Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), a newcomer to psychiatric nosology, addresses the need for improved classification and treatment of children exhibiting chronic nonepisodic irritability and severe temper outbursts. In recent years, many of these children have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, despite the lack of distinct mood episodes. This diagnostic practice has raised concerns, in part because of the escalating prescription of atypical antipsychotics. This article provides an overview of the limited literature on DMDD, including its history and relevant studies of assessment and treatment. A case study is included to illustrate key points, including diagnostic issues that clinicians may encounter when considering a diagnosis of DMDD.
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