DMDD- Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
This is a mental disorder mainly in young children that involves frequent emotional outburst and mood swings of excessive anger episodes. It’s almost like child bipolar disorder. Children with this disorder usually start showing signs around age 5 and is severally different than just a normal fit or tantrum. They show episodes of rage in which they scream and yell excessively as well as throw, hit, kick and bite. These episodes erupt with little or no provocation. They are not like a typical child meltdown, they are constant and persistent everyday.
Children with this disorder have a hard time dealing with emotional social settings and often display negative attention. The have a high risk of becoming severally agitated when placed in a situation where they are not the center of attention. If they are playing sports and don’t win they are more likely to get angrier than a normal child who loses a game. This disorder affects the medial frontal gyrus and the anterior cingulate cortex which are the part of the brain that processes negative emotions. It is where the responses come from that regulate anger and frustration. So if not properly working it can’t send the proper signals.
Medication can be used to treat DMDD but they have severe side effects in young children and are not recommended until the child is pre teen age. Therapy can help in some cases but the best course of action is for the parents to understand how to properly handle a child with this disorder. Some suggest ignoring the behavior and telling the child that until they stop they will not talk to them. It can have an effect on the child because it shows them that they need to get a handle on their feelings but in most cases a simple time out does not relive the child of the anger episodes and can cause them to destroy property or harm themselves.
Dealing with a child with DMDD can be very challenging as can ones with other disorders but the best way to handle a child like this is to have patience and understanding and I know that it can be very difficult. I have a daughter who has severe emotional outbursts and is medicated for such episodes. The medication does help but she sometimes has episodes and I have to remember that even though it is very irritating, she isn’t able to control that part of her brain. Just like my stepson who also has issues with anger and rage. He is too young for the medication but through other methods we are trying to get a grip on the situation but it does take a lot out of you to constantly deal with it.
Just remember the next time you see a kid being a little brat that they may not be able to help it. They may have some sort of mood disorder that keeps them from being able to properly control how they feel. When they are young they don’t understand all of the emotions they are feeling and they try to express them the only way they know how. I had that problem when my oldest son was little, he has a speech problem and couldn’t properly express how he felt. He couldn’t get his feelings and thoughts into words and he became frustrated with himself and would scream and hit. It’s hard on the child to understand why they are feeling these feelings and how to ask for help.