Severe behavioural problems

Severe Behavioural Problems: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Behavioural problems can have a massive impact on an individual’s day-to-day life and relationships as well as the wider society if left unchecked. Severe behavioural problems can have lasting, damaging effects. This article seeks to explain what severe behavioural problems are and how they can be addressed and treated.

What are severe behavioural problems?

Severe behavioural problems refer to when a person’s behavior is significantly deviant and interferes with their daily life such as school, work or relationships. Severe behavioural problems are characterised by persistent behaviour which is siginficantly different from accepted norms.

What are the causes of severe behavioural problems?

There are many potential causes of severe behavioural problems, which can include:

  • Genetics
  • Developmental issues
  • Trauma
  • Brain injury/neurological disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Mental health issues such as depression or anxiety

What are the symptoms of severe behavioural problems?

The symptoms of severe behavioural problems will vary depending on the individual, but may include:

  • Violent outbursts
  • Inability to control emotions
  • Inability to focus on tasks
  • Self-harming behaviours
  • Aggression
  • Stubbornness and defiance
  • Impulsivity

How are severe behavioural problems treated?

Treatment for severe behavioural problems involves a combination of behavioural therapy, counselling, medications and sometimes residential programs. It is important to seek help from a professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist as soon as possible.

Behavioural therapy helps individuals better understand their behaviour and learn techniques to manage it. Counselling provides a safe space to discuss underlying feelings and issues whilst providing emotional support. Medications may be prescribed to help manage behaviours and underlying mental health issues.

Residential programs are often recommended to individuals with more severe behavioural problems and are used as a means to isolate the individual from their environment and help improve problem behaviours. Residential programs are often used in combination with psychotherapy and medications to provide a comprehensive treatment approach.


Severe behavioural problems can be an extremely damaging issue if left untreated, but with the right support and help, individuals can learn to manage their behavioural issues and live a happy and fulfilling life.