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Disruptive Behavior Disorders Guide

Disruptive behavior disorders cause consistent patterns of behavior that is disruptive, causes problems and is considered “breaking the rules.” While all children and young adults will break the rules at some point disruptive behavior involves routine disruption that is defiant and does not stop. Children who are in their young years, usually from two to three years old will often be disruptive and teens will show similar characteristics but these are usually just phases. For people who are routinely out of line a mental health disorder known as a disruptive behavior disorder may be present.

There are three common types of disruptive behavior disorders. ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder are the three main types of disruptive behavior disorders. Each of these disorders has various characteristics and treatment options depending on the severity and also on the age of the person with the disorder.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional defiant disorder is a type of disruptive behavior disorder that causes the individual to break rules in the family and at school. This type of disruptive behavior disorder may occur in a child at any age and is common in adolescents. Oppositional defiant disorder may resemble conduct disorder but is totally separate from the other.

Some of the most common examples of an oppositional defiant disorder include being defiant of authority such as parents and teachers and arguing. Children or others who have this type of disruptive behavior disorder may refuse to obey the rules at home or at school or both. They may not take responsibility for their poor behavior or for their mistakes and they will even have regular temper tantrums despite age. Oppositional defiant disorder will also cause an individual to have resentment and to look for revenge on others.

Conduct Disorder Behavior

Conduct disorder involves breaking the rules of society and the law. Conduct disorder is more common in older children, adults and adolescents than in younger children. It is estimated that as many as 4% of children between the ages of seven and seventeen suffer from this type of disruptive behavior disorder.

Children who suffer from conduct disorders may be aggressive towards people or animals and they may even make threats to hurt people or animals. The show behavioral patterns that include destroying property by breaking windows, using graffiti or setting things on fire. Stealing, bullying and lying to get what they want is also common of children who suffer from this type of disruptive behavior disorder. These children are likely to have serious law violations and may even run away from home.

Causes of Disruptive Behavior Disorders

Children who have a low birth weight or neurological damage are at an increased risk of having a disruptive behavior pattern. Those who suffer from ADHD are also at an increased risk of suffering from these types of disorders as well. Additionally, children who are rejected by their mothers or are separated from their parents may also show signs of disruptive behavior disorders.

Disruptive behavior disorders are common in children who are raised in abusive homes. Physical and sexual abuse to a child or to the mother while the child is in her presence can also increase the risk of a child later developing a disruptive behavior disorder.

Treatment for Disruptive Behavior Disorders

The best possible treatment for disruptive behavior disorders is to recognize the problem as early as possible and begin to change the situation. There are different types of treatment which include educating the parents on better ways of parenting the child, using behavior therapies and coordinating services with schools and other community agencies that are available to help out.

Some children may be prescribed medication for treatment of certain disruptive behavior disorders such as oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder or even for ADHD. In fact, it is not uncommon for children who have ADHD to be prescribed medication. All medications come with side effects that must be carefully monitored so it’s important to discuss this type of treatment thoroughly with a doctor before making a decision.

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