"My 5 yr old daughter is violent when she is angry. If she fights with her
younger siblings or is told to do something she doesn't like she gets very
angry. I am not sure if she has a problem or needs to learn how to deal
with being upset. If anyone has any advise I would be happy to hear it; I
am not sure what else to do.
"Hi my grandson is 4 yrs old and he is very smart-he's no problem at home
but at school he has outburst and looks very different in the face when
this happens. he throws things, hits children, screams and just has a
terrible time I need help to find out what is goin on i don't want anyone
to get hurt..Thanks "
"I have a 17 year old cousin named Yolanda she has anger issues such as
mood swings,and major outburst which contain profanity every 2.5 seconds
she also does ot know how to keep her alien fingers to herself....pleas
somebody give me advice....I NEED HELPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"This sounds just llike my grandson. He is a sweet and wonderful child,
but when he goes into his rages he kicks, hits throws things, turns over
furniture. Now he is doing this at school. He is 5 yrs. old in
kindergarden and he is already suspended for a wk. because of his anger
outburst. This is the second time this yr. The teachers say he gets in
trouble everyday. I know what a good kid he is I don't understand how he
is doing all this at school and not so much at home. The teachers and
principle are not helping at all. They just don't want to put up with him
anymore they aren't interested in trying to help him. They already have
labled him as a bad kid. I know there is something wrong somewhere with
him. He has always had a temper but nothing like this past yr. I thought
maybe juvenile dibeties I'm just struggling for answers looking
everywhere. When I bring this up to the parents they just tell me oh there
is nothing wrong it's just him. I know different, I have practill!
y rasied him. They live here with us I spend more time with him. I need
"I wrote this article in 2002 for Attention magazine, and if you want more
information, check for my new book on Amazon, or check my blog on blogspot
or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There can be many causes of anger and
disobedience, as my book points out. Some children have a short fuse.
Their brain is not mature yet, and they have difficulty controlling their
emotional reactions. I try to give parents ways to help these children.
"It's very nice that 'professionals', many of them with prescription pads
at the ready, can conveniently categorize children as having "anger
overload" or "oppositional defiant disorder".
Have these 'professionals' ever considered that these children might be
routinely emotionally, physically, and/or sexually abused at home or by
someone close to them?
I was a "difficult", "angry" child in elementary school. Many times, I was
punished by my teachers, NONE of whom ever guessed that I was my mother's
"whipping boy" at home. I went to the same exclusive K-12 prep school as
President Obama. My mother was also a single parent, who acted meek and
distressed at the parent conferences she had to attend frequently when I
was in 4th grade. NONE of my teachers at this expensive school ever
guessed that this meek single mother was a psychotic, sadistic Narcissist
at home to her only child.
My experiences have taught me (1) that teachers are rarely worthwhile, and
(2) that psychologists are worth even less.
"For the last two years my son has been struggling at school, not so much
with his school work, more so keeping up with the punishments he's been
getting from the teachers. I of course, being his mother, am there to
defend and protect him but mainly to get to the bottom of any problems
that arise. I am always truthful and believe neither of my children are
angels, well not all the time anyway, but I do believe he has been
targeted by certain teachers at this school for the last two years. I
haven't seen any encouragement or direction given from the teachers to my
son and I believe this has hurt him, deeply on the inside. He has changed
so, so much since the start of school 2010. I didn't like where he was
placed in the beginning of 2010 and tried my damnedest to move him to
another class and I was pretty much laughed at by the deputy principal!!
Meetings and meetings have gone by, mostly requested by myself and I feel
the teachers involved in these meetings manage to ma!
nipulate my thoughts and twist the situation, I end up leaving thinking
everything is going to be ok. But where is the change??? The only change
I have witnessed is the change in my son. How angry he has become and how
hurt he really is deep inside. I believe these teachers have A LOT to do
with my 10 year olds behaviour, I don't doubt it at all and something
needs to be done about it. I will do whatever it takes to get my boy back
on track because that is more than what he deserves. I have read this
article and it is a real eye opener. I have taken it on board, will try
your strategies and hopefully get my happy boy back. As for the teachers
at the school, I hope they are happy with the jobs they are doing and that
they can rest easy knowing they have done everything and all in their
power and ability to help the children that are in their hands. Our
Children. Thank you "
"My husband and I have a 2 yr 9 month old. His anger began around 10 or 11
months. This article has enlightened the situation tremendously but we
have already exhausted our options including the treatment section. We
have spoken to several doctors and he is having a neuro scan in two days.
We are so afraid if we do not get a grip on what is going on, we could
fear him in a later age. We have been considered having another child,
however we fear bringing one into the household with our son. He has been
evaluated and screened by a developmental agency and has occupational,
speech, and a behavior specialists working with him. The services have
been conducted for 5 months now and we do not see a change. We thought it
was lack of communication, now that that is improving, we don't know where
to turn. I have been blown off by doctors and other moms with children
this age. They have all informed me this is normal and will pass. I have
been around small children my entire life and know something is wrong.
Please, if anyone can advise us on something else to try, please tell me.
