Argyris Stringaris and Eric Taylor

in Disruptive Mood

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print March 2015 | ISBN: 9780199674541
Published online May 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191779152 | DOI:

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Irritability can be defined as a state of proneness to anger. This chapter takes that definition as a starting point and attempts will be made to extend or sharpen it. Irritability, here and in the wider psychiatric and psychological literature, is taken to refer to an emotionally coloured state. However, it is unclear whether irritability should be considered as a mood, an emotion, or a temperamental disposition. Irritability is often used synonymously with terms such as anger, mood instability, or mood dysregulation. In this chapter the origins of some of these terms and their overlap with each other are discussed, together with the often-implicit theoretical assumptions underlying the term ‘dysregulation’ and how this influences clinical accounts and research plans. The chapter ends by presenting a heuristic schema to accommodate the terms within the major current theories about mood and emotion.

Chapter.  1449 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Paediatrics

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