Should I Be Concerned When My Grand Daughter Scratches And Pinches Herself When She Has A Tantrum. She Gets Uncontrollably Angry And Is Hard To Get Calmed Back Down

Question

Asked by lrae

Should I Be Concerned When My Grand Daughter Scratches And Pinches Herself When She Has A Tantrum. She Gets Uncontrollably Angry And Is Hard To Get Calmed Back Down

Example. Take her for a walk she's great. Take her out of the stroller and take her coat and hat off and she cries, screams, repeats coat, please, etc. She gets so angry she pinches herself and scratches herself and pulls her hair. She calms down in about 15 minutes but during the tantrum is uncontrollable.

Answer

Thank you for your question and welcome to ADHDCentral.com

I am not a medical professional and would not be able to give you medical advice.

However, Terry Matlen previously wrote a post, When is a Temper Tantrum Just a Tantrum? Or is it Time to Get Help? In it, she discussed a recent study on tantrums:

"The study, by Dr. Andy Belden of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, was published in the Journal of Pediatrics. His team analyzed parent reports of tantrum behaviors in 279 children, aged 3-6, comparing healthy children to those with histories of ADHD, oppositional defiance disorder, depression, and other disruptive disorders.

His conclusion was that children who have long, frequent or aggressive temper tantrums might be at risk of depression or disruptive disorders.

Though most all children have tantrums when hungry, tired, over-stimulated or frustrated, the key in this study was to analyze the styles and duration of the tantrums.

Belden's team devised five high-risk tantrum styles:

  • Tantrums that caused self injury; tantrums involving violence
  • Tantrums in which children cannot calm themselves without help
  • Tantrums lasting more than 25 minutes
  • Tantrums occurring more than 5 times a day, or between 10 and 20 times a month

Of those, Belden said tantrums in which children harm themselves were most often associated with depression and should be considered very serious.

He said any of those high-risk behaviors would warrant a call to the doctor."

Merely Me also offers some suggestions for dealing with tantrums in her post, Meltdowns and Tantrums! Oh My!

It certainly would not hurt to have a consultation with your granddaughter's pediatrician and explain what is going on. He or she would be more aware of her health history and would be better able to determine if further evaluation would be needed.

Eileen