Psychologist Tells Parents to Throw Away Popular Books Related to Bipolar Children

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Dr. Todd Finnerty says his book on DMDD presents a new perspective on child bipolar which is consistent with the DSM-5

Dr. Finnerty writes in his new book that many of the children who were being diagnosed with bipolar disorder may now be diagnosed with a new disorder in DSM-5 called Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD).

Psychologist Todd Finnerty, PsyD asks "why did the rate children were being diagnosed with bipolar disorder seem to skyrocket in less than 10 years?" Dr. Finnerty says that the "premature advice in some popular books on bipolar children may have helped contribute to poor diagnostic practices." He says in his new book that a "looser definition of mania, which isn’t in the DSM-IV or DSM-5, came in to prominence and contributed to more children being diagnosed as having early-onset bipolar disorder." However, Dr. Finnerty writes in his new book that "many of the children who were being diagnosed with bipolar disorder may now be diagnosed with a new disorder in DSM-5 called Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)."

According to the American Psychiatric Association, DMDD will be included as an official diagnosis in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) when it is published later this month. After reviewing their draft criteria, Dr. Finnerty concluded that children and teens with DMDD do not have “manic episodes.” He says that they have "chronic, severe irritability which leads to significant outbursts and difficulties controlling their emotions." According to Dr. Finnerty this is not a “bipolar” disorder. Dr. Finnerty calls it "a special form of depression" and he says that these kids need to develop skills to help them regulate their mood. Dr. Finnerty describes the problems children with DMDD have in his new book called Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), ADHD and the Bipolar Child Under DSM-5: A Concise Guide for Parents and Professionals. Dr. Finnerty says that in his new book he offers an alternative perspective to previous conceptualizations of early-onset bipolar disorder and says that the approach is "more consistent with DSM-5."

“Parents and professionals should throw away many of the previous books about bipolar children,” says Dr. Finnerty. He states that DMDD is a "game-changer" for diagnosing these kids. Dr. Finnerty indicated that researchers like Ellen Leibenluft, MD have shown that what many of these children are experiencing isn’t mania; it’s a form of chronic, severe irritability that is now called Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) in DSM-5. Researcher like Dr. Leibenluft have also shown that these kids are unlikely to grow up to have bipolar disorder according to Dr. Finnerty. Dr. Finnerty says that he describes the new DSM-5 DMDD diagnosis in his book.

Attributions: All information in this press release is attributable to Todd Finnerty, PsyD of PsychContinuingEd.com, LLC. Source: Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), ADHD and the Bipolar Child Under DSM-5: A Concise Guide for Parents and Professionals by Todd Finnerty. Published May, 2013 and available at http://www.disruptivemooddysregulation.com

About Todd Finnerty, Psy.D.
Dr. Todd Finnerty is a clinical psychologist in Columbus, Ohio. He is the American Psychological Association Public Education Coordinator for Ohio and is available for media interviews on DMDD. You can follow @DrFinnerty on Twitter. Dr. Finnerty is the author of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), ADHD and the Bipolar Child Under DSM-5: A Concise Guide for Parents and Professionals. The book is available on Amazon and at http://www.disruptivemooddysregulation.com

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