Many children and adolescents present with aggressive behaviors at some point during their development. They may be argumentative or engage in scuffles with their siblings or peers. However, when a youth has overtly aggressive, hostile, violent, destructive, or instigative behaviors on an ongoing basis, there may be a need for treatment at a treatment clinic in order to cease these behaviors. Especially if a child or adolescent acts out in a manner that is grossly out of proportion to a trigger or triggers or if they are behaving in a way that is far beyond what is considered developmentally or socially acceptable, care for these behaviors at an aggression treatment center can reduce or eliminate the risk of several consequences from occurring.
Young people who struggle with aggression may act out in various scenarios. They may bully others, engage in risky or illegal acts, and even seem to intentionally defy any person or persons in a position of authority or power. Often times, these individuals are battling a mental health condition that causes them to behave in these manners. For this reason, it is important to seek treatment so that the root causes for the aggression can be identified. Failing to seek care at a treatment clinic and permitting this type of behavior to remain can make a child or adolescent vulnerable to a number of life-altering effects, including the inability to form healthy relationships with others or incarceration. Fortunately, effective treatment at an aggression treatment center is available that can help aggressive children and adolescents learn coping skills and methods for controlling impulses and urges to act out.
Causes of Aggressive Behavior
Experts in the field of mental health and human development believe that genetics, certain environmental influences, and the existence of certain mental health conditions can explain the cause of aggressive behaviors in people. Consider the following when you are trying to understand the possible origins of your child’s aggression:
Genetic: Extensive research on aggression led to the discovery of a specific gene that is now known to cause a person to behave aggressively. This gene was then subsequently found in individuals who share similar genes who also have a history of aggression. Because of this finding, it has been concluded that a tendency to be aggressive can be inherited from one’s parents.
Environmental: Children and adolescents who are exposed to environments or circumstances in which aggression is prevalent have a higher likelihood of acting out aggressively as well. Youth who are not exposed to such conditions are not known to present with the same type of hostile or violent behaviors.
Mental health disorders: Aggression is often symptomatic of a mental illness. The following disorders include aggression and aggressive behaviors as symptoms and are especially likely to be present when a lack of impulse control also exists:
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Adjustment disorder
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Conduct disorder
- Intermittent explosive disorder
- Oppositional defiant disorder
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Substance use disorders
Effects of Aggressive Behavior
Ongoing aggressive behaviors can result in devastating consequences. Additionally, aggression and acting out behaviors can carry over into adulthood and make a person vulnerable to a number of life-altering effects. The following effects of pervasive aggression are known to occur when a child or adolescent is presenting with these types of behaviors:
- Engaging in risky behaviors
- Increased interaction with the legal system
- Increased conflict with others
- Inability to adjust to change
- Inability to make friends or maintain healthy relationships with others
- Disciplinary action at school
- Expulsion from school
- Poor academic performance
- Hindered learning
- Academic failure
- Substance use or abuse, which can lead to addiction or dependence
Treatment Offered at an Aggression Treatment Clinic
When a child or adolescent presents with overtly aggressive behavior, they are most likely battling a mental illness. Temper tantrums, physically lashing out at others, destroying property, or instigating fights with other individuals are examples of such behaviors. And while young people will act out from time to time, ongoing behaviors such as these are often triggered by mental health conditions that include behavioral issues as part of their diagnostic criteria.
Especially when aggressive behaviors cause significant disruption to a young person’s life, treatment is often required to cease these actions and can ultimately reduce the potential for harmful effects and consequences from occurring. Professionals in the field of mental health are trained and qualified to identify, diagnose, and treat mental illnesses that involve behavioral issues. Those who wish to receive such care can do so by seeking an evaluation from a mental health professional so that a definitive diagnoses can be determined. Once this is done, appropriate and effective treatment can be recommended and implemented.
Residential treatment at our treatment clinic in North Mississippi is one such option for care that has proven effectiveness in treating children and adolescents who present with aggressive behaviors. Within this type of care, young people can be monitored on an ongoing basis by mental health professionals, including therapists, social workers, and other experienced professionals, who can intervene should an aggressive outburst occur, offer round-the-clock support when it has been identified that a youth is struggling to manage their behavior, and teach new methods for coping with symptoms of mental health conditions. Residential care at an aggression treatment clinic also provides young people access to psychiatrists who can monitor medication(s) if it is deemed necessary for treating aggression or a mental health disorder. Finally, because residential treatment at an aggression clinic often involves the caregivers of youth in this type of care, parents and guardians can receive their own support, guidance, and education on what their child is going through. Furthermore, young people and their family members are given the necessary tools for successfully managing aggression and symptoms of mental health disorders that can serve well long after treatment is complete.