Behavioral health is a blanket term used to define a person’s behaviors and the impact they can have on their mental and physical health. Disorders which fall under this category can range from anxiety and depression to eating disorders and substance abuse. Despite the prevalence of behavioral health problems in America, there are still many misconceptions about these disorders and the impact they have.
4 Behavioral Health Disorder Misconceptions
1. Behavioral & Mental Health Disorders Are the Same
An adult who is having difficulty controlling their weight or a child who habitually acts out at school are both considered to have behavioral health problems, although a mental health disorder is unlikely. On the other hand, a person who is living with a mental disorder such as depression may also engage in destructive behaviors including substance abuse and self-harm. The two conditions do share similarities, and there can be cross-over between categories; however, they are not always the same.
2. Behavioral Disorders Primarily Exist With Children
Because of the prevalence of conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) among children, many people believe behavioral disorders are restricted to this age group. However, they can occur at any time. In fact, conditions such as eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and problems with substance abuse are most prevalent among older teens and young adults, and often continue well into middle age.
3. It Is Easy to Identify These Conditions
Like many mental health issues, behavioral disorders are often invisible. The impact of these conditions is highly emotional, and patients rarely show physical symptoms. While some people may outwardly exhibit signs of their disorder, such as engaging in risky behaviors and excessive alcohol consumption, others go to great lengths to hide them. For instance, a person who self-harms may wear loose or baggy clothing to hide scars and bruises.
4. The Best Form of Treatment is Behavior Modification
Behavioral disorders are rather complex, and the symptoms are highly individual. As a result, there is no single treatment for every condition. While a person with a shopping or gambling addiction may benefit from behavior modification, this may not be enough for a person with an anxiety disorder or ADHD. Depending on the person’s condition and needs, their doctor may choose to treat them using therapy, medications, or routine counseling.
If you know someone who is living with a behavioral health disorder and would like information on treatment, contact Peninsula Community Health Services in Soldnota, AK, today. This facility provides affordable health care for residents of all ages and economical backgrounds. For more information regarding their other services, including pediatric and dental care, visit their website or call (907) 260-3691.