Son Has Fits of Rage

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

My son has fits of rage and becomes very violent.
His eye glaze over and he seems to become someone different.
He has smashed windows, thrown hammers at me also tried stabbing his siblings.
Do you have any ideas as to what could be causing his behaviour?

A: Thank you for writing us here at PsychCentral. It must be such a difficult thing to watch your son go through these bouts. From your description it may be one of several possibilities. Here is what I would do.

I would make a list from memory of when these episodes have taken place with approximate times and dates. You will also want to identify how long the episodes were, and how intense.

I would also create what is called an ABC chart, which stands for antecedents-behavior-consequence. For this, note anything that might have come before the event. Was there a disturbance in the family beforehand? Was there a particular type of food he ate? Was it a certain time of day? And I would certainly keep this information going forward.

As you’re putting this information together I would make an appointment with your pediatrician and ask him for a referral for a child psychiatrist. When you meet with him or her you can then present the data, which can help in making the diagnosis and of course find a treatment.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Dec 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). Son Has Fits of Rage. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/12/19/son-has-fits-of-rage/

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