Externalizing Disorders: Everything You Need to Know
Externalizing disorders are one of the most difficult disorders a person can suffer from. This is a psychiatric term that refers to self-control problems. For instance, a person can find it difficult to control their impulses or emotions. Internalizing disorders, however, are when a person expresses emotions inwards or internally.
Externalizing, effectively, means a person acts out in an aggressive or anti-social manner. It can manifest itself through a variety of manners. To others, a person comes across as confrontational or aggressive. So, what do you need to know about externalizing disorders?
There are several related psychiatric disorders associated with externalizing. Those can include:
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder
This can be could a serious disorder because symptoms include a person being vindictive. Other symptoms can include irritability, being argumentative, and defiant behaviors. Those with oppositional defiant disorder can have problems with authority figures and often won’t comply with rules. Those who suffer from this disorder may even blame others for their mistakes.
- Anti-Social Personality Disorder
This is a personality disorder, and an individual can express a pattern of problem behavior. Typically, the individual can violate everyday laws, disregard people’s rights, and continue their disruptive behavior. Often, the symptoms present themselves in children around 15-years-old and younger.
In simple terms, this disorder is when a person steals. It’s a serious disorder because the person cannot stop themselves. An individual has the compulsion to take random objects and the strange thing is they do not steal for the monetary value. Often, the person cannot help taking the item but can feel relief or pleasure when they do so.
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding kleptomania; however, it is important to note that someone with the disorder cannot stop themselves. It isn’t that the person goes out to steal because they want to; it’s down to the fact they have no choice. It’s a compulsion within them and is difficult to overcome.
- Conduct Disorder
This disorder can show itself through different symptoms, which include destruction of property, lying, aggressiveness, and theft.
Externalizing disorders vary, considerably. Some may be more harmful than others and to different levels of severity. It is, however, important to understand these conditions are not things an individual can help with. They don’t have control or power over them, and that’s why psychiatric help is often required.
The Dangers of Externalizing Disorder
There are many types of psychiatric disorders that are closely related and linked to externalizing, including intermittent explosive disorder and pyromania. These disorders are dangerous because they have the potential to hurt the individual and those around them. Unfortunately, a person cannot always stop themselves from causing harm, such as setting fires, because of their condition.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage these disorders. Individuals can go through therapy and be prescribed medication; with proper care, those individuals can lead a normal life. Of course, it is essential to get the appropriate psychiatric help and that starts with the right diagnosis.
Externalizing has many related psychiatric disorders, such as pyromania, kleptomania, and personality disorder. Each comes with its unique challenges; fortunately, there are ways to treat these conditions. If you or someone you know begins to show any symptoms of these conditions, it’s crucial to get an accurate diagnosis. It can help to manage the condition and get the right treatment, so it’s important to speak to a psychiatrist. They will give an individual a full assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plan.