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Depression

My Son is an Anger Ball!

01/26/2009

Question:

My 4-year-old son is suddenly an angry mess!! He screams at myself and my fiance with such fierceness that we blame ourselves for something we might have done, only to come up emptyhanded. He has such an attitude and he will start whining and crying at any given moment. We`ve tried physical discipline (spanking), yelling, time-outs, and takng things away but nothing is working. It`s taking a toll on mine and my fiance`s relationship. We just have no idea what to do anymore. We think it might be something else like a medical problem. I have some depression and anxiety problems and I`ve heard that it could be hereditary. So we`re worried that he`ll have to go on medication. But at 4-years-old, we think that it`s a little too early and we`re looking for an alternative treatment for this problem. Any ideas? We`re open to anything!!

Answer:

The first step is to get a good evaluation of the problem. Don't let your concerns about medication block you from taking the first step toward defining the problem and the options for addressing it. Most complex problems like this require multiple approaches. Do what you can to have your child evaluated by a child psychologist or psychiatrist.

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Response by:

Lawson  Wulsin, MD Lawson Wulsin, MD
Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine, Training Director of the Family Medicine Psychiatry Residency Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati