Some 6,000 Koreans suffer from chronic anger management problems, given the new name of intermittent explosive disorder.
Cho Hyun-min, the Korean Air heiress in the latest "office rage" scandal suggesting congenital anger management problems in the family, may be a sufferer.
Cho recently made headlines after reports of her tantrums at work, which allegedly culminated in her throwing a bottle of water in an advertising staffer's face. Her older sister Cho Hyun-ah made global headlines with a fit or "nut rage" in 2014 when she assaulted a purser and forced a plane to turn back to the gate because she had been served nuts in a bag instead of a bowl.
IED sufferers find it impossible to control their anger and are subject to prolonged screaming fits.
According to an analysis by the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service on Tuesday, 5,986 people were seen by doctors for similar impulse disorders in 2017.
There has been a steady rise in the number of such patients. The vast majority were men with 83 percent, and the younger generation made up the biggest group, with 29 percent of those in their 20s, 20 percent in their 30s and 19 percent in their teens. Twelve percent were in their 40s and only eight percent in their 50s.
Doctors say the affliction declines with age because people become less sensitive to external stimulation such as stress as they get older.
IED is a recently classified mental disorder where people cannot control their impulses. There is some evidence that the sympathetic nerve cannot function properly, which leads to inability to judge situations in a rational way. If the symptoms get out of hand, sufferers get into trouble or even commit crimes.
The main causes are believed to be stress, alcoholism, frontal lobe dementia, and cerebrovascular diseases.
HIRAS said people who suspect they may be affected should seek help from a psychiatrist. If they delay getting a proper treatment by just dismissing behaviors as due to personality and habits, symptoms can get worse and lead to a bigger problem. Read this article in Korean