay calm, use relaxation techniques like deep breathing frequently. If that doesn’t work for you, try other methods, such as relaxing imagery or yoga.

It is essential to break free from existing thought patterns to think differently and progress innovation.

If you’re finding a situation stressing you out, take a step back and think about it logically. This can help manage your expectations and reaction to the event better.

If you’re feeling frustrated, try using problem-solving strategies to combat the frustration. By making a plan and finding a way to fix the issue, you can refocus your energy and, hopefully, eventually solve the problem.

Although challenging, they are learning how to communicate better is always worth the effort. When talking with someone, try to focus on fully understanding the message they are trying to share.

Responding thoughtfully instead of saying the first thing that comes into your mind will show them that you care about what they have to say.

If it’s plausible, stay away from places or people that trigger negative emotions. Additionally, having some alone time may help you better deal with an upcoming difficult situation.

You should stay away from mood-altering substances, including alcohol and drugs (whether illegal or not).

Is aggressive behaviour a symptom of dementia?

Dementia may sometimes result in aggressive behaviour from the sufferer. This can be not very pleasant for them and those around them.

Often, simply comprehending the cause of this behaviour and being aware of the person’s needs leads to a decline in aggression or helps make it more tolerable.

Aggressive behaviour in Dementia patients may be verbal or physical.

Verbal: Verbal abuse encompasses a range of negative communication, from verbal threats to offensive language and yelling.

Physical: Correspondingly, physical abuse can take the form of hits or scratches, hair-pulling and biting.

Dementia is often blamed for aggressive behaviour, but there are usually other underlying causes. Try to get to the root of the problem instead of only focusing on outward aggression.


We hope this article was able to answer your questions about: What illness can cause aggression?

If you want to discover more information about managing aggressive behaviour, follow the link to our other pages on this topic.