Skip to main content

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

It is important to manage disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD). Your child can need to learn to control or prevent outbursts. You can learn ways to help and support your child.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your child hurts himself or herself, or hurts another person.
  • Your child threatens to hurt himself, herself, or another person.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child seems or tells you he or she often feels depressed.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.


Your child may need any of the following:

  • Stimulants are used to help improve concentration and irritability.
  • Antidepressants are used to help improve your child's mood. Rarely, antidepressants can increase the risk for suicidal thoughts in adolescents. Your child will need to take this medicine exactly as directed.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell the provider if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

How to care for and support your child:

  • Stay calm and be supportive. You may be frustrated or angry with your child because of the outbursts. It is important to stay calm. An angry response from you can make your child's outburst worse. After your child is calm again, talk about what caused the outburst. You may start to see a pattern. Record details about the outburst, including what happened and what your child says about it. Note any patterns you see. Bring the record with you to follow-up visits with your child's healthcare providers.
  • Be consistent. Your child needs to know the rules he is expected to follow. An example of a rule is limiting computer or TV time to 1 hour each day. The rule can help prevent your child from becoming angry when he is told to turn off the computer or TV. Every person who cares for your child needs to know and follow the same rules. Make sure every caregiver knows how you try to calm your child during an outburst. Have caregivers tell you about each outburst your child has when you are not there. Record where your child was, what happened, and how the caregiver handled the outburst.
  • Work with officials at your child's school. Your child's teachers and officials need to know your child has DMDD in case an outburst happens at school. Explain what tends to trigger outbursts, and what helps calm your child. Officials may need to create rules or other safety measures to make sure your child and others are safe.
  • Help your child set up healthy routines. Make sure your child gets enough sleep every night. Your child may be more likely to become irritable or frustrated without enough sleep. Routines such as regular sleep, meal, homework, and play times can help your child feel secure. Regular exercise can help improve your child's energy and moods.

Follow up with your child's doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

© Copyright Merative 2022 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.