Life with Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)

May 1, 2017 Melissa David

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), relatively new to childhood diagnoses, may explain your child's terrifying outbursts. Could it be DMDD?Most people don't know what life with disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) is like. But if your child is perpetually angry and irritable or you walk on eggshells for fear of triggering terrifying outbursts, these behaviors may point to disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, a childhood mood disorder that can lead a child and his or her parents on a scary and frustrating journey.

The Complex Road to a DMDD Diagnosis

Diagnosing a child is hard. I'm a licensed mental health provider and I didn't even know DMDD existed. (In my defense, I work with adults, and DMDD is pretty new. See the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition changes). One problem is that disorders like DMDD include symptoms found in many other disorders. Children may get misdiagnosed with countless other things before making it to DMDD. They may have multiple disorders happening at once, so DMDD gets missed because professionals stopped looking after the first diagnosis. My own son's journey took years.

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder and ADHD

There is no debate my son has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Look up ADHD diagnostic criteria, and there might as well be a picture of him next to it. Stimulants and behavior modification weren't getting at everything, though, and ADHD didn't quite capture his intense moods.

For awhile, the doctors thought it was just depression. He exhibited many of the childhood symptoms: irritability, sleep difficulties, and suicidal thoughts (Recognizing Symptoms of Depression in Teens and Children). They also diagnosed him with anxiety. This is common: both depression and anxiety are seen in kids with DMDD and ADHD. He still holds the anxiety diagnosis.

The biggest problem, though, was anger. My son was angry when he was depressed. He was angry when he wasn't. He was angry at home and school. Anything could trigger outbursts that ended with our house in shambles. The outburst that got him hospitalized happened in the car, seemingly triggered when my daughter started humming. My son started screaming, unbuckled himself, and began assaulting the both of us. He didn't stop until we were in the Emergency Room and security guards isolated him in a back room. To this day, he doesn't remember having that outburst or why it happened.

DMDD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

By the time he was hospitalized, my son had already been labeled with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). The main indicator was his interactions with authority. His outbursts tended to happen in response to teachers or parents. It never happened with other kids.

What a psychiatrist at the hospital pointed at, though, was the intent behind his defiance. Kids with ODD deliberately defy or annoy others. My son's intent wasn't to deliberately hurt anybody. He suffered from rigid thinking, anxiety, and an inability to control his emotions. In fact, he usually felt deep remorse and shame after coming out of his rages. He's not a defiant kid. He's a dysregulated one.

Treating Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

One thing that pointed to my son's DMDD was medication. It's a weird system when the way to confirm a diagnosis is to see if the treatment works, but that's what happened. The psychiatrist put my son on a mood stabilizer, and there was an immediate effect. As a mental health professional, I knew the side effects of the medication they prescribed. I was scared. However, the effects absolutely outweighed my fears. We have moments of peace at home now. Outbursts do happen, but they're fewer and less intense. Even better: my son seems capable of feeling content.

Life with DMDD is complicated. You have to work closely with doctors, schools, and family when dealing with a disorder this intense and intricate. It's the only way to get it diagnosed appropriately. It's the only way to manage it, and it's the only way to keep from being overcome by it.

APA Reference
David, M. (2017, May 1). Life with Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Melissa David

Melissa David is a mother based out of Minnesota. She has two young children, one of whom struggles with mental illness.The support and wisdom of other parents proved invaluable to her in raising both her children; and so she hopes to pay it forward to other parents via Life With Bob. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Meg M
January, 13 2020 at 10:22 am

