A conduct disorder is defined by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as a group of emotional and behavioral problems that often begin in childhood and adolescence. Individuals with a conduct disorder often exhibit behavioral problems related to aggression, destruction, or deceit that ultimately violate the rights of others. Conduct disorders may appear alone or could later be alongside an addiction. By learning more about conduct disorders, you may be able to identify symptoms within yourself or loved ones to determine if help is needed.

The following are typical categories associated with conduct disorders:

  1. Aggressive behavior towards people and/or animals – includes bullying, threatening, physical violence, weapon use, physical cruelty to people or animals, or forcing someone to perform sexual acts.
  2. Property destruction – setting fires or purposefully destroying property
  3. Deceit or theft – lying, breaking into property, shoplifting, etc.
  4. Serious violation of rules – purposefully breaking family rules, running away from home, frequently skipping school before age 13

Children with this disorder are often irritable, have low self-esteem, and throw frequent tamper tantrums. Healthline notes that genetics and environmental causes are often the cause of conduct disorder development:

Genetic causes – lack of impulse control, reduced ability to plan future actions, and decreased ability to learn from past experiences

Environmental causes – child abuse, a dysfunctional family, parents who abuse drugs and/or alcohol, poverty

It is estimated that approximately 2-16% of children in the United States experience conduct disorder. Treatment for this often includes long-term psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. Medication may also be used at times to help a person with this disorder find clarity while they work through their emotional concerns. Some parents may undergo training to help work with their child and better understand their disorder.

If you have a co-occurring disorder such as conduct disorder and addiction, make the decision to seek help today. Recovery is possible and there are a variety of resources to help you through this.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.



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