Learning how to tell if a child has conduct disorder can be quite difficult. Many times children and teens with the disorder seem like delinquent children not wanting to listen to their parents or other authority figures. Conduct disorder is an absolutely true and genuine emotional and behavioral disorder affecting children and teens worldwide.
Conduct disorder is not just a phase children and teens go through of not listening to their parents. This illness is a long lasting disorder that disrupts the child’s school and social life as well as their family’s life. Not all cases are the same; they differ due to the child’s age as well as the fact that there are different severities of the disorder. The three types of severities are mild, moderate, and severe.
Conduct disorder is also broken up into four categories: aggressive, destructive, deceitful, and violation of rules. These categories are based on the most common symptoms of the disorder, and some children with the illness may only fall under one of the categories and others may fall under all four.
How to Tell if a Child has Conduct Disorder - More Symptoms
Aggressive: Children and teens will often get into many physical fights with their peers or adults for no reason at all. They may also intimidate and threaten others, assault and steal from others, be cruel to animals, force sexual activity, and assault others with a weapon.
Destructive: Intentionally damage homes, businesses, and vehicles by arson, vandalism, and destroy property and objects in any other way possible.
Deceitful: Chronic lying and/or lying to gain something for themselves, stealing cars, robbing homes, or shoplifting from businesses.
Violation of Rules: Going against rules set for them by parents, teachers, and authority figures. Some examples include being sexually active at a very young age, ditching school, running away from home, and playing malicious pranks.
Other symptoms that are commonly associated with conduct disorder are poor grades in school and not making friends with peers. Children may also throw violent tantrums if they do not get what they want or are told what to do. Children and teens may also be extremely irritable for the majority of the time for no apparent reason. Impulsive behavior and drug use is common among children battling this illness.
Children with conduct disorder have increased rates of depression and suicide. Many times teenagers suffering from this disorder have very low self-esteem and are anti-social. They act out and commit violence because they have no control over their behaviors or emotions.
Children and teens suffering from conduct disorder are not able to understand that their behavior is hurting themselves and others both physically and emotionally. This in turn causes the children to feel very little or no remorse or guilt for the crimes and hurt they have caused through their actions.