Our 13 yo daughter has GAD and DMDD. She spent 89 days at a residential behavioral hospital this fall. She is having daily outbursts and my asking her to using coping skills is a trigger.UGH Her twin sister and older sis, 14 yo are suffering daily and tired of her antics. My husband and I are struggling to deal with her moods. SHe is getting ready to start a DBT group ...any insights for the siblings and moving forward

david eli
September, 25 2020 at 11:17 pm

as a 16 y/o with dmdd the best thing you can do is the hardest one. be understanding because out of everything bad about our disorder the worst is the confusion. we dont know why we feel what we feel when we do and when we do feel something, big or small, it is so easy to get overwhelmed and not know how to react. i am so lucky to have a mother who reassures me that it is okay to feel the way i do all the time. she always tells me its not the emotion, or lack of, but the reaction that is the problem. along with the general confusion of being a teenager who has gone through in patient, dmdd adds a whole other layer of difficulty

January, 1 2020 at 9:55 pm

My son was diagnosed at 4 and then 6 for ADHD. I knew he had it before he was even 1. I was diagnosed at his age with ADHD. He attends a school for emotionally impaired children and he was put on half days because of his agression. Psychiatrist thinks he has DMDD and I'm positive he does. He had been thrown out of numerous day care facilities as a small child and had a lot of trouble in public school preschool and kindergarten. He has a genius level IQ. Dealing with this for years and it's draining. Almost cost me a marriage. I'm blessed to say I'm still married and my husband is supportive. Have my MSW also but can't work because of the half days and calls from the school.

January, 13 2020 at 4:34 pm

Hi Meg,
Thank you for reaching out. To find more information on parenting a child with DMDD, please see our list of resources here… and for ways on how to get help and support.
Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer
Blog Moderator

Kate I.
April, 25 2019 at 5:16 pm

I just found your blog out of complete desperation. My daughter, age 8, was just diagnosed with DMDD yesterday. This diagnosis was a long time coming. It's been absolute hell for a couple years. I am a single mom two her and her brother who is 12. He is very unsympathetic and really bullied by her when she is acting out. She turns on a dime and gets angry and has ourbursts over the smallest more illogical things and it's totally unpredictable. Both my son and I are walking on eggshells. I live on the other side of the country than my family. I have a hard time making friends because my daughter is always with me. Did I mention she has major seperation anxiety and refuses to stay with anyone else. My sister would take her even if she was acting up but she's the only one and she's 2,000 miles away. I recently broke up with my girlfriend of a year because of it and I was just told by my mother this week that she doesn't want us to make our yearly summer visit if my daughter doesn't "get her act together" beforehand. I feel so incredibly alone and I find myself in tears the last few years because of that. This is why I sought out a support group of parents who are dealing with similar issues and feelings. I am am so tired and feel helpless. This just sucks!

Seth Seidman
May, 12 2019 at 7:09 pm

What kind of support group? I've been looking for one but haven't been able to find.

November, 29 2023 at 9:21 pm

I'm a single mother three children ages 20, 18 and 14. My daughter the oldest, moved in with my sister when she was 15 because of his appointments Etc and behavior was already just all about him. He is the youngest one 14 now. My 18-year-old son moved out and moved in with his girlfriend 2 years ago because of the same thing. I am a single mother, there's no one that wants to deal with him and his outwards he's been having them since he's about three and of course they've gotten worse and worse over the years. None of my family will help me I have lost pretty much all my friends now. I can't work because you can only leave so many times to pick up your kid before you get fired. I've lost everything because I can't support us anymore. He has like 4 hours of school a week and for the library if that, Forever on services and other things have done no good he is been seeing doctors and in the services since he was in preschool now he refuses to go and he's too big for me to make him. So now he's not on any meds anymore and I am under constant barragement and I have talked to every school every therapist I have made phone calls I have called every mental health place in a 1500 mile radius and no one seems to ever be able to do anything. I've always been open about it and asked anyone I met or seen anyone if they remotely had any idea or name and places anything that could help no matter how much would give me anything. I have did all the things have been supposed to do all these years and then nothing works after a few years and I kind of give up and then I somehow try again and I'm at the end of my rope I don't even know where my rope is anymore. It's caused us to be homeless no no vehicles and he doesn't seem to care he's not suicidal so the acute care places won't take him anymore. When we were going all the time he was in the wraparound program and seeing therapist no home-based person all these things and that kept saying he needed to be in a residential and I've had four psychiatrists tell me that he was going to run me into the ground if something wasn't done. Yet, here we are nothing was done and now I have nothing he has nothing everyone has failed him and in turn me. My other kids won't even talk to me because that's all I talk about they want to talk about happy stuff but that's my life is I don't know what to do anymore. I called DCs on myself once, but apparently, you have to be on drugs for them to help. Trust me they we're incredibly surprised when I passed the test and they even asked me to take another one at the office the next day which I did. They think that I passed it somehow because I look terrible. I explained to them that's what has happened to me I've slowly deteriorated into whatever this is I am now. I need help. Last time I brought into the ER, which has been a while because previously mentioned reasons, I was told that the places didn't want to take him because he wasn't suicidal and I and cried and told them what about me what about me I'm suicidal please help me. They called security and gave me his release papers and had us escorted out. So no help there either. I've done this to the school his therapist psychiatrist pretty much anybody that will listen. This is the first time I've done this though. I don't know what to do anymore I guess I'm just

