4 Warning Signs Of Behavioural Disorders

Have you noticed changes in behaviour or mood in someone you care about and are wondering how to support them? Behavioural disorders can potentially impact an individual’s daily activities and overall well-being. A multidisciplinary approach to treatment, tailored to the individual’s needs and circumstances, can help manage these conditions. In this blog, we’ll explore some key warning signs that might indicate the presence of a behavioural disorder.

Table of Contents
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1. Sudden Changes in Mood or Behaviour

Have you noticed abrupt shifts in mood or behaviour in yourself or someone close to you? These changes can manifest as sudden bouts of anger, sadness or withdrawal and might not always be linked to obvious life events. Such unpredictability in emotions can be a warning sign for underlying issues. These changes can be puzzling and unsettling. They might happen without any clear reason, leaving those affected as surprised as those around them. Gauging this pattern as a potential warning sign of a behavioural disorder is the first step towards seeking help. Early identification can pave the way for proper management and support.

2. Difficulties in Maintaining Relationships

Maintaining healthy relationships can become a struggle for individuals dealing with behavioural disorders. You might notice a pattern of short-lived friendships, frequent arguments with loved ones or a general withdrawal from social interactions. These signs can point to deeper issues that require attention. It’s not just about a bad day or an off mood; it’s a consistent pattern that affects one’s social life. The impact on relationships extends beyond personal life; it can potentially affect professional interactions and academic settings. When relationships start to fray, it might exacerbate feelings of isolation and misunderstanding, highlighting the need for intervention. Understanding and addressing these signs can contribute towards fostering healthier relationships.

3. Declining Academic or Occupational Performance

A noticeable decline in academic or work performance is a sign that shouldn’t be ignored. For students, it might show as falling grades, missing assignments or a lack of interest in schoolwork. In adults, it could manifest as decreased productivity, missed deadlines or disengagement from work. A consistent decline that seems out of character might stem from issues that divert focus and energy away from the tasks at hand. It can be a sign that something more profound is affecting the individual’s ability to perform and engage. Prompt intervention is considered important in reversing these trends and restoring the individual’s performance and interest levels.

4. Engagement in Risky Behaviours

Engaging in risky practices might include reckless driving or anything that puts the individual or others at risk. Often, these actions are seen as a way of coping with emotional pain or frustration. However, they can have severe consequences, affecting health, relationships and legal standing. Risky endeavours might sometimes be interpreted as a cry for help, indicating issues that need professional attention. Recognising these actions as indicators of a behavioural disorder is important. This may open pathways to seeking assistance, gaining insights into the potential causes and gradually moving towards coping mechanisms.

Compassionate Support for Behavioural Challenges

Every individual is unique and so are their struggles with behavioural disorders. If these warning signs feel familiar, professional help is available. Early intervention by professionals may assist individuals in navigating their challenges and regaining control of their lives. At Stepping Stones in Life Therapy Service, we offer counselling and psychology services in Darwin tailored to meet your specific needs. Our team of counsellors is ready to help you understand and navigate this challenging journey, offering support every step of the way. Remember, acknowledging the signs of a behavioural disorder is considered important for getting timely help.


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Barbara Kapser

Barbara Kapser is our psychologist at Stepping Stones in Life Therapy Service in Darwin. She's a member with the Australian Psychological Society and the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health.

She specialises in perinatal infant mental health, attachment disorders, developmental trauma and behaviour support.