Leaving Melancholia: Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

  • Valerie Harwood

Abstract

This chapter provides a theoretical examination of the constitution of contemporary discourses of depression in childhood and adolescence, focusing on a new depressive disorder described in the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Termed ‘disruptive mood dysregulation disorder’ (DMDD), this is a depression filled with energy and agitation, a new mental disorder characterised by ‘temper outbursts’ and that can only be diagnosed between the ages of 6 and 18 years (with an age onset of under 10 years). As such, this is not only a new disorder for children and young people, it is also a depressive disorder that appears to depart from the most commonly understood character of depression: the lifelessness or low energy characterised by the figure of Melancholia. Following this diagnostic formula, depression may be read into the temper outbursts of children.

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Recommended reading

  1. • Axelson, D. (2013). Taking disruptive mood dysregulation disorder out for a test drive. American Journal of Psychiatry, 170(2), 136–139.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. • Frances, A.J. (2011). Should temper tantrums be made into a DSM 5 diagnosis? Psychology Today. Retrieved January 18, 2014 from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dsm5-in-distress/201110/should-temper-tantrums-be-made-dsm-5-diagnosis.
  3. • Gitlin, M. J., & Miklowitz, D.J. (2014). Psychiatric diagnosis in ICD-11: Lessons learned (or not) from the mood disorders section in DSM-5. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(1), 89–90.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. • Pliszka, S. R. (2011). Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder: Clarity or confusion. The ADHD Report, 19(5), 7–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Valerie Harwood 2015

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  • Valerie Harwood

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