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The American Psychological Association proposed, in 2012, some changes in the considered bible of mental disorders, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th edition. Then, many raised the cry in the sky. The reason? With the introduction of new syndromes, the debate was opened on whether they were medicalizing, unnecessarily, some human mental processes that they were simply natural in people's behavior.
This could be true in part. The psychiatrist Sergio Oliveros Calvo, the only doctor in Spain with three consecutive Doctoralia Awards, points out that “since the review, many disorders of the mind, which until now had not had a diagnosis (at least, not a correct one), finally They had.
This is the case of Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DDEA).
If you are a father or mother, you may have experienced (and suffered) episodes similar to this one. The boy or girl, between 6 and 10 years old, screams, hits and kicks every two by three. Manifests a bad mood thateu, in addition to stressing the parents, shows clear symptoms that not even the child himself is able to control himself. Parents are rightly concerned, since these fits of rage do not match the stage of development the child is in.
Until the 90s of the last century, those children who showed this type of behavior were usually diagnosed within the category of Bipolar disorder. And it is that, at that time, it was considered that symptoms such as chronic irritability, hyperactivity or emotional overflow could be the way in which, among the little ones, the mania phase of bipolar disorder manifested itself. However, towards the year 2001, it was found that no cases of mania were detected in them and if depression or anxiety. Furthermore, there was no response to treatment with lithium, the first-line drug for bipolar disorder. All this suggested that this chronic irritability responded to a different entity than bipolarity ”. This is how the American Psychological Association (APA) defined Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DDEA).
With this, the number of cases diagnosed in children with bipolar disorders was reduced ”. Nothing trivial, if one takes into account that these patients are normally prescribed antipsychotics. Thus, the APA delimited specific behavior patterns that, previously, were not only diagnosed as bipolar disorder, but also as depression, conduct disorder or hyperactivity.
In most cases there is no need to be alarmed. A child who throws a tantrum from time to time probably does not require anything other than patience and affection. The problem comes when the kicking does not stay in kick, but rather serious emotional outbursts are detected in the child's behavior, behavioral and verbal lack of control and disproportionate responses to everyday situations. Of course, so that the child can be diagnosed as affected by DDEA, their behavior must be maintained for at least one year, with a period of no more than three months free of symptoms and this behavior must occur in at least two of the three most important areas of the child: home, school, circle of friends.
A careful diagnosis
Diagnose DDEA it is not just a matter of 10 minutes. You have to talk to the child, ask him, play or draw with him, if he cannot speak yet. In addition, parents should be interviewed to verify that it is not a homeschooling problem. And it would not hurt to see how the child's educational environment is, for example, talking with his tutor.
Once diagnosed, by the specialist, the treatment will have to begin. In the words of Dr. Sergio Oliveros “what is indicated in these cases is to combine medication and psychotherapy. Additionally, parents should work closely with the doctor to learn what works best for your child. " So, from the hand of a specialist, parents will learn to cope with the disturbing tantrums of their DDEA patient offspring.
Author: Pepe Varela.
You can read more articles similar to When the child tantrum is not just a tantrum but a case of DDEA, in the category of Conduct on site.