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Behavioral/Conduct disorders

Behavioral problems are common in children as they grow up and learn to relate to people and situations. They may show defiance and have difficulty getting along with others, causing them to talk back and get into fights. If these problems are persistent and cannot be corrected with time, advice or redirection, it may be a sign of a behavioral disorder.

Behavioral disorders may be recognized through symptoms such as anger, defiance, involvement in law-breaking activities, lack of empathy, being aggressive and impulsive, poor performance at school, premature sexual activity, and inability to handle frustrations. Substance abuse and suicidal tendencies are common in those with behavioral disorders;hence, it is necessary to seek assistance early. While the dynamics of the family and upbringing play a vital role, behavioral disorders may also be associated with other mental health problems, such as depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

In order for your doctor to make a proper diagnosis, a thorough history of symptoms is gathered from your child, family and peers. Standardized tests are performed to assess behavioral abnormalities.

Treatment for behavioral disorders includes individual or group therapy, therapy to control mood and anger, and development of communication, problem-solving and social skills. Your doctor may prescribe psychiatric medications to assist with treatment. Cooperation from family and peers is necessary for better results.

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