Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder


Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder is classified in the DSM V as a depressive disorder. It is classified by Chronic and severe irritability and angry outburst that are below development level and that are observable by other people than just the parents. These children are in a different category than those with the classic bipolar disorder, and need to have manic episodes to be classified as having Bipolar disorder (DSM 5th ed., pp. 154-156).
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Age and Criteria of Diagnosis

Most often seen in males, DMDD is diagnosed between the ages of 6 and 18 years of age. They often display outburst of anger and are irritable almost every single day for at least a year. These children have a hard time making friends and have trouble participating in sports activities and school. Often the family suffers and this behavior is displayed for other people outside the family. These children can also meet the criteria for ADHD, Anxiety disorders, Major Depressive disorders and ODD. They are often known to display suicidal ideations and tendencies (DSM 5th ed., pp. 154-156).
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) Developing Treatment Strategies - Part 3

Pros and Cons Of Diagnosis

A mental disorder is defined as having a cluster of abnormal behaviors that that are occurring within an individual that is associated with distress, disability, or increased risk of problems (Trull, 2013, pg.157). The pros of diagnosis is that the family can understand what is happening with their child and can find ways to help them cope and grow with the appropriate treatment. The cons of diagnosis is that a child hearing that they have a mental disorder can cause them distress and make them act out more or just give up entirely. This can lead to even more isolation and anger.

Treatment options

Medication, psychotherapy and any combination of the two, are used as treatments for DMDD. Because the diagnosis is still a new one, clinicians are still researching which treatments work best for each individual child. Stimulant medication, antidepressant medication like SSRIs, and a kind of therapy known as applied CBT have all been used. Parents should work closely with the doctors to learn what works best for their children. Parents and other caregivers should also be taught specific strategies they can use when responding to a child's disruptive behavior (Mental Health Guide, 2014).


Depressive Disorders. (2013). In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. (5th ed., pp. 154-156). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.

Mental Health Guide. (2014). Retrieved November 17, 2015, from

Trull, Timothy. Prinstin, Mitchell. 2013. Clinical Psychology (8th Edition., pp.157) Wadsworth. Belmont CA