Bryan Mitton
March, 21 2019 at 11:46 pm

My son is 13 and was only diagnosed w/ DDMD this past year. He's had a diagnosis of PTSD & ODD for years, but we were reluctant to turn to medications. (We thought we had to fight the stereotype of an adopted child from therapeutic foster care who acts out SHOULD be medicated into a passive stupor)
He made great strides in Elementary but as Middle school expected more independence and organization of him, he began a downward spiral of defiance and outbursts. The school focused on minimizing the amount of disruption he has causing the class, they moved him to classes that had less structure so he could "learn" independent working and organizational skills. The reduced workload mentally board him resulting in him working down to expectations and mimicking behaviors of other disruptive children in order to get attention.
He is now in his 1st year of Junior High (8th grade) and as expected with the onset of puberty came ramped up behaviors. He is now my height and 1/2 a foot taller than my wife. He has the intellect of of one slightly above his age in raw knowledge, but due to a late start in school and socialization before being placed in foster care, he is behind his peers in reading, a choppy writing style and common place ideas (metaphors, inferences, etc.).
Emotionally he is around 3 years behind his peers. We tried to have the school hold him back in 1st grade so he would be developmentally better able to handle environmental situations and peer interactions, but to no avail.
We face the same situation now. The school is focusing on his organization and record keeping of assignment rather than making sure the work GETS Home. We can make sure he does it and that it leaves the house with him, but we can't make him bring it home or turn it in. (The grades he gets for the work that he has passed in are A's & B's)
It's the oppositional defiance behavior that has him refusing meet the organizational goals they ask of him. At this point we knew this was beyond us and therapy alone.
The Medications help... to a point, but he is still having almost daily outbursts with teachers and has tried to use his size to intimidate my wife.
He wants to do the same things with the same freedoms of other teenagers. But we don't honestly trust him to maintain control with out one of us around for more than an hour or two.

Lee Ann Canavan
March, 16 2019 at 4:24 pm

My 11yr old had been diagnosed 2yrs DMDD, what a bumby road we traveled on to get the proper care and diagnosis. She has been on a few different medications that actually did not work until we found risperdone. It is a 21hr medication so her doctor has her on it twice a day so there is no laps. I cant say that it is the end of all because she has her mood swings every day sometimes multiple times a day BUT I know for a fact if she was not taking the medication she is 200% worse. I lost my insurance for 3 months and was literally the worse!!!! Just last week she had a outburst in the car, she tried to wrestle my phone from me to call 911, I am a horrible mother and I belong in jail because I didnt buy her an ipone, UGH! Nevertheless I almost hit a car, that was the first time that something like this happened and really scared the crap out of me. Her punishment was and is that she will NEVER sit in the front ever again. I must say that she is a daily struggle and causes a lot of term oil in the other with her two other siblings including my husband. I honestly feel like giving up A LOT! I have a few good support members of my family, some dont think that DMDD is real and that she is just spoiled and needs to be punished more. I have a great counselor and doctor. Being completely honest once a week I read the symptoms of DMDD to remind myself it is something she cant fully control. I hope and pray to GOD a lot that she will grow out of this because the teenage years ahead really scare me!

