Behavior Disorders

Many terms are used interchangeably to classify children who exhibit extreme or unacceptable chronic behavior problems. These children lag behind their age mates in social development and are often isolated from others either because they withdraw from social contact or because they behave in an aggressive, hostile manner. Behavior disorders result from persistent negative social interactions between the child and the environment. Behavior disorders generally consist of four clusters of traits, including conduct disorders, anxiety-withdrawal, immaturity, and socialized aggression.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Symptoms of BPD

  • Mood swings
  • Periods of intense depression, irritability, and/or anxiety lasting from a few hours to a few days
  • Inappropriate, intense or uncontrolled anger
  • Impulsiveness in spending, sex, substance use, shoplifting, reckless driving, or binge eating
  • Recurring suicidal threats or self-injurious behavior
  • Unstable, intense personal relationships
  • Extreme black-and-white views of people and experiences, sometimes alternating between “all good” idealization and “all bad” devaluation
  • Persistent uncertainly about self-image, long-term goals, friendships and values
  • Chronic boredom or feelings of emptiness
  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

Treatment for BPD

  • Medication
  • Reduces anxiety, depression and impulsivity
  • Helps one deal with harmful patterns of thinking and interacting
  • Fails to correct ingrained character difficulties
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Neuroleptics
  • Psychotherapy
  • Short-term hospitalization when necessary during times of extreme stress, impulsivity or substance abuse
  • Generally difficult and long term
  • BPD symptoms often interfere with therapy
  • Usually effective

What is BPD?

Fairly common biologically based disorder
Characterized by impulsivity and instability in mood, self-image and personal relationships
Diagnosed more often in females than in males

Causes of BPD

  • Unclear, but psychological and biological factors may be involved
  • Originally thought to border on schizophrenia
  • Related to serious depressive illness
  • Associated with neurological and attention deficit disorders abuse or neglect may create identity and personality problems
  • More research is needed

Simultaneously present disorders

  • Serious depressive illness, including bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Alcohol/drug abuse
  • Sleep disorder