When Temper Tantrums become a Disorder

Source: Fox News

Angry kids who throw excessive, explosive tantrums now have their own disorder: disruptive mood dysregulation disorder.

Whereas this new addition to the mental health dictionary, the DSM, has prompted protests that psychiatrists are turning a normal part of childhood into a mental disorder, proponents say it will address the skyrocketing rate of another diagnosis that is leading to the inappropriate use of powerful medications on children.

The soaring diagnoses belong to pediatric cases of bipolar disorder.

Between 1994-1995 and 2002-2003, the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children grew by 40-fold, according to research published in 2007 in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry. [11 New Warning Signs Help Spot Mental Illness in Children]

Many of these children exhibited a pattern not consistent with a bipolar diagnosis. Specifically, bipolar disorder involves episodes of mania, which can show up in children as irritability. However, many of the children diagnosed did not have clear-cut episodes of irritability, instead, they were constantly irritable. As a result, experts believe many children are being misdiagnosed.

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Categories: Psychology

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