Behavioral Disorders

    Behavioral / Disorders.

    Behavioral disorders, also known as disruptive behavioral disorders, are the most common reasons that parents are told to take their kids for mental health assessments and treatment. Behavioral disorders are also common in adults. If left untreated in childhood, these disorders can negatively affect a person’s ability to hold a job and maintain relationships.

    Types of Behavioral Disorders: Behavioral disorders may be broken down into a few types, which include:

    • Anxiety Disorder
    • Disruptive Behavioral Disorder
    • Dissociative Disorder
    • Emotional Disorder
    • Pervasive developmental Disorder
    • Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
    • Adult ADHD

    Causes of Behavioral Disorders.

    A behavioral disorder can have a variety of causes. According to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the abnormal behavior that is usually associated with these disorders can be traced back to biological, family and school-related factors.

    Some biological causes may include:

    • Physical illness or disability
    • Malnutrition
    • Brain damage
    • Hereditary factors

    Home atmosphere associated with a behavioral disorder

    • Divorce or other emotional upset at home
    • Coercion from parents
    • Unhealthy or inconsistent discipline style
    • Poor attitude toward education or schooling

    Signs Symptoms of a Behavioral Disorder.

    Someone who has a behavioral disorder may act out or display emotional upset in different ways, which will also vary from person to person.

    Emotional Symptoms of Behavioral Disorders

    • Easily getting annoyed or nervous
    • Often appearing angry
    • Putting blame on others
    • Refusing to follow rules or questioning authority
    • Arguing and throwing temper tantrums
    • Having difficulty in handling frustration

    Treatment of a Behavioral Disorder.

    • Positive and Negative Reinforcement
    • Punishment
    • Token economy
    • Systematic desensitization
    • Cognitive Behavioral therapy
    • Medications (if needed)

    Behavioral disorders can be treated by mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists and psychologists; however, treatment will require participation from parents, siblings, and teachers to truly be effective. Family members can find out how to work with the affected child in group therapy sessions. There, they can learn how to use positive reinforcement and rewards along with record keeping helping the affected child or teen improve.

    Generally speaking, the more anti social a child has been, the less likely group therapy will help them. These children tend to benefit more from one-on-one therapy in a far more structured environment. Treatment also involves teaching children and teens with behavioral disorders, problem-solving and communication skills. Many of these children suffer from arrested development, which sets them back in all of the above areas.

    Many children and teens benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy. Over 10 to 35 weekly sessions, a therapist will work with a child using cognitive behavioral therapy to help free them from the negative thought patterns that cause acting out. These thought patterns can include over generalizing, exaggerating or viewing any unpleasant event as continued evidence that they are destined to lose in life.

    Doctors can prescribe a wide range of medications for children and teens with behavioral disorders. These include antidepressants, stimulants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics, among others. However, many mental health professionals urge non-pharmaceutical therapies, such as those described above, before resorting to medication.