Quiz: Is Your Child’s Anger Out of Control?
Most kids have a temper tantrum from time to time. They may occasionally push or shove their sibling out of frustration. Or they may have an embarrassing meltdown in public. When these behavioral problems come too frequently, however, it may signal something other than normal childhood growing pains. How can you know if your child’s anger is a sign of a more serious behavioral problem?
Take this quiz to see if your child’s anger is out of control.
- Is your child getting into trouble at school or at risk of being suspended or expelled due to anger, aggression, or fighting?
- Is your child a danger to him/herself or to others?
- Does your child get excluded from playdates and parties with other children because of problem behavior?
- Do your child’s angry outbursts disrupt your home life and cause strife in the family?
- Is your child too old to be having temper tantrums and meltdowns but still having them?
- Does your child feel guilty and frustrated because they can’t control their anger?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s likely that your child would benefit from an evaluation. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent, and you definitely aren’t alone. In fact, anger issues are one of the most common reasons why parents take their children to see a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist.
Anger in the Child’s Brain
Understand that uncontrollable anger is usually a sign of abnormal brain activity and can be associated with a range of mental health conditions and other issues, including the following:
For example, Denise had temper problems and was just 13 years old when she pulled a knife on her mother. That’s when her parents realized her behavior was outside the norm and took her to get mental health treatment. A brain imaging test called SPECT showed that Denise, who had always had school problems, especially with reading, had abnormal activity in her left temporal lobe. The temporal lobes are involved in mood stability, memory, and learning. Abnormal activity in this region is associated with aggression, dark or violent thoughts, and emotional instability. It’s also seen in reading difficulties.
When Denise saw her brain scans, she burst into tears, saying, “When I read, I am so mean to myself. I tell myself, ‘Try harder. If you try harder, then you won’t be so stupid.’ But trying harder doesn’t seem to help.” Denise’s frustrations from her learning problems contributed to her temper problems. With education therapy and a treatment plan designed to help heal her brain, Denise’s anger subsided, and she did much better at school. And her mother no longer had to worry about her daughter threatening her with a knife.
If your child’s anger is out of control, it’s important to get a complete evaluation to see if it may be due to a mental health disorder, brain injury, or temporal lobe problem. With proper treatment of the underlying issue, your child can stop feeling so angry and start feeling better fast. This will help them perform better at school, make friends more easily, and get along better with the whole family.
At Amen Clinics, we use brain SPECT imaging as part of a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose and treat children. This helps our Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists identify any dysfunction or damage in the brain, as well as any co-existing conditions, that need to be addressed. Based on this information, we are better able to personalize treatment for your child using the least toxic, most effective solutions for a better outcome.
To find out more about how we can help your child, call 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit.