Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) is a relatively new behavioral health diagnosis term. It is characterized mainly by children, six years of age or older, who have severe and frequent temper tantrums. If your child has DMDD, they may experience trouble functioning at home, in school or with friends because of their consistent tantrums.
Occasional temper tantrums are a normal part of growing up, but when they are intense and ongoing; your child may have DMDD. DMDD is different than ODD mainly because a child will be in a negative mood most of the day, not just when they are told “no”.
What are the specific signs of DMDD? Below are some of the symptoms you may notice in your child:
- Severe temper outbursts at least three times a week
- Seems sad, irritable or angry most days
- Reactions are bigger than expected
- Symptoms are present for at least one year
- Trouble functioning in more than one environment (home, school, with friends)
What should you do if you think your child has DMDD? Contact your pediatrician for an accurate diagnosis. If your child has DMDD, it can be a challenging experience to care for them. Appropriate treatment is important. Some children may also have a second accompanying disorder (ADHD or anxiety). If treatment is needed, your pediatrician may recommend evaluation by a licensed behavioral health professional and/or a medication regimen.