5 Most Common Behavioral Issues

Behavior disorders can greatly impact a person’s life. Whether you’ve been diagnosed since a child, are concerned about warning signs in a loved one, or are recognizing symptoms in your own life, the best way to treat a behavioral disorder is to be fully informed. 

Our team of experts led by board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Ronald Winfield at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, specializes in helping you identify, treat, and manage the symptoms of behavioral disorders so you can live a happy and successful life. 

Behavioral disorder basics

Behavioral disorders are classified as a pattern of behaviors that are disruptive and harmful to you and those around you. These disorders are typically diagnosed and treated in early childhood, but if left untreated they can affect your adult life making it difficult for you to maintain healthy relationships, regular employment, and other functions of a typical adult.

Some risk factors for developing a behavior disorder include but are not limited to:

There are many kinds of behavioral issues. Here are the five most common affecting Americans today:

1. Conduct disorder

Conduct disorder occurs when you struggle with antisocial behaviors, following rules, and showing empathy towards those around you. Signs of this disorder usually appear around the age of 16 and include:


Other indicators of conduct disorder are lack of remorse, concern, empathy, or any emotional response for your actions. 

2. Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)

Children naturally act out in defiance and throw tantrums. When that behavior translates into adulthood, it’s called oppositional defiant disorder. ODD begins in childhood with behaviors like frequent questioning of authority, excessive arguing, refusing to comply, and intentionally engaging in behaviors that upset others. 

If not diagnosed and treated at a young age, ODD can present itself in your later life as feeling angry at the world, feeling misunderstood, disliking authority figures, especially at work, becoming defensive when presented with opposition or feedback, and blaming others for your actions. 

3. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is likely one of the most common behavior issues for children, adolescents, and adults. It’s signs and symptoms include:

These symptoms can lead to complications like financial instability, unemployment, frequent trouble with law enforcement, substance abuse or misuse, and unstable relationships. 

4. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

If you have OCD, you likely feel you’re drowning in a constant state of worry. OCD is characterized by thoughts, actions, and impulses that are chronic, uncontrollable, and intrusive. You might engage in behaviors like constant washing and cleaning, repeating phrases or prayers, following strict routines, or repetitively counting and checking.

For example, you may have a significant fear of or be worried about germs. This might cause you to wash your hands compulsively to get rid of any potential germs even if your hands become chapped, raw, and blistered. 

Other obsessions can include:

OCD is an overwhelming condition that invades and disrupts your life making it difficult to function normally. OCD can lead to other complications like bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety

5. Behavioral addiction

Addiction is not limited to substance abuse. Addiction occurs when your brain associates pleasure and activates its reward mechanism when engaging in an activity. There are many behaviors that you can become addicted to including:

If you’re addicted to one or more of these behaviors, you might neglect family and work responsibilities, use the behavior as a way to cope with emotions, deny or hide your problem, and continue the behavior despite wanting to stop or cut back. All of these behavioral addictions can lead to problems with your finances and relationships, and threaten your safety and overall health. 

Treating your behavioral issues

No matter what behavioral disorder you’re living with, we can help you manage and treat your symptoms. We offer a comprehensive list of treatment options depending on your specific needs including:

If you think you or a loved one is struggling with a behavior disorder, don’t hesitate to seek out our professional help. Call our office today or schedule an appointment online to get started on your journey towards a happier, healthier life.

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