Behavioral Disorder Treatment Program Options
Behavioral disorders are common in today’s society and include a spectrum of disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and addiction conditions. While many behavioral disorders cannot be cured, proper treatment can ensure these conditions are effectively managed, allowing those who suffer from them to live balanced, productive lives.
What Causes Behavioral Disorders?
The causes of disturbed behavior are not well understood. While quite a lot of research has been done into what causes behavioral disorders, involving disciplines as diverse as psychology, neurophysiology and psychiatry, it can still be difficult to pin down any definite cause for this elusive family of disorders. According to Emory University, a number of quite different conditions are usually grouped together into the category of behavioral disorders:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by thoughts or rituals that the patient finds difficult or impossible to control, such as repeatedly checking door locks and dials on the stove. Approximately 1 to 3 percent of individuals will experience some form of OCD during their lives
- Tourette’s syndrome is thought to be related to OCD and involves physical and verbal tics that consist of largely involuntary movements and/or vocalizations.
- Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) typically interferes with social and occupational function by making it difficult for afflicted individuals to form relationships with other human beings. Twin studies suggest that a genetic influence is at work in causing the condition
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects between 3 and 7 percent of the population; it causes considerable difficulty in paying attention and can lead to discipline problems at work or school.
- Addiction shows a strong tendency to run in families, suggesting a genetic basis. Addiction is very common in the population, to the point that the risk of alcohol dependence among adults runs to 14 percent
Is There a Cure for Behavioral Disorders?
Despite intensive research over the past several decades, the cause of these disorders remains difficult to pin down. Without any one particular smoking gun of a cause, efforts to uncover anything in the way of a permanent cure are all but guaranteed to be disappointing. Unfortunately, none of these disorders can be cured quickly and easily; however, they can be effectively managed.
Therapies for Behavioral Disorders
In the absence of a surefire cure for these complex issues, treatment will be confined to management of the more disruptive symptoms they manifest. Fortunately, there now exist many therapies for behavioral disorders that seem to be delivering results researchers and mental health practitioners could only have dreamed of just 30 or 40 years ago.
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When you or another person who is close to you shows signs of a serious behavioral disturbance, it can be tempting to overlook the problems caused by the disorder. Some people will resist admitting that there is a problem long past the point at which it has begun to seriously affect their quality of life. Delaying or denying the need for treatment is almost always a mistake and can make the underlying disorder more difficult to address if and when treatment finally is sought out. For guidance in seeking treatment, or just to talk to somebody who knows what you’re going through, please don’t hesitate to call today. The line is always open, so you can call anytime.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment
Formerly known as talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy treatment (CBT) is by far the most commonly used mechanism for managing the symptoms of behavioral disorders. CBT is usually administered in hour-long sessions by a single therapist who will engage the patient on a deep level. The therapy places its focus on helping the patient to overcome the effects of negative thoughts and feelings through a heightened awareness of internal states and a more thorough understanding of the relevant issues.
Patients are taught strategies for learning how to cope with destructive impulses and actions, as well as mechanisms for coping with the social and emotional baggage that comes with being so afflicted. The sessions are generally limited in scope and duration, as they are intended to be a short-term intervention that’s included in a larger spectrum of other treatments.
Other Therapeutic Methods
Other therapeutic methods will typically be incorporated into a comprehensive plan for treatment of behavior issues. In addition to CBT, traditional psychotherapy may be attempted. Also popular for the treatment of behavioral disorders, especially addiction, is one or another variant of group therapy, in which two or more patients interact with one or more therapists and each other. One of the benefits of this approach is that it reduces the feeling – very common among addicts and people suffering from depression – that they are completely alone in the world. Another benefit is to encourage patients to come out of their shells and begin to form relationships with other patients with whom they can usually empathize. This will be seen as an especially desirable outcome for the treatment of autistic spectrum disorder.
Residential Inpatient Behavior Disorder Treatment Centers
Sifting through the residential inpatient behavior disorder treatment centers in your area can be a difficult and time-consuming business. In any reasonably populous area, you can expect to find a plethora of residential care centers offering services to people with behavior issues. Many of these are able to offer the kind of care that individuals with behavior issues need to manage, if not partially recover from, the effects that the disorder has had on their lives. Calling will put you in touch with a trained professional who understands what it’s like to deal with the impact a behavioral disturbance can have and who has the information you need to make a choice between centers.
