Treatment for Behavioural Problems in Malaysia
Behavioural problems are common in young people. You might think that things like aggression, anger, and antisocial behaviour or just normal teenage angst, but if it’s persistent your child might actually have a behavioural disorder. It’s important to remember that this isn’t their fault – they’re not acting out to get attention. Their behaviour might be alarming at times, but with the appropriate treatment and care they can go on to lead a fulfilling life.
Young people with behavioural problems are often extremely unhappy, and they may struggle with trauma or an undiagnosed mental health disorder. Regardless of the reasons, those with behavioural problems find it difficult to control their emotions and develop unhealthy coping mechanisms that are disruptive and sometimes even dangerous to themselves and those around them.
At The Wave, we understand the various nuances when it comes to behavioral problems – no two cases are the same, so we’ll always develop personalized treatment plans to suit a person’s specific needs. We also know the importance of a supportive and caring environment, and will always guide our young people through treatment every step of the way.
We treat a wide range of behavioural problems including self-harm, oppositional defiant disorder, and anger and aggression.
Self-harm is when somebody hurts themselves intentionally. Often, people find that self-harming brings temporary relief, but it only makes things worse. It causes much greater problems in the long run and is very dangerous.
There are many reasons why people self-harm, including:
- As a way to gain control
- To distract themselves from overwhelming emotional pain
- As a way to punish themselves
- To relieve tension
- As a response to intrusive thoughts
Regardless of the reason for self-harming, young people who participate in this behaviour often do so as they cannot cope. Although not all who self-harm have suicidal intentions, there is a link between self-harm and suicide. Self-harm also poses a risk of accidental death and must be taken extremely seriously.
The most common form of self-harm is cutting. However, someone might self-harm in other ways, such as:
- Burning their skin
- Trichotillomania (hair pulling)
- Dermatillomania (skin picking)
- Pinching themselves
- Punching walls
- Banging or hitting their head
- Poisoning themselves via overdosing or ingesting chemicals
Self-harm is often a coping mechanism or a cry for help for people who are distressed and overwhelmed. With the right treatment and care, people can put an end to self-harming and begin to physically and mentally heal.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a condition mainly seen in young people. Affecting their ability to control their emotions, it presents itself through distressing and disruptive behavioural problems. Though many people mistake ODD for disobedience presented in normal childhood development or one-off incidents, it is not the same.
A young person with ODD will exhibit extreme hostile and defiant behaviours for an extended period. Signs of ODD include:
- Demand avoidance
- Arguing with adults/people of authority
- Temper tantrums
- Verbal hostility
- Deliberately annoying or aggravating people
- Anger and aggression
Like many other behavioural problems, ODD must be diagnosed by a paediatric psychiatrist. To get to the bottom of a diagnosis, a psychiatrist will review a young person’s symptoms and whether the frequency and intensity vary depending on circumstance or environment. A correct diagnosis must be made so appropriate care can be given.
Although there is no specific medication or treatment for ODD, some treatments, such as psychotherapy and family therapy, may improve certain symptoms in individuals. Medication may also be prescribed to help young people combat the effect that ODD has on their life.
Anger and Aggression
Anger and aggression in a young person can present itself in a number of ways and have severe consequences. At home, a person with anger and aggression problems might lose their temper with family or have violent outbursts, such as damaging property. At school, a young person experiencing anger and aggression may be removed from their classes due to disruptive behaviour or causing arguments with their peers.
Not only is this behaviour distressing and potentially dangerous for everyone involved, but a young person acting on their anger and aggression might even end up in trouble with the law.
Signs of anger and aggression include:
- Being easily agitated
- Losing their temper easily
- Verbal and physical threats
- Lashing out
- Breaking things
- Clenched fists
- Yelling or shouting
- Physical assault
It is important to remember that young people with anger and aggression face their own personal battles with regulating their emotions. They may have lost control and are likely very unhappy and overwhelmed. Attacks might feel personal, but they are symptoms of a behaviour problem so always try to provide them with as much care and support as possible. If a young person has an anger and aggression problem, help is available at The Wave.
Frequently asked questions
Behavioural Disorders FAQ's
There are many different types of behavioural disorders (self-harm, ODD, and conduct disorder) so symptoms will vary. Generally, however, signs of a behavioural problem include:
- Acting impulsively
- Taking part in antisocial behaviours
- Taking drugs
- Criminal activity
- Lack of attention and focus at school
- Low self-esteem and self-worth
Behavioural disorders commonly happen in childhood and involve patterns of disruptive behaviour while personality disorders are conditions that affect the way people think, feel, and behave in response to their peers.
Treatment for behavioural disorders can include a combination of medication, clinical care, therapy, and parent management training. At The Wave, we also top this off with a host of fun challenges and experiences, as well as educational and volunteering opportunities.
Before making any assumptions, take your child to a psychiatrist for a proper check-up. Sometimes symptoms may amount to nothing, while other times they’ll be a sign of an underlying behavioural disorder. Getting a proper check-up will also ensure your child gets the best treatment.
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