August, 22 2019 at 9:13 pm

This is very much our same story. We struggled with our sons emotional regulation issues since age 4 and five. But my husband and I are both healthcare professionals and made many excuses up until about age 7 or we finally had him tested. Of course the diagnosis was ADHD in which she did not respond positively to any stimulant or non-stimulant. The impulsive behaviors continued and initially were mostly crying fits but as puberty checked in and his age went up so Did his temperament. I empathize greatly with you because many people do you think that these children are just spoiled brats. We found a great psychiatrist who has walked us through many medications that were ineffective like SSRIs and Snris . Again being in healthcare we know too much sometimes it’s not helpful to our son . After two hospitalizations because of temper outbursts we finally gave in and out trying a very low dose of Seroquel. This is a very hard decision but so far has been effective. My hope is that someday we will be in a better place and can taper him off medication and the cognitive therapy and age and maturity will help everything catch up. I hope many parents know that they’re not alone and that there are children out there that are having the same struggles and good family is raising them that feel like they’re failing even though They are not

February, 13 2019 at 9:30 pm

Our son has been diagnosed with DMDD already about 4 years ago. We use medication. I dont want to sound selfish, but we are at a point where are really struggling to deal with it all. We can really use some kind of support group or just anybody who is going through this to provide a listening ear or just provide us wih some guidance in how to deal with our emotions, the school and all the other people around us. Anybody is aware of such an online community?

J. Jones
January, 15 2019 at 1:33 pm

How do you get help if nobody is willing to work with you. I have so many people telling me so many different things and a husband who has PTSD and a TBI so he is not very helpful. I feel so lost and I am so tired of the lies and embarrassment my 13 brings. I love her and would never give up but I feel so defeated all the time.

December, 6 2018 at 1:02 pm

I am SO happy I am not the only parent dealing with this. I don't have an "unusual" child and that's such a relief. I haven't found anyone near me that has a child with even remotely the same issue as my daughter. She's almost 7 years old (dec 13) and We've been through about 5 diagnosis (ADHD, ODD, etc...)and tons of time at the psychiatrists to get where we are. She's just started counseling for DMDD (we got the diagnosis late summer of this year). I'm terrified to start medication, but things are so bad that I'm thinking that we are at a point where I have no choice but to allow it. Parents doing in-patient care, how did you do it? I've almost been to the point of having to admit my daughter on multiple occasions, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I'm sure there is serious separation anxiety, anxiety in general, but we haven't quite made it that far. My daughter currently isn't allowed in the public school system where we live because of the outburst and violence toward teachers. She's also a "runner" which makes her a flight risk for the school. "A danger to herself" they say. She sees a tutor for one hour a day, 5 days a week, to attempt to keep up with her schooling. She's violent toward her siblings, but doesn't ever seem to know why and immediately shows remorse. Outings are difficult because I don't want to trigger her with something i didn't know was a trigger(we are constantly learning new ones). It's frustrating. She also doesn't do well with large groups or noises. She can't have too much going on around her. She's been tested for ASD and the doctor said that because she could keep eye contact for an extended period of time, that wasn't the problem. OT has been suggested, but we have to have a referral to get her in to see one. (state insurance). Anyway; it's just amazing to have other parents that understand and can related to what we deal with on a daily basis. It's one of the most frustrating and challenging things i've ever experienced in my life.

