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Teen Behavioral Problems

Teen Behavioral Issues factsTeen Treatment Center offers a wide range of programs designed to help with behavior issues in teenagers. As a parent, you only want your child to excel and to achieve their goals. Yet, there are many roadblocks along the path for today’s teen in the form of outbursts, mood swings and personality changes. For some parents, the thought is it’s just teens being teens. This could be the case. Adolescence is bound to bring some trying times. However, these instances could also be warning signs of a more serious problem that should be addressed by professionals. 

Behavior disorders and other serious teen issues are not something any parent should ignore at any level. There is no doubt that adolescence is a tumultuous time. It is filled with change, opportunities of expression, and increased exposure to risks and risky behavior. Your goal should be to look for warning signs that may point to more than normal teen issues. Could your teen need extra help and support right now?

If your teen is struggling and you are worried about potential behavioral issues in your teenager, please call Teen Treatment Center today. We offer a confidential and free, 24-hour helpline to give you the information you need. Call us now: (844) 319-5239.

What Are The Behavioral Issues Impacting Teens?

At Teen Treatment Center, we aim to restore families by providing avenues to healing. However, to reach that point, parents first need to recognize there is a problem. That’s not easy to do, or admit. The most common types of teen behavioral issues warranting additional, professional help include the following. Don’t ignore these teen behavior problems.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, known as ADHD, is one of the most common types of teen problems. Though the exact causes of ADHD are uncertain, despite its prevalence, it is associated with functional impairments of the brain’s neurotransmitter systems. This occurrence and the resulting decreased activity in the executive functioning of the brain, make it difficult to perform tasks and to focus. More than 10% of children aged 5 to 17 are diagnosed with ADHD each year. If your teen has the following symptoms, seek out ADHD treatment.

  • Problems completing tasks
  • Disorganization
  • Easily distracted
  • Impulsive reactions
  • Losing belongings
  • Interrupting others

Note that ADHD is worsened when coupled with substance abuse. However, many teens with ADHD will abuse illegal and prescription drugs to control their behaviors.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety impacts about 25% of teens between the ages of 13 and 18, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health. This includes panic disorders, social phobia, adjustment disorder with anxious mood, obsessive compulsive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. Treatment for anxiety disorders is available through the Teen Treatment Center. Seek out help if your teen suffers from the following conditions:

  • Worries or is afraid without any obvious reason
  • Panic-like behavior
  • Self-corrective behavior
  • Unusually worrying about everyday tasks
  • Panic attacks

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a type of manic-depressive illness. It causes changes in mood, energy levels, and activity. As many as 2.5% of youth suffer from bipolar disorder, but upwards of 3.1% of teens do, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health. Symptoms of this disorder include:

  • Mood swings from very happy to very sad
  • Attempting risky behavior
  • Short tempers
  • Pain complaints
  • Lack of energy
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Trouble focusing

To learn more about manic depressive disorders and Teen Treatment Centers plan for treating your teen and restoring your family, read more here. 

Conduct Disorder

Conduct Disorder is a type of mental health disorder commonly found in teens, it is a serious behavior or emotional disorder that often displays through a pattern of disruptive and violent behaviors. This behavior is more than typical aggression or anger. Rather, it is a long-lasting level of angst that often looks to violate the rights of other people in some way and goes against age appropriate norms. Symptoms of conduct disorder include:

  • Constant disrespect of authority figures
  • Destructive behavior such as fire-setting or harming another person’s property
  • Low levels of fear
  • Aggressive behavior using weapons, bullying, cruelty to animals, or sexual violence
  • Deceitful behavior including shoplifting, breaking into homes, lying, and stealing
  • Violation of rules that are generally accepted by society such as playing pranks, skipping school or being sexually active at a young age.

Depression Disorders

Behavioral Issues StatsDepression in teens is not uncommon. It is a serious mental health disorder not to be taken lightly. Teens who are depressed for two weeks or more with symptoms of depression should be seen as soon as possible. With the Centers for Disease Control indicating that as much as 20% of teens seriously consider suicide on an annual basis, this is a condition that should never be ignored.

