Disruptive Mood Dysregulation



Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) is defined as a childhood condition occurring between the ages of 6 and 18 which includes severe outbursts that are considered an over reaction to the situation (Proposed criteria, n.d.). Specifically, the temper manifestations include verbal rages and/or physical aggression and occur at the frequency of three or more times per week (Proposed criteria, n.d.). It should be noted that these temper tantrums are different than those associated with a developmental level of children and adolescents.

The duration of the recurrent temper outbursts include that they have been present for 12 or more months and during that time period has not gone for 3 or more consecutive months without the temper expressions (Proposed criteria, n.d.). In addition, the irritation blowups exist in at least two settings such as at home, at school, or with peers (Proposed criteria, n.d.). Lastly, a child or adolescent's mood between the temper outbursts is continually irritable or angry as observed by others, for example parents, teachers, and peers (Proposed criteria, n.d.).

NOTE: The above behaviors do not occur exclusively during an episode of major depressive disorder, or explained by another mental disorder (Grohol, 2014).

Pros & Cons

The pros of assessing and diagnosing children with this new diagnosis include that a determination could be made in terms of whether the child is experiencing these set of symptoms separate from other disorders. Parents who may believe that their child suffers from a more severe disorder but has not presented other symptoms can now have a diagnosis for their child's behaviors.

The cons of assessing and diagnosing children with this new diagnosis includes that these symptoms may be episodic and directly related to other disorders such as Bi-Polar, Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, and Intermittent Explosive Disorder (Carlson, n.d.). It is also presented that these symptoms may be behaviors that are simply children who have not learned self control or to properly express their emotions in adjusted ways. To attach a DSM-V entry and disorder to severe temper tantrums may be placing undue labels on children and adolescents which will negatively affect their self esteem, confidence, and following them through to adulthood.


Carlson, G. (n.d.). A new diagnosis for explosive behavior. Child Mind Institute. Retrieved from: http://childmind.org/article/pros-cons-disruptive-mood-dysregulation-disorder/

Grohol, J. (2014). Symptoms of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved from: http://psychcentral.com/disorders/symptoms-of-disruptive-mood-dysregulation-disorder/

Proposed criteria for DSM-5: Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. (n.d.). University of Colorado Boulder. Retrieved from: http://psych.colorado.edu/~willcutt/pdfs/dsm5_disrupt_mood.pdf

Trull, T., & Prinstein, M. (2013). Clinical psychology (8th ed.). Wadworth Cengage Learning.