Monday, June 17, 2013

Normal or Not? When Temper Tantrums Become a Disorder

The terrible twos is all about temper tantrums, but some toddlers have more intense outbursts than others, and some don't grow out of them. Researchers say characteristics of these ear-splitting screams could indicate a predisposition to depression or other mental health issues.

  

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]

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