Leaving Melancholia: Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
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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