DISRUPTIVE MOOD DYSREGULATION DISORDER
Changes in mood (including irritability and occasional anger) are a normal part of responding to everyday stressors. These mood changes are indicators that a child/adolescent may benefit from finding more adaptive ways of interacting with their environment to better manage their reactions, but are not indicative of a significant psychological problem.
However, when the mood changes become more intense or extreme (and the young person experiences severe recurrent temper outbursts demonstrated by verbal/behavioural aggression towards people or property that is out of proportion to the situation) it may be a sign of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder.
The temper outbursts are not appropriate for the developmental level and occur on average three or more times per week and the mood between episodes is consistently irritable or angry throughout the day and is apparent to observers (e.g. parents, teachers, peers).
The symptoms are usually present in at least two of three settings (i.e. at home, at school, with peers) and are severe in at least one of these. A diagnosis of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder is usually made between the ages of 6 and 18 years.