Monday, March 8, 2010

Temper dysregulation disorder with dysphoria

The DSM-V Committee has decided to float a trial balloon about this new "diagnosis." Supposedly their hope is that doctors will quit labeling kids as bipolar, since there is no evidence that the behavior of a typical temperamental kid is in any way caused by or linked to true bipolar disorder. I think the new term will just provide another, even more outrageous label that will provide justification for drug dealing docs to use sedating, brand named, potentially toxic atypical antipsychotic medication on kids

My comments to the DSM-V Committee about this new proposed diagnosis:

Temper Dysregulation Disorder with Dysphoria

This diagnostic category is crazy, and would only help those parents who want to avoid looking at their own behavior and its effect on their children and to avoid taking responsibility for it. There is not one shred of respectable scientific evidence that having frequent temper tantrums is a psychiatric disorder (let alone having three per week), and a world of evidence that shows that in a neurologically intact child with a normal IQ it is triggered by parental inconsistency in discipline. If any psychiatrist is so sheltered he has never personally witnessed a family behave this way, he can watch a very accurate portrayal of it on the TV show "Supernanny." You can also read about it in John Rosemond's nationally syndicated parenting advice newspaper column.

The idea that this "diagnosis" will help doctors avoid labeling acting-out children as bipolar is not a good reason for such deception. The people pushing the idea of manic children do not believe that a manic episode requires ANY duration. A few minutes for them is enough. The children and the families in their studies are never observed in their homes during troublesome interactions. The "experts" make diagnoses using symptom checklists that do not take in to account the context, pervasiveness, and exact time course of the symptoms. They recruit subjects from a website called that has a message boards in which parents advise each other on what to say and what not to say to doctors to get their kids diagnosed as bipolar. Some have been paid large sums by pharmaceutical companies which were not disclosed to their university.

1 comment:

  1. i find the other criteria for this diagnosis more alarming than the temper piece.
    -'persistent negative mood in between temper outburst' and 'response inconsistent with developmental level.
    something is up with these kids? i agree that it is not Bi-Polar - and i don't think it is lazy or bad parenting. I think sensitivity level of child (very acute) and matching, or rather mis-matching of parent-child temperaments play a major role in the development, frustration level of these kids - how do we change temperament!?