Irritability, Temper Tantrums & Moodiness

While moodiness and irritability are a regular and normal part of growing up, excessive irritability and moodiness that interferes with the activities of daily life such as family life and school are signs of other difficulties that warrant additional investigation. 

Behavior Example

When temper tantrums go on and on, foul words are the norm, and violence or near violence contaminates a home, this may be something other than just the "bad kid" syndrome; this may be signs of a current or building mood disorder.  Often, parents have reported that when their child became angry they could not be comforted, they would cry for hours and then act as if nothing had happened.  This sudden switch could happen not just once, but several times during the day. 


While these children are frequently misdiagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder by a Family Practice Doctor or Pediatrician, further comprehensive evaluation taking into account the genetic history of the family can often clarify the diagnosis and lead to the correct treatment. 

Moody and temperamental children are also often very particular about how things are supposed to be, and feel that most of how they are treated is "not fair".  These children, if caught early and treated properly, seem to benefit the most.  Mood stabilizers and other new approaches have opened up this area to enhanced treatment and better responses than ever before.

Just plain moody children may be depressed and children often do not demonstrate the features and symptoms associated with older depressed individuals. 


If you have concerns about your child, you, the parent, often know best.  If you recognize these symptoms in your child, bring them to a health care professional qualified to diagnose and treat children with behavioral disorders.