November, 23 2018 at 10:08 am

Hi. I'm raising a grandson who is now 9 going on to 10. He was diagnosed with anxiety and spd. Also Has major nutrition issues. Has been in therapy, did ot for nutrition and spd. Began meds, took them for a while& now has refused them completely. Has been to er behavioral 4 times in a year span. We are now pending an asd evaluation. As I read your article it makes me wonder if that is what he has. His moods are off all the time. Would you be able to tell me if through this next eval they will be able to detect if there is a different disorder? Thank you for sharing your story, I certainly can see we are not alone.

December, 9 2018 at 7:51 pm

I don't know how I missed this comment! I'm so sorry. I'm not sure what official evals are used for this diagnosis. My son's was determined when he was inpatient for 2 weeks and they had plenty of time to observe him. If your grandson hasn't done a full neuropsych eval, that's a good place to start. Otherwise, inquire with your psychiatrist and see what they think! I hope you find something that helps.

September, 7 2018 at 12:25 pm

Hi i am raiseing my grandson who is 8 and we were told yesterday that he has dmdd and adhd we go monday to see the doctor on what meds he will be on. I need advice on things i can do and all the info i can get .thanks

September, 8 2018 at 3:41 pm

Make sure to write a list of questions for the doctor! I know from constant experience that there's always something I forget when I'm sitting in front of that person. The doctor should be able to walk through the pros and cons of all the medications or therapy options and treatment. They can make additional referrals. Also reach out to the social worker in your grandson's school, if possible. They can help you identify resources the school can provide to support your son (or that person might even know community resources). There may be local mental health advocacy groups in your area, and Google is your friend in finding those! I always suggest NAMI ( because they have great resources in each state. They sometimes have advocates or people you can call with your questions. Good luck on your journey forward with the grandson!

July, 7 2018 at 8:15 pm

My daughter is 11 bright athletically talented and has been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, ddmd, odd, and ADHD. Currently she takes clinodine and abilify at night and lexapro and Contempla in the am. Had a terrible outburst on the way home from family vacation which resulted in me having to retrain her in the backseat to keep her from running off "for help" bc she felt like she was getting treated unfairly.. we have 5. Was not in our home state when this happened plan is to go to psych hospital when we get home .. has been there for the last 2 summers for a week each time..was really hoping this year would break the cycle .. guess not. Open to advise or med change suggestions..anything its destroying our family and so painful to watch my child go thru this!

Melissa David
July, 11 2018 at 9:27 am

This is so hard. I’ve been in your position, and it’s scary. The psych hospital turned out to be the best bet for my son because they got a longer-term look at his behaviors and could talk to him for more than 15 minutes. Over the summer, a day treatment program or partial hospitalization could be options, too. They combine medication management with therapy, education, and sometimes parent support or portions. Meds are hard all around, though. Finding the right combination is key, and everybody has a different response to individual meds. What works for one kid won’t necessarily work for another. It’s a tough journey, but it’s possible to get to where you wanna go!

Star Rider
June, 29 2018 at 3:56 pm

Please may I share, if traveling with child diagnosed with DMDD and visiting family, give them information about the behavior they might witness or might occur during vacation. The child was in a new environment & different schedule than at home, plus family visited Disney World on Sun, Tue, Thu for entire day. The lad is ten. As I had only seen the boy in his own home environment twice before, I was unprepared for the outbursts and manic behavior. Besides DMDD, he's been "labeled" with other childhood mental health behaviors. I could have been more understanding, tolerant, and patient. I love the boy, not the behavior.

June, 30 2018 at 3:03 pm

I agree! It's important to prepare family and friends for behaviors they might encounter, and you have to trust the people you're sending your kid with to know how to manage tough behaviors. Not to mention places like Disney World can be extremely overstimulating, so you have to prepare for that, too. Some kids take noise canceling headphones or need breaks in quiet places throughout the day. Not only would be people be more tolerant and prepared, like you say, but it's best for the child, too, if everyone knows what to expect going in and how to handle it.