Treatment for teen depressive disorders is available through the Teen Treatment Center. Please consider treatment for your son or daughter if you see signs of depression including:

  • Feeling sad or down most of the day
  • Poor grades in school
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of interest in hobbies once enjoyed
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Abuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Headaches, stomach aches, or other complaints of pain

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are another concerning behavioral concern in teens. Teen behavior problems can stem from such eating disorders. Common teen-related eating disorders include:

  • Anorexia nervosa, inadequate food intake including binging and purging
  • Binge eating disorder, consuming large amounts of food
  • Bulimia nervous, eating large amounts of food and vomiting on purpose

If your teen suffers from this or other emotional disorders related to food consumption, seek out immediate help for them. The National Association of Anorexia Nervous and Associated Disorders reports that 30 million people suffer from some eating disorder in the US, many of which are teens.

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Often called IED, intermittent explosive disorder is a condition in which explosive outbursts of anger and violence occur. It often involves repeated, sudden and impulsive violent behaviors. Symptoms of this condition that warrant treatment include:

  • Rage
  • Irritability
  • Racing thoughts
  • Temper tantrums
  • Tirades
  • Shouting, slapping or physical fights

If you believe your teenager may be suffering from IED give our experienced team of counselors a call today to learn how we can help treat this disorder. 


Is your teen having trouble with insomnia? See our page on teen insomnia to learn more about why your teen may be suffering from insomnia and what it may be an indicator of. 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental illness that involves unpleasant thoughts that lead to subsequent behaviors. Those who have this condition enter into a vicious cycle of thinking they must do something in order to avoid an unrealistic outcome. Teens often feel they need to perform a behavior to reduce anxiety or to avoid distressing thoughts. Not doing so may mean, to them, there is an increase in the risk that something bad will happen. This disorder may manifest itself in outward appearances include hoarding, cleaning, and washing frequently, checking, orderliness, or repeating.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is more than teens just talking back to you. This condition is treatable if caught early enough. It is worsened, though, by chemical dependency or other substance abuses. Symptoms include:

  • Being quick tempered
  • Intentional aggravation of others
  • Unnecessarily argumentative
  • Defines authority
  • Disobeys the rules
  • Substance abuse
  • Hateful language

Treatment for oppositional defiant disorder can help teens to overcome this condition and prevent worsening symptoms into adulthood.

PTSD and Trauma

Teen, like anyone else, can experience traumatic events with lasting effects. Though some teens can overcome emotional disorders and traumatic events on their own, most will need counseling and support to avoid the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that over 66% of teens will have at least one type of traumatic event in their life prior to the age of 16. PTSD treatment involves comprehensive counseling and support.

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)

Reactive Attachment Disorder that affects the ways children interact socially due to negligent care in childhood. Learn more about RAD and how it can treated. 

Running Away

1 in 7 children from age 10 to 18 will run away at least once. It is a common issue tied to family problems and unfortunately, has a connection to substance abuse. Lear more about runaway behavior and signs to look for on our runaway teen page. 

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse may lead to numerous emotional disorders. If your teen is suffering from any type of emotional disorder or behavioral disorder, it can worsen due to drug or alcohol abuse. Substance abuse may also create behavioral changes that mimic other behavioral disorders. Removal of the substance abuse is necessary to identify whether there are any other disorders present or if they were manifestation of the abuse. Common drug additions impacting teens include the following:

Any of these illegal, opiate and prescription drugs can lead to life-threatening addictions. This can cause behavioral problems in many teens. Read more about our Substance Abuse Treatment.

What To Do About Teen Behavior Problems

Could your teen be facing any of these types of behavioral problems? It is very difficult to know. In fact, many people are still unsure after speaking to a doctor. At Teen Treatment Center, our goal is restore your family unit by treating substance abuse and identifying the presence of any emotional or behavioral disorders. 

If you are concerned your teen’s behavior has crossed into an area for a need of treatment or a diagnosable condition, call Teen Treatment Center. We offer a free, 24-hour helpline to provide you with immediate help: (844) 319-5239.

As a part of our treatment programs, we’ll discuss the dangers of such behaviors with you as well as with your child. We offer programs that are both residential (gender-separate) and outpatient. We work to rebuild the family through counseling programs. We also offer detox programs for substance abuse situations. We help your child to recognize what is happening, offer the most up to date treatment, and then help them to build life skills that prepare them to continue a productive life at home, with their family.

It’s dangerous not to take action. Your teen may struggle for years, impacting their quality of life and your own. And, for many, oppositional behavior and drug dependency may become a part of their life. This may be avoided with treatment.

Call Teen Treatment Center for support and guidance on what to do right now. Our admissions counselors can be reached by phone or chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays: (844) 319-5239.


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