We are exhausted and so worried. Please help us teach ourselves how to
deal with this. Thank you."
"This article sounds just like my 11 year old son. About once a month or
sometime even longer, son has a thirty minute rage fest. No one can calm
him down. Kicks walls, tries to get away from people and throws chairs.
The school usually calls me to pick him up and a two day suspension
follows. This behavior did not happen last year and he was very
successful. This behavior began when he was in second grade. A teacher
held him down while another student hit him. (Yes teacher was fired.) He
is on medication, but not adhd meds because of reactions to. (Anxiety
med, Bi Polar Meds)He is very remorseful after the meltdown and say what a
bad child he is. I know he is not. Dad and I take him to see his
psychiatrist regularly. He is in a new school this year with a new
behvior specialist with him. He does have an IEP for other health
impairments. When I read your article, the meltdowns sound just like
this. Behaviors only happen at school. Gets grounded regularly with no
meltdowns. Says feels safe at home. "
"this is the same problem Ive had that I now see in my 12 yr old son,and
its bad!I always knew that it was not psychological but abnormal brain
function.I went through hell as a teenager and I desperately need to help
"Dear to anyone who is worried you do have reasons to be worried,i can
answer why your son/daughter may have turened devilish.See ths is normal
but may be very dangerous at a young age(17 or under) it is actually
dangerous at anyage as well.In school you might want to have someone or a
teacher keep an eye on them. during school may be the cause on when they
start to behave extremley... well not themselves.It could be just anyone
picking on them or making threats, or maybe just a 'friend' bothering
them. Please please never leave them alone you might regret it even with
older sybilings.I know from personal experence,my cousin once came up to
me with a knife at his neck telling me wether he should do it or not, he
has extreme anger problems. But he has changed so so so so much & im about
to tell you why and how you can do this. But he still has alittle bit of
anger but not so much.Ok to get them to change you must must tell them
anything,trick them im not saying to lie im sayin!
g to use their fears.And you know them you have got to make a change."
"This is my 9 year old to a T. He has ADD and was tested by s doctor out of
his Psyciatrist office. He was then Diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant
Disorder. He is on the patch for the ADD and recently has been perscribed
Abilify for the Defiant. It is ager that is bottled up.. Talk to your
childs Psych and recomend testing. My sons doctor dod the pictures that
look like blobs to see what he sees in the pics. This isd how he was
diagnosed. Extremely a right on dr. I was also tested and I have
borderline personality and depression and anxiety. This same dr tested me
and very accurate"
"I think that anger comes within a child when they go through a lot of
things in life. If their parents got split up or his/her mother was abused
by the father that can also cause anger. I agree with this article I think
it give us a lot to think about and how to deal with this issue"
"everything is a disorder these days. PhDs have to put a label on
everything so that they can diagnose and write about it, but that doesn't
make some of these disorders anything other than normal mammal behavior.
good thing we don't give drugs to all the animals in the wild every time
they challenge their alpha male. geez"
"where do i start, my son was and is the most beautiful boy i have ever
seen his smiles can light up the world!. but i have to admit from about
16mth old ( which i thought was coming in to the the terrible two's) he
became very difficult to handle. not so that i was embarassed or anything
it just felt i was telling him off all the time.As time has progressed
i've noticed other things more talking and aruging with himself talking to
an imaginary friend and gtting very angry! swearing and things sayings
awful macarb things, he doesn't now understand been disaplined anymore
he'll do the time out but it doesn'register what for even though u have
told why . He will apologise then its back to the begining. I love my
little man dearly but our relationship is in tatters and i'm now a single
mum with a little daughter whom again is my apple and she nr 17mth old and
showing the same tendices i'm hoping throught mimicing her brother, i wake
dreading the day ,i'm not enjoying my children!
i'm now shouting and screaming at them all day we have got into such a
horrible routine, i feel like now its my job to be a demon mom, not at all
what i want or am like i hate it,i have no energy left for the fun things
now kyle will destroy the house his anger is flash here one min gone the
next but inthat time his face changes its dam right evil and i'm scared
(he's 4yrs)i know have his father saying he has to go live him because i
can't cope, which is never gonna happen, cause i ahve coped since both
were born, without any help, but i need to know why my angel is been taken
over by the devil."
"Great information!! I have a son who just turned 3, ordinarily very well
behaved and very sweet, lately he has these spurts of anger and physical
violence. He has become sort of a dare devil so to speak lately also. As
his mother, I am very frightened about this. Its almost like he is 2
different people, sorta like Jekyll and Hyde. It breaks my heart to see
him this way and I am so disturbed by it. I don't know how to deal with
this. At first I thought it was just toddler tantrums, but I am not so
sure about that anymore. Does anyone have any advice. Thanks"
"my 8 yr old soon ha the symtoms of anger overload and bipoar but no one
will liten how do i get help"
"I have read Dr. David Gottlieb's article 'Anger Overload In Children:
Diagnostic And Treatment Issues'.
