Adolescent antisocial behavior and conduct disorder is common. Occasional outbursts and dramatic episodes towards authority figures tend to be a natural part of growing up. However, at what point does antisocial behavior signify a deeper problem?
First, we must identify what is considered normal sullen teenage behavior and then we must indicate what could potentially be a serious mental health concern.
Indicators of Adolescent Antisocial Behavior
Antisocial behavior encompasses things such as a fight in school, cheating on an exam, angry yelling, talking back to parents and other conduct problems. There are also many elements that contribute to antisocial behavior such as peer rejection, peer pressure, uncomfortable social situations and other outside factors that teens feel they cannot escape. Often times, when teens act out, their behavior is dismissed and regarded as a ‘phase’ that they will eventually grow out of. This is not always the case and is something that should be monitored in the event that your teen or young adult needs professional help.
If you notice your teen exhibiting any of the behaviors listed below, it may be time to seek professional help:
- Impulsive behavior
- Mood swings
- Little or no remorse for actions
- Lack of empathy
- Hurting self or others
- Skipping school or running away
Adolescents with these behaviors may also have a conduct disorder (CD), which means children and adolescents acting out in this way may be viewed as dangerous, unpredictable, or reckless. Conduct problems can stem from or be paired with adolescent antisocial behavior, which makes it important to be on the lookout for the warning signs before your child reaches extremes.
What Contributes to Conduct Disorder?
There are various contributing factors for conduct disorders in teens and young adults. Therefor, we must look at all aspects of a situation and assess any and all elements that may have contributed to behavior of the child. A few key signs that often lead to conduct disorders and antisocial tendencies are:
A number of environmental or social conditions can increase antisocial behavior:
- Unstable home
- Neglect or lack of supervision
- Sexual abuse
- Isolation from peers; few (if any) friends
Traumatic experiences can contribute to conduct disorders as well. Furthermore, antisocial behavior can be a defense mechanism. Instead of working through trauma, antisocial behavior suppresses the memory.
Given the fact that the causes are unique to each teen, many factors must be taken into account. In addition, more than 32,000 different combinations of symptoms can point to a conduct disorder. Consequently, treatment must be tailored to fit the needs of each teen.
Treatment Options for Adolescent Antisocial Behavior
Young adults are often resistant to treatment. Hence, traditional means might be hard for teens with CD.
There are many approaches to teaching problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Family and group centered therapy can help teens whom often lack the skills to interact. This may provide them with an opportunity to discuss the issues at hand and construct ways to cope.
It’s a Family Affair
Parents and siblings who are unsure how to react to a child with CD, or other antisocial behaviors may become nervous or angry. Therefore, for a teen to change, the parent must change as well. This is especially relevant when long-term outcomes are a result of the parents working with the child. In conclusion, all parties must understand the importance of change.
Moreover, including the whole family in the healing process is a step in the right direction. Indeed, such inclusion leads to an integration of the healing process. Hence, the integration becomes a tool that addresses the antisocial behavior. By seeing their whole family involved, a teen connects to the positive emotions. After all, being loved and valued is a truly effective remedy for antisocial behavior.
Contact Newport Academy Today
Finding help now can mean a world of difference and teen rehab doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you suspect a problem in your young adult, please call Newport Academy today. We understand the importance of your child’s health and are here to answer your questions and provide you with the help you need.
Image courtesy of Redd Angelo via Unsplash.