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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder -- Huh?

One of the diagnoses we recently received for our son was a bit of a puzzler.  We had to do a little googling on it, to be honest.  Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) is a somewhat newly named diagnosis, so I guess we can be forgiven for not having heard about it before.

DMDD is marked by frequent, intense temper tantrums that interfere with a child's ability to function at home, in school or with friends. Some of the kids now diagnosed with DMDD have previously been diagnosed as bipolar, even though they usually don't have all of the traditional signs and symptoms of that disorder.

Kids with  DMDD usually don't develop bipolar disorder in adulthood. They're more likely to acquire problems with depression and/or anxiety, though.

Here's a list of the symptoms of DMDD:
  • Severe temper outbursts at least three times a week
  • Sad, irritable or angry mood almost every day
  • Reaction is bigger than expected
  • Child must be at least six years old
  • Symptoms begin before age ten
  • Symptoms are present for at least a year
  • Child has trouble functioning in more than one place (e.g., home, school and/or with friends)
Many kids with this disorder have at least one other issue (we're looking at seven!), often relating to anxiety or anger or both. Treatment is pretty individualized toward the specific needs of the child (though aren't all treatments?!?!?), which is why it's very important to get a comprehensive evaluation by qualified mental health professionals.

So, that's what it is.

Interesting, huh?

(photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net and can be found here)


  1. Wow-- well, at least you have a direction to move in. I'll be praying for you all as you move forward on this journey. I know God has good plans for that beautiful son of yours. And for YOU.

  2. Thanks, hon. . .as time has gone on, I feel better and better. . .before, I felt like we were shooting shotgun pellets into the sky in hopes that SOMETHING will hit. At least now we have a target to aim for and there are tools to use. We're feeling hopeful. I love this kid so dang much.

  3. My daughter has just been diagnosed with this. Is there any information (things you've tried) that has been especially helpful? Right now we are thrilled to simply have a diagnosis since we've been dealing with this for a few years, but had no idea where to turn to get a diagnosis. We go next week to find out more.


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