I was pleased to note that Dr. Demitri Papolos and his wife Janice Papolos
and their book, 'The Bipolar Child' was credited in Dr. Gottlieb's
aritcle. 'The Bipolar Child' is now in its third edition. It has become my
primary reference after several years of me, and the medical community,
trying to figure out the cause of the 'explosive' behavior and rapid mood
swings in my now 8 year old grandson. I am confident that I 'found my
grandson' in the pages of 'The Bipolar Child'!
In his article Dr. Gottlieb notes the following: 'In addition, children
with bipolar have other symptoms such as periods of mania, grandiosity,
intense silliness or hypersexuality'. To which I would respond, in very
young children, 'Not necessarily'!
Attempting to diagnose very young children using the DSM IV may, if one is
lucky, get a non-descript 'mood disorder' or hesitant and equally
nondescript Bipolar NOS. If one is not fortunate enough to get the Bipolar
NOS the diagnosis may not come for years, until full-blown bipolar
disorder becomes evident in the late teens or early 20's! Then one may be
told, 'That doesn't mean that we missed anything' in the years earlier.
May I suggest that after you read Dr. Gottlieb's informative article, you
are not certain you have 'found your child' you may consider visiting the
Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation's website: www.jbrf.org
Incidently Dr. Gottlieb, in my eight-year-old grandson's case:
there is often physical destruction or harm to something or someone.
We, and his teachers, have the bruises to validate the 'harm
to someone' That 'someone' can even be, and often is, himself!
"While searching articles and pathology of an agry child I came opon your
website. This article on anger overload was a real eye opener. i have
printed it out for my son and daughter-in-law in hopes that it will lead
to a better understanding and create a need for further exploration of
their eight year old's problem. Thank you for offering such a helpful
website! Thank you for offering this site at no charge. I will pass this
on to other parents and grandparents."
"Growing up with a learning disorder, specifically speech and language, has
partly fueled my anger or 'sudden angry outbursts.' Partly from my
father's verbal abuse and ocassional physical abuse. It surprised me how
quickly how angry I got, over situations like a perceived insult or
rejection. As a kid I was very sensitive and sweet, as I like to think but
I was easily upset over the small things. I remember when I was in third
grade, a geeky kid was being picked on and it bothered me to a point where
I exploded with anger then later it turned into tears. Looking back on my
childhood I see my anger had alienated me.
I am 19 years old. I am declassified in speech and language delayed. I
have been for the past 10 years, I got into all the colleges I applied to
and made the Dean's List for the first semester. Although my grades are
good, I still have occasional flare ups with my anger. It scares me to be
honest. I never hit a person, I just scream and yell to the point where I
lose my voice. (Then I cry) I want to have my anger under control, I have
tried mostly everything but nothing seems to work. I am open to advice! "
"My son is in 3rd grade and has been having anger issues since 1st grade.
This article describes him perfectly. We have done counseling at school
and at a private counselor's office. I have even talked to his physician
about his anger. I feel that we are at a dead end. He is such a caring and
well behaved kid 90% of the time. It is just comes on so fast and it is
very explosive when it happens. I am so afraid that he is going to not
have a social life of any kind. When I go to the school to help out with a
party or anything, the other kids in his class want to know what is wrong
with him, because he does get so angry with them at what seems like small
things. Me and his Dad are divorced. His dad was very abusive, mentally
and physically to me. Never physical with either of my boys, just mentally
he was very abusive to all of us. And still is I believe when the boys go
over there for his visitation he is this way with them. My youngest son
who is 6, does not show the same ange!
r like his older brother. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. "
"Like this grandmother, I too was struck by how this article spoke to my kindergarten age son's problems with explosive anger. I actually was able to track down Dr. Gottlieb at his Illinois office. He suggested those of us interested in more on this topic read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. While the book isn't all about anger overload, it does touch on the subject. He also suggested interviewing potential therapists/counselors by asking if they have read this book or are familiar with it. Also he suggested searching for therapists who deal exclusively with children and who have experienced in dealing with anger issues. We are fortunate to have a school that is very willing to work with us, despite my son's two extreme melt downs since school began. We are working on giving him words to use, like Stop and Listen, when he feels this anger overload coming on. The adults who work with him all know about this language and have agreed to pay special attention when he uses it !
and to step back and give him time to calm down. As Dr. Gottlieb says, it is an incremental journey but one well worth taking.
I'd be interested in hearing from other parents with children who present the characteristics of anger overload. It may be that a website to share our stories is in order, as well as a call for more research into this condition."
"I would like more information about the author of this piece, as my son is having very similar episodes and has been expelled from kindergarten twice in a month. If anyone has more info on the author the anger overload, please reply,."
"Dr. Gottlieb, this article is wonderful. Sounds like my 4 1/2 year old grandson who is wonderful. Is there a doctor in Houston that you feel can work with us. I do not want him misdiagnosed with bipolor or something else for the rest of his life. I feel this is so important before he starts school next year to work on your suggestions. Max is so smart and sweet, but he does have these short outburst. Schools tend to put all children in label buckets and it sticks with them. I appreciate any help you can give. thank you for this article"