Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) is a fairly new diagnosis, appearing for the first time in the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM5) in 2013. It describes a childhood of extreme irritability, anger and frequent intense temper outbursts, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). DMDD symptoms extend beyond being a “moody” child. Children with DMDD experience severe issues and require clinical intervention.


DMDD symtoms typically begin before the age of ten, but the diagnosis is not given to children under the age of six or adolescents over 18. A child with DMDD experiences irritability or angry mood most of the time.

Severe temper outbursts of either verbal or behavioral nature appear an average of three or more times per week. These bouts are out of keeping with the triggering situtation and the child’s development level. The child will generally have trouble functioning due to irritability in more than one location, i.e., home, school, park.


Because DMDD is a relatively new diagnosis, treatment is often based on what has been helpful for other disorders that exhibit similar symptoms such as irritability and temper tantrums. These disorders include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Anxiety Disorders, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), and Major Depressive Disorder.

If you think your child has disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, it’s important to seek professional treatment. DMDD can impair a child’s quality of life and school performance, as well as disrupt relationships with family and peers. Children with DMDD may find it difficult to participate in activities or make friends. Having DMDD also increases the risk of developing depression or anxiety disorders in adulthood.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

Review our Knowledge Base or the links displayed on this page for similar and related topics.