Child Behavioral Problems
Explanation of Behavioral Problems in Children
Although anger is a normal, healthy emotion, it can become overwhelming and destructive leading to problems with relationships, work, family, friends and overall quality of life. Anger can become uncontrollable for some, making it difficult to predict and making others uncomfortable.
When someone experiences anger, they have an emotional reaction ranging from mild irritation to intense rage. In addition, anger triggers physiological reactions such as an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and hormone levels.
Sometimes people suppress their angry emotions by keeping it to themselves and holding it inside. Other times the anger is expressed in an aggressive, potentially hurtful way. Either way, it is imperative to learn to manage anger in a way that is adaptive, productive, and healthy both to you and the people around you. Although learning to manage your anger in an adaptive, healthy way can be hard work, committing to the work can produce very positive results and improve one’s quality of life.
Disorders Associated With Behavioral Problems
Problems with anger can also be triggered by other mental health concerns, such as:
- Substance use/abuse
- Mood disorders
- Thought disorders
- Personality disorders
INTERMITTENT EXPLOSIVE DISORDER:
People diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder tend to display repeated episodes of aggressive, violent behavior. These aggressive, violent reactions are often grossly out of proportion to the situation. Often people who have this disorder feel remorseful after they act out in an aggressive way. Intermittent Explosive Disorder is more commonly diagnosed in young men.
Causes of Behavioral Problems in Children and Teens
EXTERNAL CAUSES OF ANGER
Anger at a specific person (e.g., your significant other) or event/incident (e.g., a work situation or traffic jam)
INTERNAL CAUSES OF ANGER
Anger that surfaces because of worrying or brooding about something personal going on inside or anger that is associated with a memory of a past event or trauma.
It is believed that some people are more prone to anger problems. These people may suffer from a low tolerance for frustration. As with many issues, it is often a combination of biological, environmental and psychological factors that may make one person more prone to destructive or internalized anger than another person.
Commonality of Behavioral Problems
ANGER AS A BEHAVIORAL PROBLEM
Anger is a normal, healthy feeling. When we feel angry, it is a trigger that lets us know that something does not feel right, either internally or externally. Anger only becomes problematic when an individual either internalizes it or externalizes it in an aggressive way that begins to interfere with functioning.
Treatment of Behavioral Problems in Children
One of the goals of anger management is to help clients learn how to manage their expression of anger and other emotions in a healthy, productive and adaptive way. Part of this process requires learning to identify one’s own needs and learning how to get them met in a way that is respectful of one and of others. In learning how to control your outward behavior, you must first become aware of and learn to control your internal responses. Self-awareness and self-management are at the core of this type of treatment. In addition, learning how to communicate and problem-solve more effectively goes hand in hand with anger management, as well as learning how to manage stress and frustrating feelings and situations.
At Equilibria Psychological and Consultation Services, we have therapists (connect to the our team page) who are trained at helping people who struggle with controlling their anger and other related emotions. Our therapists work with individuals to help them identify triggers to their anger (and other emotions), ways to manage their emotions and discover alternative, more adaptive coping mechanisms.
Anger problems in children and teenagers often show up differently and require a different approach than what is required with adults. To learn more about anger and anger management in children and teens, please visit our children’s website.