I’ve been reading up on opinions on temper dysregulation disorder with dysphoria. Some, obviously, think the disorder should be left out, either in favor of pediatric bipolar or to prevent more diagnosis of healthhy children. Others, like the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation, think
the diagnosis is a good idea, but it should be renamed.
I can see where the CABF is coming from with its argument that TDD should have a different name. Firstly, of course, “temper” has a bad connotation of willful behavior, while some children who are irritable, may not be so in order to annoy others. For this reason, it should possibly be clarified that the child’s mood is also dysfunctional besides their behavior. Otherwise, why create a separate disorder besides oppositional defiant disorder, which already emcompasses willfully annoying and hostile behavior?
I am not familiar with the treatment implications regarding whether TDD should be considered a mood disorder or a behavior disorder. Since both behavioral and pharmaceutical interventions may be investigated in either case – it is a myth that children with behavior disorders, do not take drugs -, I am not certain whether it matters, except in the sense of the negative connotation again. I, for one, would dread being diagnosied with a disruptive behavior disorder, but I would not mind being diagnosed with the same disorder if it were classified as a mood disorder and thus reflected the fact that my behavior was not just willfully disruptive.
Besides these considerations, please note that “temper dysregulation disorder with dysphoria” is a new term, but its characteristics are not new to research. In scientific papers, the disorder is referred to as “severe mood dysregulation” (SMD). Would it perhaps be easier for research purposes if this term were maintained rather than TDD, too? That would make it quite clear that what is referred to, is the same disorder investigated in research finding it different from childhood bipolar and irresponsive to bipolar medication. Unless there is anything wrong with this labeling that I missed out on, I would think SMD is a more accurate and more useful term than TDD.