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Adolescents and conduct disorders

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One of the main psychological problems that many adolescents present is the fact of suffering from conduct disorders.

In general, they tend to appear more in boys than in girls, and have a very significant impact on various areas of their lives: low school performance, family and social relationships are harmed, and of course, young people suffer from this situation.

  • Related article: "The 3 stages of adolescence"

Conduct disorders begin in childhood

It is a misconception that these youth disorders are born during adolescence. It is at this stage that they are most evident because they become more acute, but since childhood the conduct disorder is there, in a latent state. Sometimes the symptoms are so severe that it is very difficult to address them. For this, it is best to have professionals with experience in the field.

Despite the fact that these behaviors occur and can be diagnosed, the origin of this class of psychological disorders is not well known. However, some risk factors are known, such as certain types of personality and temperament, genetic aspects and those of the environment in which the young person grows up and lives, etc.

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Historically, the main conduct disorders in adolescents have been the following: ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), and CD (Conduct Disorder or Conduct Disorder). However, ADHD has been considered a neurodevelopmental disorder for some time.

Adolescents and conduct disorders: variants of this problem

Although, as we have pointed out, ADHD is considered a neurodevelopmental disorder, we are going to include it in this classification, since it affects many young people and has a powerful influence on the behavior of themselves. Let's see below the three that we have mentioned before.


This disorder is neurobiological, as it is produced by a lack of regulation in the neurotransmitters. This affects the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system, which is why it has been included in the list of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, he usually brings many young people for consultation.

A typical symptomatology of ADHD is constant hyperactivity, inability to maintain attention for a long time and excessive impulsivity. This causes the young person to be unable to think before acting. Likewise, this conduct disorder also entails a lack of self-control, will or a lack of tolerance to feeling frustrated.

2. TDN

Oppositional defiant disorder is a pattern that lasts for at least 6 months. During this period, the young man experiences a state of mind marked by aggressiveness, irritability, as well as disobedience and a feeling of revenge. This disorder can be reflected in the adolescent's behavior not only towards her closest circle.

According to the DSM-5, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, TDN carries a risk of developing severe anxiety and depression.

3. CT or conduct disorder

The consequences derived from CD or conduct disorder are reflected in a behavior that is repeated in the young person, which makes him / her not respect the basic rights of others, social conventions, laws or simply, the rules imposed by others, such as parents. In addition, it usually carries with it a problem of drug addiction.

Treatment of conduct disorder in adolescents

The diagnosis of all these psychological phenomena is based on the evaluation of the set of symptoms by a professional. You have to consider that children and adolescents are more likely to manifest symptoms of mental illness because altered behaviors are identified and, therefore, in the face of so-called bad behavior it is important to analyze if there is a deeper underlying cause.

Fromm Wellness

The only time psychopharmacological treatment is recommended has to do with the most difficult cases and those in which another ADHD treatment has not worked. However, in these cases, the evaluation and intervention of qualified professionals is necessary.

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