May, 26 2018 at 8:45 pm

We have started on Depakote 500mg. It worked beautifully for about a week but then he began having outburts again. We are now at 750 mg per day which we just started on Thursday. My question to everyone is with this diagnosis, what causes the hyperness? He is not ADHD. He is wired from the time he gets up until he goes to bed and he always has been. There are not enough activities in a day to keep him occupied. Does anyone else experience this and if its not ADHD, how can we treat it? I think if we could figure that out then we could see a huge improvement overall.

June, 26 2018 at 9:19 pm

Oh my gosh, Kelsey, I somehow missed this comment! It’s hard to know about hyperness, but DMDD can look a lot like bipolar disorder with “manic” episodes. That’s why mood stabilizers often used for bipolar disorder (like Depakote or the one my son is on) are often used. So he could just be having something that looks like a manic episode. My son has ADHD, so his hyperness definitely stems from that and is controlled by ADHD meds. It’s different for every kid, though, so keep consulting with the doctor and child mental health professionals!

May, 14 2018 at 3:16 pm

WOW! God sure answered my prayers today with finally getting an accurate, spot on diagnosis for my 13 year old son. I am so happy to have read all of your comments so that I know we are not alone. Life has been pure hell for years but in the lady year it's gotten really bad with the explosions over very minut things. It is so unpredictable and has become more scary with each episode. We start on a mood stabilizer tonight and we are praying for relief. Our marriage has suffered because life is always in turmoil in our home. Constantly walking on egg shells to not set him off. I look forward to following this blog.

May, 2 2018 at 12:00 pm

My son was diagnosed with ADHD and DMDD around age 5 1/2. He is almost 9 now. Does anyone find that their DMDD child is able to control themself for the most part around one parent or the other? My son shows these behaviors to me (his mom) on a daily basis and doesn't seem to be able to control his anger and outbursts, but he won't dare do most of these things around his dad. He listens to his dad, is normally very well behaved around him, but when he is at work or not home, the behaviors constantly arise around me. I am mentally exhausted and feel like I am about to lose my mind on almost a daily basis. He is on ADHD meds which help him to focus for periods of time, but they do not lessen his outbursts or anger.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 17 2018 at 10:38 pm

My son is typically not able to control outbursts at all. There are some behaviors he controls, and he does the to pull them out more for me than his dad. Those behaviors are more of the ones you’d see with oppositional defiant disorder. DMDD outbursts, though, are by definition out of the kid’s control. It’s hard to know for certain in every case what’s happening, though. If he has a therapist, it’d be worth talking with that person about the differences you’re seeing. They may be able to pinpoint it.

April, 27 2018 at 2:01 pm

My 14 year old son has severed ADHD, DMDD, generalized anxiety disorder, and some autistic traits. He get furious in the morning when we have to wake him up for school. We see an excellent child psychiatrist but none of the many drugs we've tried to help his mood have done anything for him except make him sick or give him high blood sugar. Our daily lives are miserable. I'm always run down and stressed out because of this. I'm sorry to say this, but I really feel like our lives are ruined.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 28 2018 at 10:07 am

I’m so sorry to hear that, Courtney. I hope you have a good support network of friends and family. If not, your own support group or therapist might help, too. It’s so hard to raise children like ours, and it can feel very lonely. Treatment feels like it’s part science/part art because it’s so different for each kid. Something exists out there that will work for him, and in the meantime, take care of yourself as best you can.

