As a licensed psychologist, I have extensive education and experience in diagnosing and treating behavioral issues and conduct disorders. In my clinical experience most behavioral problems are linked to substance abuse. Parents and loved ones are often overwhelmed and use denial as a first line of defense when confronted with changes in behavior. “My son is just tired . . . it’s only $20 that is missing . . . my daughter’s friends just don’t understand her . . . it’s just a stage.”
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, the warning signs for behavioral problems include, but are not limited to the following behavioral issues:
- Drop in attendance and performance at work or school; loss of interest in extracurricular activities, hobbies, sports or exercise; decreased motivation.
- Complaints from co-workers, supervisors, teachers or classmates.
- Unusual or unexplained need for money or financial problems; borrowing or stealing; missing money or valuables.
- Silent, withdrawn, engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors.
- Sudden change in relationships, friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.
- Frequently getting into trouble (arguments, fights, accidents, illegal activities).
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