Common Behavior Disorders in Children

Is your child struggling in school or acting out at home? Have you noticed changes in their weight, appetite, or sleeping habits? They could be suffering from a behavior disorder.

Kids can and do experience many of the same mental health issues as adults, including depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but symptoms in childhood can be different from symptoms of adults. 

Phillip Bowman, MD, MPH, Sara Bobak, MD, and our team at Bowman Medical Group specialize in child psychiatry. If you suspect your child could have a mental health condition, it’s time to learn more about a few of the most common behavior disorders affecting children and what you can do to help them cope.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is characterized by hyperactive and impulsive behavior. With one in 10 children ages 5-17 diagnosed with ADHD, it’s one of the most common behavior disorders. 

ADHD can make it difficult for your child to concentrate, remember, and sit still. This can be disruptive in both school and home environments, impacting your child’s performance in the classroom and their ability to maintain friendships.

Boys are about twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD as girls. It’s important to note that girls may exhibit different symptoms from boys. 

Depression and anxiety

Occasional feelings of sadness or worry are normal for everyone. But just like adults, children can suffer from depression and anxiety. Depression includes persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, while anxiety brings extreme fear or worry.

Both depression and anxiety can affect your child’s quality of life. These conditions can cause performance in school to drop, as well as social engagement and friendships. There are many different types of anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder; a diagnosis depends on which situations trigger worry.

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder causes changes in mood and behavior. While it’s normal for children to experience emotional highs and lows, bipolar disorder is more extreme, and it affects an estimated 3% of children.

The condition is characterized by unprovoked changes in mood and may be accompanied by changes in sleep, energy level, and the ability to think clearly. Bipolar disorder, like other behavior disorders, can impact your child’s ability to function in day-to-day life.

Scheduling a psychiatrist appointment for your child

The first step in helping your child get the care they need is recognizing signs that something’s not right. Different behavior disorders can trigger different symptoms, but in general, common indications of behavior disorders often include:

As your child’s parent, you know them best. If you have concerns about their well-being, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

Our team at Bowman Medical Group specializes in child psychiatry, and we’re here to help you and your child understand their condition and find ways to cope. We offer comprehensive evaluations to determine if your child is suffering from a behavior disorder. 

Depending on their diagnosis, we offer psychotherapy, family therapy, medication management, and more to equip your child for success. We partner with you, your child, and their teachers, coaches, and other health care providers to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that fits their needs.

Trust your child’s mental health care to Bowman Medical Group. Call us at 310-982-7003, or send the team a secure message online to get started.

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