The typical residential care facility will take in a patient who has been referred by a physician or therapist for some set period of time such as 30, 60 or 90 days and begin an intensive regimen of inpatient care in the safe, controlled environment of the center.
The Benefits of Residential Behavioral Treatment
Among the benefits of residential behavioral treatment in an inpatient facility or other clinical setting is the ability to manage serious disturbances in peace, without extraneous influences and under almost totally controlled conditions. The individuals who seek treatment in a residential care program may be assured that while they are at the most vulnerable stage of their recovery, they will be fully taken care of by a staff of dedicated professionals. Meals, medications and therapy sessions, as well as any unrelated medical issues, will be wholly looked after in such a place, minimizing the risk that a serious behavior problem will lead to harm for the patient or those around them.
Luxury Behavioral Disorder Facilities
For patients who would benefit from getting away from a largely sterile clinical treatment environment, an entire class of treatment centers exists to render care in a setting that seems closer to that of a spa or resort than a medical center. These luxury behavioral disorder facilities are generally privately owned and operated, though they will typically hold some form of accreditation and submit to state inspections. For many patients, they present a viable alternative to the sometimes-upsetting environment of a more traditional facility, while at the same time maintaining a constant level of care to rival other modes of inpatient care.
Executive Behavioral Disorder Programs
Executive behavioral disorder programs are of a different kind. These programs are intended to efficiently treat those patients who are likely to suffer more from a protracted stay in an inpatient clinic than they would from a short stay, followed by a rapid return to their home, job and family.
Outpatient Behavioral Rehab and Treatment Programs
For those who cannot or do not wish to reside even temporarily at an inpatient treatment center, outpatient behavioral rehab and treatment programs present a viable hands-off approach to care. Such facilities come in a wide variety of configurations and might be as simple as a neighborhood clinic that will dispense medication and assist the patient in taking it to a full-scale adult daycare center that differs from inpatient care only in sleeping arrangements.
According to a study that was published in 2011 by the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health, such brief strategic therapy (BST) compares well to the gold standard of CBT over time, at least in the treatment of eating disorders, which is where the paper’s research was focused. It certainly is too early to generalize about this kind of treatment approach, but the results so far have been promising.
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications
Managing a behavioral disorder with prescription and over-the-counter medications is a very popular way of dealing both with the central issues of a behavior problem and with the secondary issues that will inevitably arise for someone living with the disorder. Over-the-counter medications are the ones most laypeople will be familiar with. These include such widely available agents as Benadryl, which is a non-prescription antihistamine that has found new life as an agent for both nighttime sedation and the reduction of intermittent anxiety, according to a helpful chart compiled by the Diagnostic Center Southern California. Other OTC medications shown to be effective include vitamin B6 with magnesium, which helps to manage the behavior of children with ASD, as does folic acid.
Prescription medications for behavioral disorders pack serious power and must only be taken on the advice and under the supervision of an attending physician. Some of these include lithium carbonate, for the control of mania in bipolar individuals, naltrexone, which has been shown to restrict self-injury among ASD patients, and major tranquilizers such as haloperidol, pimozide, risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine and others, which are used to stabilize the mood and restrict explosive outbursts among people with bipolar disorder, ASD and Tourette’s syndrome. Each of these medications, as well as many more, has its own laundry list of side effects and interaction warnings. Only a trained medical professional can be expected to craft a treatment plan that safely incorporates these powerful agents.
How to Find the Best Behavioral Disorder Treatment Facility
If you’re dealing with the effects of a serious behavioral disturbance in your life or in the life of someone you care for, you will, at some point, begin wondering how to find the best behavioral disorder treatment facility for dealing with the situation. Certainly, many options are available in your area, so you’ll often be well served by seeking out advice from knowledgeable professionals who are available to help you with advice, sympathy and a hefty list of resources you can use to start putting the pieces together. Just call without delay. The line is open 24 hours a day.