April, 5 2018 at 8:36 pm

My son has gone from a near perfect baby, to a very aggressive toddler, to attempted homicide and suicidal thoughts at age 4. He’s been on lots of meds since; now age 10. If I say ‘Good morning. Hi, how are you? Did you brush your teeth, or any seemingly benign statements, he yells, calls me names, pushes, tries to trip me, raises his fist in my face, etc. He was hospitalized, but behavior picked right back up at home. I think I’m going to have to place him in a full time facility or foster care. My daughter and I do not feel safe around him. My husband was tempted to ouch him to get him to stop, but didnt. This is leading to a severe fracturing in our family, and I feel that we will be split up over this at some point. The parents are at an impasse right now. So, I seriously need some help here, or I’m not going to stay sane.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 6 2018 at 4:25 pm

I’m so sorry to hear this. Do you have county services in place? I’m not sure where you are, but county services can help with referrals to more intensive treatment. Each kid is individual, so it’s so hard to tell sometimes what might work and what won’t, and you always have to consider the safety of everyone involved. It’s so hard. You’re not alone, though I know it feels that way. Best wishes to you and your family.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 1 2018 at 8:37 pm

My heart goes out to you Christina. I can tell how difficult and desperate you feel. I know what is like to feel powerless and how torn you must feel having to make difficult choices and decisions while thinking about what is best for your family and your son. It is hard and heartbreaking going thru what you are going thru right now. Try to find the support and love from the rest of the family and your community. I found this page online where you can do research and search for resources in your community. It also has a link for finding psychiatrists in your area. Stay strong and God bless.

March, 14 2018 at 8:47 pm

Our son was diagnosed with ADHD Combination, a specific learning disability, a speech problem between the ages of 4-7, about age 8-9 he was further diagnosed with processing deficits in addition to everything else. Things had been going okay, but then at age 11 he was diagnosed with autism at a low level and DMDD. Dealing with all of this has been a big challenge. He is on adderall and tenex and the combination seems to work at least at school. At home he is more prone to outbursts especially with his mother. He also is in ABA therapy. We are hoping that meds, private counseling, special day class for school and ABA will be the turning point.

February, 23 2018 at 5:09 pm

My nine year old was just diagnosed with dmdd I’ve been to many doctors I’m been doing my own reading up on trying find ways to deal with outburst and he’s anger the doctor put him on intuniv it didn’t seem to be working she upped the dose I’m see how tht works. I had episodes where he pushed me but he doesn’t remember I’m dealing with this on my own I have two other kids sometimes living with my son is unbearable is always moody and irritable he snaps when u just saying good morning he never wants to be bother I get so frustrated bec my son doesn’t get along with no one teacher even had to move he’s seat away from everyone it’s always something he’s getting into fights he has a lot impulsive behaviors. He’s dad bipolar he doesn’t even help me . All I wanna do is try to just be their for my son the best I can I don’t want him to help no one.

January, 23 2018 at 10:20 am

My 9 yo son just got this diagnosis. Not completely sure it isn’t bipolar disorder, but this is what the psychiatrist went with. I’m hoping for some sort of improvement.

January, 14 2018 at 9:02 am

My daughter was diagnosed a month before her 18th birthday after having various labels since age 4. No one wanted to label her. Depression. Anxiety. ODD. OCD tendencies. Possible ADHD. No one would say BPD or bipolar. Now that she’s almost 19 she is without a diagnosis again. Why does she need one? Bc no treatments have helped enough. She is irritable. Has outbursts (dare I say tantrums). Is dysregulated. Nothing fits. It is so frustrating.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alexander G
March, 15 2018 at 7:58 am

Hi Susan. I work at the mental health field from an entirely different angle: I’m a psychoanalyst. The issue about the diagnoses not fitting is very common and the reason is that those diagnoses were categorized into different names to help psychiatrists communicate better about their patients. However, rarely do life situations fit textbook categories. I’ve seen this frustration often in parents and patients themselves, and what I tell them is that the most important part is to get the right medical and therapeutical treatments. The name of the diagnosis is not that important and, actually, sometimes it can even be constraining.

