What are behavioral symptoms?

Behavioral symptoms are persistent or repetitive behaviors that we view as unusual, disruptive, harmful, or inappropriate. All behaviors are ways of acting and reacting to the environment and to inner thoughts or emotions.

When a person starts using behavior that is unusual or harmful, they should be considered to have a behavioral issue of some kind. 

Behavioral symptoms come in many forms. Common symptoms include:

  • Aggression

  • Drug abuse

  • Hostility

  • Inattention

  • Secrecy

  • Criminal actions

  • Self-harm

  • Depression or anxiety

There may be many other symptoms also associated with behavioral issues. A majority of behavioral issues are related to poor home life situations or to certain conditions such as ADHD, Autism, or PTSD. Any issue that affects the brain and how it works can cause behavioral symptoms. 

Many behavioral symptoms are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. Genetics may also play a role in the development of behavioral symptoms and their severity in certain individuals.

Diseases like dementia and schizophrenia are often associated with more severe behavioral symptoms, and both of these diseases are generally thought to be affected by genetics.

When looking for behavioral symptoms, keep in mind what behavior is considered normal for each individual with whom you're interacting and how their specific environment may lead them to act in unusual or dangerous ways. 

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