What are Conduct Disorders?

Conduct disorders are a complicated group of behavioral and emotional problems in youngsters.  Children and adolescents with these disorders have great difficulty following rules and behaving in a socially acceptable way.  They are often viewed by other children, adults and social agencies as bad or delinquent, rather than mentally ill.

Children or adolescents with conduct problems may exhibit some of the following behaviors; aggression to people and animals; destruction of property; deceitfulness; lying or stealing; and serious violations of rules.

 

The future of these children is likely to be very unhappy if they and their families do not receive early, ongoing, and comprehensive treatment.  Without treatment, many youngsters with conduct disorders are unable to adapt to the demands of adulthood and continue to have problems with relationships and maintaining employment.  They often break laws or behave antisocially.  Many children with a conduct disorder may be diagnosed as also having depression or attention deficit disorder.

 

Many factors may lead to a child developing conduct disorders, including brain damage, child abuse, defects in growth, school failure, and negative family and social experiences.  The child’s bad behavior causes a negative reaction from others, which makes the child behave even worse.

 

Treatment can be provided in a variety of different treatment settings depending on the severity of the behaviors.  In order to form a comprehensive treatment plan, a child and adolescent psychiatrist may use information from other medical specialists, and from the child, family, and teachers, to understand the causes of the disorder.

 

Behavior therapy, psychotherapy and medication are sometimes necessary to help the child appropriately express and control anger.  Treatment is rarely brief since establishing new attitudes and behavior patterns takes time.  However, treatment offers a good chance for considerable improvement in the present and hope for a more successful future.

 

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