Christina Manista
January, 3 2018 at 4:50 am

Our son was diagnosed years ago with High functioning Anxiety and inability to focus type ADHD (low level). As he has gotten older and involved in different situations we have not seen the anger or outburst subside. If anything they get worse and he has destroyed almost everything of value in his room. This past week his Doc said DmDD thats what he has with high levels of anxiety. The result new meds. Abilify we tried worked with awful side affects. We start a new one tonight. Things that work for us is making sure our son knows that in weekly therapy he must learn to own his actions and not point the finger. We also keep him very active, tight consistent schedule and healthy diet. Very low sugar, no nitrates, GMOs, or perservatives. Fish Oil pills help the brain as well and he takes 4 day. I am glad we are not alone nor is our son because sometimes it sure feels that way!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 27 2018 at 12:44 am

What was the new medication and did it help? I find that Abilify isn't the best fit format daughter.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Christina Manista
April, 23 2018 at 2:11 pm

Risperdal was the other med and it didn't work at all.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Christina beaudrie
September, 1 2018 at 1:18 am

My son is on 30 mg of Adderall for his ADHD zolf for his anxiety 3 pills of Depakote a day and ability and clonidine and he has gained a lot of Wight

December, 8 2017 at 7:46 pm

It's 3 AM and as usual, I'm wide awake thinking about our almost 8 yr old and what more can I do? He was diagnosed with DMDD earlier this year. He's in his 3rd school. His challenges started just after he turned 5. I haven't and refuse to give up hope! I will follow your blog... although I wish there was an in-person support group.

November, 24 2017 at 9:10 am

Glad to be able to re- read this during the holiday "break" . Wish there was more information out there . More research, more knowledgeable therapists and psychiatrists. The holiday season ( no school, family who doesn't want to be around, think he's "fine" until the screaming starts and they can get up and go home), watching my son binge endlessly while others enable with chocolate etc. ) . Parents, keep trying. Keep taking care of yourselves every chance you get , keep holding onto hope that the development of these complex brains and advances in the field will give all of us ( our children, their siblings and parensts) some future

Amber Perry
November, 22 2017 at 7:14 pm

I am so glad that I found this. I feel for every child and parent who is struggling with this, yet feel so relieved to find that my daughter is not alone. My baby has always been so sweet and happy until bam one day a few years ago she was just angry. Since then she has just become a ball of anger and sadness. It tears me up. She feels so awful afterwards too and never remembers exactly what happens. It was when she was hospitalized that we were blindsided with this diagnosis. But it makes complete sense now why nothing else was working. She was on celexa which did not work, now she is on abilify which seems to be working less every day.

November, 8 2017 at 2:36 pm

Wow it it feels really good to know there are other parents dealing with the same thing just like me. My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD and ddmd a couple of years back. We focused so much on the ADHD and so did her therapist at the time I never really paid attention to the ddmd and what it was all about. She has always had an outburst and it seems like they are just getting worse, she is always agitated or gets annoyed easily, and definitely does not understand sarcasm or when you are just joking with her. She is going to be 7 in the next couple of weeks. She is currently seeing a therapist monthly in which I think I will have to go with taking her every two weeks now because of her outburst. We have tried doing medication for the ADHD but she seems to always have a side effect. So now it worries me to think of having to put her on a medication for the DDMD? I always feel so bad having to punish her when she gets in trouble. I feel like she is constantly getting in trouble even if I give her mornings and different tools to try to help her make smart choices. Do any of you have any suggestions? How do you discipline your child?

Sonya Brannon
October, 9 2017 at 2:25 pm

After reading this I was glad to know that I was not alone in this journey. Roller coaster would be putting it lightly. I have been looking for a support group so that I don't feel so alone when my daughter is having outburst. I will be following you all. She is on a mood stabilizer and ADHD medication

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 8 2017 at 2:42 pm

I know exactly what you're going through. I feel so alone at times because I have no one to relate to or pick their brains on the things their child does that may be similar to my child

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 17 2018 at 1:34 pm

Check Facebook groups. I found a great one with lots of families willing to share their stories and advice.

Leave a reply