Problem Behavior

A person with mental illness may exhibit problem behaviors. Problem behaviors can vary in terms of severity and remain a consistent occurrence. Although anyone can experience problem behaviors from time to time, people with mental illness exhibit problem behaviors more often than people without a mental illness and can be triggered by external factors. Problem behavior may occur when someone is not taking their medication, is manic, dealing with psychosis, or reacting to some other factor.

Did You Know?

The types of problem behaviors can vary by gender. For example, boys are more likely to get into fights, steal, or destroy property, whereas girls are more likely to run away from home or lie. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What are problem behaviors?

Problem behaviors can include: 

  • Abuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Angry and/or defiant behavior
  • Carelessness
  • Disinterest or withdrawal from daily life
  • Excessive, disruptive talking
  • Hoarding useless objects
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Inflated self-esteem or overconfidence
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Poor judgement
  • Property damage
  • Self-harm

If you or a loved one are experiencing these behaviors on a regular basis, schedule a consultation with your Las Vegas psychiatrist today. 

What causes problem behavior?

There are several scenarios that may lead to the development of problem behaviors. In many cases, problem behaviors can be triggered by stressful life events and/or increases in stress level. Problem behavior can also be related to certain mental health conditions such as: 

  • anxiety disorder
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • bipolar disorder
  • conduct disorder
  • delirium
  • dementia
  • depression
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • oppositional defiant disorder
  • postpartum depression
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • psychosis
  • schizophrenia
  • substance abuse

How is problem behavior treated?

There are different treatment options available for problem behavior and your exact treatment will be based on the presence of a mental health condition and customized to fit your needs. With that being said, treatment for problem behaviors generally encompasses the use of mood stabilizing medications to address brain chemical imbalances and psychotherapy to address the root of problem behaviors.


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