Long Tantrums

by Katherine

My 3 year old has been having these rages for about 2-3 months now. If I don't do one little thing he asks me to he freaks out, it doesn't happen all the time, but lately way more frequently. He turns bright red and screams as if he is hurt. Nothing can stop him, he also is very physical, he kicks,punches, and smacks me. I try talking to him, yelling at him, putting him in his room, going in my room, ignoring it, hugging him... EVERYTHING! nothing stops him, these fits last in excess of an hour and are just non-stop screaming. It seems talking to him makes it worse. When he gets very physical, I sometimes hold his arms and try to restrain him, then he tells me okay, okay I will stop, I don't want to scream, I won't hit you, etc... but I let him go and he screams louder and hits more. I've also noticed he looks right at me and screams " I want Mommy!!" and I am right there. Then if I hug him or go to him he hits me and screams at me.. is this normal? the only way these fits stop is when he passes out. I'm so worried, also I live in an apartment building, I fear somebody is going to think something is wrong, every time I'm thinking the cops are going to come knock at my door. Thank you for your time.

Hi Katherine. Those kinds of rages in a toddler seem excessive. However, I am not in the room observing your child so I cant be sure of whats happening. Has anything occurred recently in your child's life that would cause them stress suddenly? You gave a time period of 2-3 months. Has anything changed?

Certainly , as Ive said before tantrums are not necessarily a symptom of bipolar disorder, but it seems that they are almost always indicative of something. A tantrum lasting an hour is a long time. I wonder when you say pass out if you mean literally pass out? or stop from exhaustion?

I think you might want to take your child to the doctor to get a full physical work up and start from there. If there are no signs of physical problems, perhaps a child therapist might be the next option.

Good luck

Kristen McClure

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