What are mental health disorders?

April 13, 2016

Mental Health Disorders

behavioral disorderBehavioral disorders, also known as disruptive behavioral disorders, are the most common reasons that parents are told to take their kids for mental health assessments and treatment. Behavioral disorders are also common in adults. If left untreated in childhood, these disorders can negatively affect a person’s ability to hold a job and maintain relationships.

What Are the Types of Behavioral Disorders?

According to BehaviorDisorder.org, behavioral disorders may be broken down into a few types, which include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Disruptive behavioral disorders
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Emotional disorders
  • Pervasive developmental disorders

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ADHD is a condition that impairs an individual’s ability to properly focus and to control impulsive behaviors, or it may make the person overactive.

ADHD is more common in boys than it is in girls. According to the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, males are two to three times more likely than females to get ADHD.

Emotional Behavioral Disorder

An emotional behavioral disorder affects a person’s ability to be happy, control their emotions and pay attention in school. According to Gallaudet University, symptoms of an emotional behavioral disorder include:

  • Inappropriate actions or emotions under normal circumstances
  • Learning difficulties that are not caused by another health factor
  • Difficulty with interpersonal relationships, including relationships with teachers and peers
  • A general feeling of unhappiness or depression
  • Feelings of fear and anxiety related to personal or school matters

anxietyOppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

ODD is a behavioral disorder characterized by hostile, irritable and uncooperative attitudes in children, according to Children’s Mental Health Ontario. Children with ODD may be spiteful or annoying on purpose, and they generally direct their negative actions at authority figures.


Anxiety is a normal emotion, and all people feel anxiety at some point in their lives. However, for some people, anxiety may get to a point where it interferes with their daily lives, causing insomnia and negatively affecting performance at work or school, according to the Mayo Clinic. Anxiety disorders involve more than regular anxiety. They are serious mental health conditions that require treatment. Examples of these types of mental conditions include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is characterized by fears and irrational thoughts that lead to obsessions, which, in turn, cause compulsions, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you have OCD, you engage in compulsive, repetitive behavior despite realizing the negative consequences of — or even the unreasonable nature of — your actions. Performing these repetitive acts does nothing more than relieve stress temporarily.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these behavioral disorders, it is important to get help as soon as possible, because these conditions can affect quality of life to such a degree that they may lead to self-harm. Please call for assistance.

What Causes a Behavioral Disorder?

A behavioral disorder can have a variety of causes. According to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the abnormal behavior that is usually associated with these disorders can be traced back to biological, family and school-related factors.

Some biological causes may include:

  • Physical illness or disability
  • Malnutrition
  • Brain damage
  • Hereditary factors

Other factors related to an individual’s home life may contribute to behaviors associated with a behavioral disorder:

  • Divorce or other emotional upset at home
  • Coercion from parents
  • Unhealthy or inconsistent discipline style
  • Poor attitude toward education or schooling
Source: www.psychguides.com

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