Therapy for ADHD and mood disorder

Knowing when your child needs behavior management counseling

I have 4-year-old twin sons with ADHD, and one has been diagnosed with something called anger and episodic dysfunction. They are both on medication, which helps. However, the one with the mood disorder is still out of control. He bangs his head and bites himself (along with destroying things) when he’s angered. Do you think he could benefit from some behavior management program or counseling? I’m at the end of my rope as far as dealing with these moods.

You really do have your hands full. It is difficult enough to parent a child with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) without adding the mood disorder to it. Impulsivity is a very strong feature of children with ADHD, which causes them to have poor judgment in excess of the average 4-year-old.

Although medication is helpful, as you point out there are many other issues that both parents and children struggle with, such as behavior, self-esteem, organization and anger management. Counseling is an essential component in treating children with ADHD. Children can begin to learn how to handle frustration and anger. Older children can use counseling to learn organization and social skills. Parents of children with ADHD also benefit from therapy to learn techniques of behavior management and to better understand which behaviors are part of the disease and which must be managed differently. Children with other psychiatric diagnoses, such as mood disorder, also need some ongoing therapy.

Check with your pediatrician or the psychiatrist who diagnosed your children for the names of some psychologists or therapists who have experience with children with ADHD and mood disorders. It wil help you a lot!

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