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Conduct Disorder

Conduct Disorder

What is it?

All children and young people might not do as they are told by adults at times. Some young people can develop serious behavioural problems that can last over a long period of time and can affect their ability to lead a normal life. This is often described as ‘conduct disorder’. Some people with conduct disorder may get angry, may damage property, hurt animals, lie or steal and find it hard to stay in school. Some young people may appear irritable and engage in behaviours such as drug taking or drinking alcohol. Often there is a focus on behaviours, however, there are underlying emotional difficulties that may be affecting the young person. Having a child with a conduct disorder can often have a really big impact on family life.

What might help?

  • Doing activities that make you feel good. It is important that young people with conduct disorder are able to engage in activities were they have positive experiences, which will help boost their self-esteem.
  • See past the behaviour. For parents/ carers to try and develop an understanding of the behaviour and to show compassion and empathy. Being consistent and clear can also help too.
  • Seeking professional help. If it feels as though the difficulties are having a big impact on how you attend school and lead a normal life, it might be helpful to go to the GP to seek help. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Family therapy are often considered as options.

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