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Doctors Debate New ‘Tantrum’ Disorder Diagnosis

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A new diagnosis that would give the name “disruptive mood dysregulation disorder,” or DMDD, to severe and recurrent temper tantrums is the source of hot debate in the medical community in the wake of the announcement Monday of a number of changes to the manual psychiatrists use to diagnose mental health issues. The announcement also revealed the American Psychiatric Association’s decision to drop “Asperger’s disorder” as a diagnosis distinct from “autism spectrum disorder.”

The debate over DMDD relates to doctors’ concerns that it may be over-diagnosed in children who simply have a harder time learning to regulate their emotions. More from MyHealthNewsDaily:

“Although detailed criteria for the diagnosis have not been released, an APA statement said the condition could apply to “children who exhibit persistent irritability and frequent episodes of behavior outbursts three or more times a week for more than a year.” The addition is intended in part to reduce the number of kids misdiagnosed as having bipolar disorder, who may be treated with powerful drugs.

But some experts say the new condition was added to the manual too soon.

“I think it’s premature to put it in as a full diagnosis,” said Dr. David Axelson, an associate professor of psychiatry at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, referring the condition’s inclusion in the front of the manual with other well-accepted diagnoses, rather than in the appendix, which includes provisional diagnoses requiring further research.

Some are concerned that a label of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder would turn normal kid behavior into a medical condition.

But Axelson said the diagnosis requires severe and frequent behavior problems, and if properly applied, kids without a true mental condition would be unlikely to be diagnosed. In addition to frequent outbursts for more than a year, children need to be at least 6, but younger than teenagers, to be given the diagnosis, according to early versions of the criteria.

However, parents might overestimate how often their child behaves badly, because they focus on recent outbursts, and inaccurately reporting behavior to a mental health professional may lead to mislabeling, Axelson said.”

by on Dec. 9, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Replies (11-19):
by on Dec. 9, 2012 at 2:44 PM
2 moms liked this

Well fuck, now how many women do we have to read about on here whining that their kids have this made up thing. NO, YOUR KID IS A BRAT, THAT IS ALL.

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by Bronze Member on Dec. 9, 2012 at 5:17 PM
1 mom liked this

Same here. one I know is sitting about 50 feet away from me.


Quoting Fields456:

Me too!!!!

Quoting Paperfishies:

I know a few adults who seem to have this.

by on Dec. 9, 2012 at 5:19 PM

oh for christs sakes.

by Platinum Member on Dec. 9, 2012 at 5:21 PM

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by Silver Member on Dec. 9, 2012 at 5:33 PM
1 mom liked this

I know lots of kids with this 'disorder' know what makes a great cure? A good strong "NO" and if needed an old fashioned swat on the rear end.

by on Dec. 9, 2012 at 5:48 PM
Omg! Every kid I know has this! Better drug them up!
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by on Dec. 9, 2012 at 5:52 PM

wow, really. Now we need to diagnose children as having temper tantrums? What is that going to do? Parents that go after this diagnosis are still not going to help teach their children how to express their moods correctly.... 

by on Dec. 9, 2012 at 6:36 PM
Hahah and I just thought my kid was a brat because of inconsistent discipline!

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by on Dec. 9, 2012 at 6:42 PM
1 mom liked this

Just another stupid diagnoses to push their pharmaceutical shit.

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