Originally Published In
American Counseling Association’s (Ed.) ACA Practice Briefs.
Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), a new diagnosis in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM–5; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013), is characterized by chronic, severe persistent irritability in children and adolescents. DMDD was added to the DSM-5, in part, to address concerns about potential over-diagnosis and overtreatment of bipolar disorder in children (APA, 2013). DMDD characterizes behavior that is considered outside of the normal range of childhood behavior; the major features of this disorder include severe recurrent temper outbursts manifested verbally (e.g., verbal rages) and/or behaviorally (e.g., physical aggression toward people or property) that are grossly out of proportion in intensity or duration to the situation or provocation (APA, 2013).