(DSM-V, 2013) The common characteristic among these disorders are sadness, feeling empty, or irritable mood and are joined by physical and mental changes that affect an individual’s ability to function. They are separated by duration, timing, and presumed etiology.

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

(DSM-V, 2013) The main characteristic is persistent and severe irritability. It manifests in two ways, severe temper outbursts and a chronic persistent irritable or angry mood that is present between outbursts. The temper outbursts usually come in a response to frustration. It can be verbal or behavioral and is against property, self, or others. The outbursts will happen at least three times in a week for at least a year and in at least two different environments like in school and home. The irritable or angry mood is present all most of the day, almost every day, and noticeable by others. 

Major Depressive Disorder

(DSM-V, 2013) The symptoms must be present most of the day, every day except weight change and suicidal ideation. The episode will last for at least two weeks in which the individual has lost all interest or pleasure in all activities. Some terms used to describe a depressive state are depressed, sad, hopeless, discouraged, “down in the dumps,” feeling “blah,” having no feelings, or feeling anxious. 

Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia Disorder)

(DSM-V, 2013) The length of the depressed mood happens more days than not, most of the day, and for at least 2 years. It shares most of the symptoms of major depressive disorder mostly differentiating in the length of time of the symptoms. A symptom free period will last no longer than two months within the two years of depression.


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013.