It's Possible for Kids to Pick Up One of a Number of Behavioral Disorders

Feb 23, 2022

Kids are known for being mischievous, but when a child's particular interest in trouble grows more extreme, they might be showing signs of a behavioral disorder. A behavioral disorder is a mental health issue that can affect a person's thoughts, feelings, behaviors, or emotions, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Some children with behavioral disorders are so disruptive that they end up getting expelled from school. Other kids will develop problems at home or on the playground that force them to miss out on important activities.

These weird behaviors can be stressful to both parents and the child as well as those around them. Some people have different forms of this behavior, while others don't seem to exhibit some symptoms until later in life. When parents suspect their children may have a behavioral disorder, it's best to seek help from a doctor specializing in treating behavioral issues. If detected early, some behavioral disorders can be treated fairly quickly. In other cases, these conditions are more difficult to treat effectively.

1 - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Children diagnosed with ADHD typically show a pattern of impulsivity, high levels of activity or restlessness, and difficulty paying attention. This problem can cause a disruption in schoolwork. ADHD normally starts between ages 6 and 12, although some individuals appear to experience it much earlier than this age range. Parents often notice changes in their children before a pediatrician does. More severe cases of ADHD also require medicine; however, most children respond well to behavioral therapy. For some children with ADHD, medication may help reduce hyperactive behavior and improve concentration.

2 - Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by difficulties in socialization, communication, repetitive behaviors, and restricted interests. Many children display all or several elements of ASD, depending on their level of impairment. Symptoms usually begin during infancy, but many children show developmental delays by 4 years old. Children with ASD tend to find themselves less able to focus on tasks. They also struggle with making connections between things and events. These problems become more apparent within academic settings as well as daily routines. A diagnosis of autism doesn't mean a child has no control over his or her actions. Most families can work with their autistic children through special therapies, which teach coping skills or train them in specific skills necessary for everyday living.

3 - Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is the feeling of fear or worry that causes tension, nervousness, and uneasiness. It is normal, though, to feel anxious about certain situations. However, anxiety becomes an overly frequent concern if it gets out-of-control, and if it impacts the child's ability to function at home or in school. Anxious children frequently complain of stomach aches, headaches, and muscle aches - sometimes even sleeping too little or too much. As a result of their anxiety, some kids avoid going places where they might get in trouble, like public restrooms. Others will only eat when their parents permit them to do so. These behaviors and thoughts make it tough for both the anxious child and his or her family members. Anxiety disorder affects nearly 2 percent of children. While there isn't one particular type of treatment for each condition, one can find resources for therapy and support groups in their local communities.

4 - Oppositional Defiant Disorder

This condition occurs commonly among three-year-olds. This form of stubborn, defiant behavior shows itself in opposition to the rules put forth by parents or teachers. ODD is especially common among boys. Their defiance stems from anger and frustration toward authority figures. At its worst, oppositional defiant disorders can lead to physical violence against others. When a child acts aggressively or willfully disobeys laws, he or she meets the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorder. Both conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder are considered childhood mental health conditions. The symptoms of conduct disorder last longer than those of oppositional defiant disorder. Also known as "naughty kid syndrome," conduct disorder is treated through individual counseling or group therapy, medication, or a combination of these options.

5 - Bipolar Disorder

While bipolar disorder can strike anyone at any age, it's most prevalent during young adulthood. Children with bipolar disorder typically have periods of abnormally elevated mood followed by depressive episodes. Although bipolar disorder is not life-threatening, it does cause significant distress to the patient and their family due to changes in personality and behaviors. To treat this condition, doctors typically recommend psychiatric medication such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or antipsychotics. Some people also receive psychotherapy treatment for bipolar disorder.

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