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Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Coming soon to a DSM near you?

Shirley Wang reports in the WSJ that the forthcoming edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-V, may include the above disorder, "a condition characterized by children who are constantly irritable and can be explosive. This differs from bipolar disorder, which is characterized by periods of depression and 'manic' episodes--extreme swings of happiness or irritability."

Part of the concern is that kids are being diagnosed with bipolar disorder when they don't have it and given drugs that don't do any good.  Trimming back on the rampantly overdiagnosed bipolar disorder would be a good thing overall.  The problem, as all of us involved in criminal law know from long experience, is that any new diagnosis that is plausibly related to misbehavior will be seized upon as an excuse, misdiagnosed in people who do not have it for the purpose of evading deserved punishment for voluntary acts.

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