Symptom Tests for Children

[Self-Test] Could Your Child Have Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder?

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder may look like everyday crankiness, alternated with epic meltdowns that erupt out of nowhere with seemingly no provocation. Could DMDD be causing your child’s difficult behavior? Take this symptom test and share the results with your doctor.

What Is Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder?

All children get cranky from time to time – when they aren’t feeling well, their schedule changes, or just because — but for children with Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), irritability is a constant presence. These children are irritable at home, in school, and even with their friends. Just about every day brings a foul mood.

Another common characteristic of children with DMDD is that they’re quick to fly off the handle. Cut your son’s grilled cheese sandwich the wrong way, and he’ll scream bloody murder. Say the wrong thing to your daughter, and she could become enraged enough to hit, bite, or kick you. These temper tantrums are completely unpredictable, and totally out of proportion to whatever event might have preceded them. In DMDD, the behaviors are also out of line with the child’s age. Parents might expect to see a 2 year old flailing his fists and screaming while lying on the floor, but the same conduct is unexpected, and unsettling, in a 12 year old.

In the self-test below, select ‘Agree’ for statements that accurately describe your child and share this with your child’s physician.

This Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder self-test is designed to determine whether your child shows symptoms similar to those of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. If the results give you further concern about the possibility of DMDD, see an educational professional. An accurate diagnosis can only be made through clinical evaluation. This self-test is for personal use only.

Our child is irritable and cranky. We never get a break from his or her foul mood.

1 out of 15

My child gets so angry that he or she tears apart rooms and destroys everything in his or her path.

2 out of 15

It sometimes seems like a bomb has gone off inside my home. My child’s anger is so sudden and explosive, I feel like running for cover.

3 out of 15

My child misinterprets my intention. When I say it’s time to sit down to dinner, he or she thinks I’m punishing him or her for something.

4 out of 15

I’m exhausted from my child constantly snapping at me. It seems I can never find the right thing to say.

5 out of 15

My child gets in trouble at school for cursing out or disrespecting the teacher.

6 out of 15

When my child loses a board game or video game, he or she loses it — throwing things, screaming, and hitting the walls.

7 out of 15

I can’t cheer up my child, no matter what I try. He or she scowls through movies, birthday parties — just about everything kids are supposed to love.

8 out of 15

My child is so out of control that, when he or she is having an episode, I’m afraid that I or one of my other children will get hurt.

9 out of 15

We can’t go out to dinner anymore. I just never know when my child will blow up into a tantrum, and it’s too embarrassing to risk.

10 out of 15

When I cook something my child doesn’t like, he or she becomes enraged. Eventually I can calm him or her down, but it takes a lot of negotiation.

11 out of 15

The school calls me to “discuss” my child’s behavior. She or he can’t make it through a day without having an incident.

12 out of 15

Other kids don’t want to play with my child. His or her mood is so unpredictable, they’re afraid and steer clear.

13 out of 15

My child has been acting irritable and angry for a full year. Our family can’t take much more of this stress.

14 out of 15

The smallest issue provokes the biggest temper tantrum. If I pick out the wrong shirt for my child, she or he screams for 30 minutes straight.

15 out of 15

(Optional) Would you like to receive your Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder test results — plus more helpful resources — via email from ADDitude?

Can’t see the self-test questions above? Click here to open this test in a new window.


Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder for Children: Next Steps

1. Take This Test: Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Children
2. Take This Test: Full ADHD Symptoms Test for Children
3. Take This Test: General Anxiety Disorder for Children
4. Learn: More About Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
5. Read The Explosive Child: Our ADHD Book Recommendation

Updated on January 31, 2020

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