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Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder


Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) is a condition in which children or adolescents experience persistent irritability and anger and frequent, intense temper outbursts. Many children go through periods of moodiness, but children with DMDD experience severe symptoms and often have significant problems at home and school. They may also struggle to interact with peers. While there is no treatment specifically for DMDD, researchers are working to improve existing treatment options and identify possible new treatments.

Signs and symptoms

Children and adolescents with DMDD experience:

  • Severe temper outbursts (verbal or behavioral), on average, three or more times per week
  • Outbursts and tantrums that have been ongoing for at least 12 months
  • Chronically irritable or angry mood most of the day, nearly every day
  • Trouble functioning due to irritability in more than one setting, such as at home, at school, or with peers

Youth with DMDD are typically diagnosed between the ages of 6 and 10. To be diagnosed with DMDD, a child must have experienced symptoms steadily for 12 or more months.

Risk factors

It is not clear how widespread DMDD is in the general population, and the exact causes of DMDD are not clear. Researchers are exploring risk factors and brain mechanisms of this disorder.