Disruptive Mood Dysregulation


What is Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder?

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) is fairly new to the mental health field and it affects children who were once diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but didn’t display signs pertaining to that disorder. Children who suffer with DMDD will display severe temper tantrums often and requires clinical attention (DSM-5, 2013). These temper tantrums will make daily life, difficult and can occur, on average, three or more times per week for a year or longer (DSM-5, 2013). Daily activities become a challenge to deal with, when outbursts at school, difficulty playing with friends and home life are interrupted with severe temper tantrums. A child with DMDD generally are adults who experience issues with depression or anxiety. In order for a child to receive the diagnosis of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, symptoms must happen in two settings, home, school or while with friends, for more than 12 months and be severe in one setting, and they cannot have gone without an outburst for three or more consecutive months (DSM-5, 2013). The diagnosis must also include having “the onset of symptoms must be before age 10, and a DMDD diagnosis should not be made for the first time before age 6 or after age 18” (DSM-5, 2013).

Pros of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

After years of not having a solid explanation for explosive or rage behavior, the DSM-5 has been able to come up with a label for such behavior through the use of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. Now that we have a label, they can now research a means of treating children who are diagnosed with it (Carlson).

Cons of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Because there is now a label to this disorder, people may stop at just that one diagnosis, instead of researching further to make sure there isn’t anything else in hiding (Carlson). We know that explosive behavior can be a part of many other diagnosed behaviors besides DMDD. Explosive behavior is found in ADHD, ODD, mania, depression, autism, anxiety, schizophrenia, and intermittent explosive disorder (Carlson).