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Insights on Health: A Hidden Problem to Look Out for if Your Child has Severe Anger Problems

  /  Personal   /  Insights on Health: A Hidden Problem to Look Out for if Your Child has Severe Anger Problems

Insights on Health: A Hidden Problem to Look Out for if Your Child has Severe Anger Problems

  Becoming a parent is an experience which is filled with plenty of expectations – the most prominent one being that your children will grow into well-adjusted members of society.  For many parents, this is exactly how their hopes and dreams turn out.  Unfortunately for some, parenting ends up being a journey defined by unrelenting extreme challenges.  Nobody understands this more than a parent who’s ever had to raise a problem child; the type of child who just can’t seem to stay calm or deal with life’s ups and downs without throwing major tantrums.  It’s perfectly normal for children to exhibit frequent anger during phases like the “terrible twos,” however, if your child’s anger is nonstop, and severe, well into the! ir adolescent years, they could be suffering from a condition known as Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD).

     What is DMDD?
     DMDD is a childhood disorder characterized by almost constant anger and irritability combined with regular and severe temper tantrums. DMDD symptoms go beyond being just a “moody” child — children with DMDD demonstrate acute impairment which requires clinical attention. DMDD is a recently identified disorder that children with a history of chronic irritability and serious temper outbursts are now recognized as having. Symptoms of DMDD include sadness, irritability and rage almost every day. Children with DMDD tend to have outbursts which are grossly out of proportion with the situation at hand. Their displays of anger also usu! ally occur several times every week, and happen regardless of location or audience.

     What can You Do About It?
     DMDD is a new diagnosis. Therefore, treatment is often based on what has been helpful for other disorders which share similar symptoms of irritability and temper tantrums. These disorders include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorders, oppositional defiant disorder, and major depressive disorder. If you think your child has DMDD, it is very important for you to seek treatment before they do something irreparably damaging. DMDD can impair a child’s quality of life, hamper school performance, and disrupt relationships with family and peers. Children with DMDD may find it hard to participate in activities or make friends. Having DMDD also increases the risk of developing depression or anxiety disorders in adulthood.

While researchers are still determining which treatments work best in order to manage DMDD, there are three main approaches which physicians use to remedy this condition. Firstly, psychotherapy is recommended for both child and family to explore emotions and develop mood-management techniques. Secondly, lifestyle management is recommended in order to establish better communication and minimize outburst triggers. Thirdly, antidepressants or antipsychotics may be prescribed so as to supplement psychotherapy.  Either of these treatment options could be implemented individually, or they could be used in combination.

Parenting can be a scary experience, especially when things go wrong.  But if you ever find yourself in the dilemma of having to cope with di! fficult behavior in your kids, take heart.  Sometimes parents make mistakes, but it’s also possible that you didn’t do anything wrong.  You could be dealing with a problem which needs attention from a trained specialist.  If things feel genuinely extreme with your child’s behavior, try investing some time in counseling and therapy.  This can prove to be a good way of discovering and resolving toxic issues you didn’t even realize existed.  Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help.  Just a little initiative could change everything for the better.

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