What is DMDD?
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, some children diagnosed with DMDD previously were diagnosed with having bipolar disorder, although they did not have all of the signs and symptoms. A child diagnosed with DMDD will have frequent and intense temper tantrums that will interfere with their ability to function in school, at home or in social settings. In addition, research has shown that children with DMDD are more likely to develop depression and anxiety in adulthood, instead of bipolar disorder.
DMDD if often confused with bipolar disorder due to the temperament and mood swings from the child diagnosed, but DMDD and bipolar disorder are different disorders. Although having temper tantrums is normal for most children to go through, a child with DMDD will have temper tantrums extremely frequently, typically more than three times a week, and will constantly be in an irritated mood, which will result in little problems becoming big issues for the child to deal with, usually resulting in the child having a temper tantrum.
Symptoms of DMDD include:
Irritable Mood: A child with DMDD will be in an angry and irritable mood almost every day. They may also be in a sad or depressed mood as well.
Temper Tantrums: Temper Tantrums will occur three times a week or more.
Angered: A child who has DMDD will be angry and have a temper tantrum over something extremely trivial or for no noticeable reason.
To meet the guidelines for a DMDD diagnosis, a child must be at least six years old and their symptoms must begin before age ten. Moreover, the temper tantrums, and the irritable moods must be persistent for a year’s time or more.
A child, or parents living with a child who has DMDD, can have a difficult time dealing with the symptoms of DMDD. It is extremely important for a parent to get an evaluation and treatment for a child having these symptoms.
According to American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, a professional mental health evaluation is important in the diagnosis of DMDD because some of the symptoms of DMDD are also present in other child psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar disorder, depression, or oppositional defiant disorder. Moreover, in addition to having DMDD some children will have a second disorder, such as anxiety or attention problems.
There are treatment options available for children who have DMDD. Most of which include behavioral therapy and medication for particular symptoms of the disorder. A child should receive treatment for the disorder as soon as possible so that they can resume living their life without the interruption of the disorder’s symptoms.