Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder example
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder Nov 17, 2023


  • Patient Profile:

Gina is a 14-year-old adolescent. She is referred to the clinic by her school counselor. The reason for referral is due to persistent and severe mood dysregulation. She is described as an intelligent and creative student. But, Gina’s academic performance had started to decline. Her relationships with peers and family were strained due to frequent outbursts.

  • Family Dynamics:

Gina comes from a single-parent household with a family history of mood disorders. Her mother, a dedicated caregiver, reported ongoing challenges in managing Gina’s emotional outbursts. Chronic stressors, including financial strain and recent family discord, added complexity to Gina’s home environment.

Early Signs and Symptoms:

Gina’s struggles began to surface around the age of 11. they are characterized by intense temper outbursts in response to minor frustrations. These episodes were accompanied by chronic irritability between bursts. It impacts her ability to engage in age-appropriate social and academic activities.

Diagnosis and Assessment:

  • Evaluation Process:

A comprehensive evaluation involving interviews with both Gina and her mother revealed a history of persistent emotional dysregulation—additionally, difficulties in maintaining age-appropriate emotional responses. Collaborating with school personnel provided extra insights into Gina’s challenges in the academic setting.

  • DMDD Diagnosis:

Based on the diagnostic criteria outlined in the DSM-5, Gina was diagnosed with Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD). This diagnosis was crucial in guiding the development of a tailored treatment plan.

Treatment Approach:

  • Psychotherapy:

Gina embarked on a course in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a cornerstone of her treatment plan. CBT sessions focused on identifying and challenging negative thought patterns, enhancing emotional regulation skills, and developing coping mechanisms for frustration and anger.

  • Family-Based Interventions:

She recognized the impact of family dynamics on Gina’s well-being. Parental training and family therapy were integrated into the treatment plan. Gina’s mother received guidance on effective parenting strategies, communication skills, and behavior management techniques to create a supportive environment at home.

  • School-Based Support:

Collaboration with the school allowed for the implementing of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to address Gina’s academic challenges. Regular communication between the treatment team and school personnel ensured a Supportive approach across environments.


Over an extended treatment period, the delicate process of fostering improvement in Gina’s emotional regulation began. Despite encountering hindrances along the way, subtle shifts in her demeanor became plain. The once frequent and intense temper outbursts almost decreased in frequency and intensity.

Like a slow and deliberate climb, academic progress saw a gradual uptick. Hindered by the challenges posed by Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), each step forward was met with careful consideration and strategic interventions to overcome hurdles.

The journey, marked by meticulous follow-up sessions, unfolded at a measured pace. These sessions, resembling the careful choreography of a dance, served to watch progress. Adjustments to interventions were made with a discerning eye, recognizing the nuanced nature of Gina’s response to treatment.

Ongoing support, reminiscent of a gentle undercurrent, enveloped Gina and her family. Navigating the challenges posed by DMDD demanded a persistent and unhurried approach. It ensured that the foundations of progress were solid and sustainable.

In this deliberate progression, they hindered yet undeterred. Gina and her family persist in their journey toward a brighter horizon—a testament to the resilience fostered by comprehensive and unhurried therapeutic interventions.

"In the journey with DMDD, remember that every storm has its calm. Seek support, cultivate resilience, and find strength in every step."
About author

Karuna Kaul is psycho socio clinical psychologist, who works with all age group people. Her profession motivates her to serve people who are facing behavioral issues. She has over 8 years of experience and has successfully established credibility in the areas of counselling and wellness. Assessment and behavioral analysis and training and coaching. She has been an active advocate of mental health awareness. And all her endeavors in the field are primarily focused on educating more and more people about Mental Health concerns and promoting Holistic Wellbeing. She has done master in clinical psychology PG Diploma in counselling and guidance and certified in drug addiction counselling Also she has done neuro medicine psychology from London University, Kent College of United Kingdom. With an experience of six years, she had worked with various organization which provides mental health services.