Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
Here in this post, we are providing insight into “Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder”. You can read Overview, relationship, the importance of Sleep, and Treatment. Keep visiting Psychology Roots.
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder is diagnosed in children and adolescents. It is characterized by severe temper outbursts and anger. The mood in between the outburst remains generally negative and irritable throughout the whole week. Temper tantrums or negative moods are considered common among teenagers, however, what differentiates the symptoms of DMDD is that the outburst is much more severe, intense and usually becomes a source of disturbance in the daily functioning of the children and other people around them. Those who are unable to regulate their emotions according to the age-appropriate developmental level seem to experience these symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
The disorder is diagnosed in children above the age of 6 and until the age of 18 years. However, the onset of symptoms usually occurs before the age of 10. The main symptoms are
- Severe temper outbursts that happen frequently and continuously.
- The outburst is so out of proportion to the situation and the normal developmental level of the child/adolescent.
- The temper outburst must occur at least 3 times a week and have been going on for at least a year.
- The mood in between the temper outburst is continuously negative, with high irritability, distress, and tension.
- The outburst and symptoms are not only limited to home but can be seen at school and among peers as well.
Causes and Risk factors for DMDD
There have been no properly identified causes of DMDD, however, researchers believe there is a possible genetic component. Other possibilities are the temperaments of the child and the environmental setting of nurturing the child.
Children who are more prone to developing the disorder have temperaments that display more
- Difficult behavior
Other possible factors for the development of dysregulation disorder are the diagnosis and comorbidity with other disorders. The disorder is more likely to occur in childhood and is comorbid most often with conditions like oppositional defiant disorder and major depressive disorder (Copeland et al, 2013). Children who experience DMDD are more likely to experience family conflicts and difficulties making friends and maintaining social relationships.
A trained mental health therapist and psychiatrist will diagnose the presence and differentiation of the disorder. The diagnosis does not occur immediately but takes a few sessions whereby the therapists do a thorough assessment of the client. The assessment may involve tests and interviews with the child and the family members. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the therapists devise a treatment plan.
Treatment of DMDD
The usual treatments include medications recommended by psychiatrists and the appropriate psychotherapy and behavioral intervention. Various techniques can be taught to the parents and immediate family members to help maintain the behaviors and the child during their outburst. It involves psychoeducation of the parents and teaching them about:
- Triggers of their child
- How to keep their child safe
- Reinforcing good behaviors
- Teaching coping skills to the child
Intervening at the right time
If left untreated, DMDD can develop into anxiety disorders and depressive disorders into adulthood. The child may continue to worsen and face difficulties, which would require timely intervention. The disorder is not like the normal teenage/childhood moodiness but is a severe and real illness. the right treatment will enable your child to improve their relationships in social settings and overcome school difficulties.
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