Out of Control Teen?

Out of control teen? Is your teenager rebellious, defiant, or engaging in illegal behaviors like shoplifting or consuming alcohol or drugs? Learn what causes out of control teen behavior and possible associated disorders.

When people use the words “out of contro teenl”, it usually means that they are very upset, very scared, or both. This article discusses what it might mean to have an out of control teen.

What Kind of Behaviors Do Out of Control Teens Exhibit?

Out of control teens may do the opposite of what they’re told or asked to do, break the law, abuse drugs and alcohol, or act in completely irrational ways. These types of behavior may be part of a calculated “war of independence,” a sign of mental illness, the fulmination of long years of neglect or abuse, the signs of an addiction, or the results of poor or inconsistent discipline.

Out of control teens may be rebellious and defiant, resisting everything that you or other authorities say to them and doing everything they can to take control of not only their own life, but the whole family. Teens with this type of issue may be said to have a bad attitude, be argumentative, and exhibit discontent.

Out of control teens can also refer to those who are breaking the law, often by stealing or shoplifting. Beyond ignoring house rules, they are defying basic codes of civil conduct, and placing themselves at risk of jail time. This kind of stealing may meld into stealing by downloading music or videos illegally, or even into hacking into other people’s or company’s computer systems.

When some people say “out of control teens”, they are referring to teens who engage in drug and alcohol abuse. These teens are both breaking laws and also putting their health and well-being, and possibly that of others - depending on what they’re doing, at risk.

Finally, an out of control teen could be one with an untreated or poorly managed mental illness, whose behavior reflects the illness more than the teen’s choice. Any number of underlying causes could contribute to behaviors that could be characterized as out of control.

Disorders that Can Cause Out of Control Teen Behavior

There are a number of mental health issues that can cause behaviors that fit the description “out of control teen”.

  • ADD or ADHD  ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder, a subset of ADHD, which stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The key features include hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. A teen who has an undiagnosed and untreated case of ADD may also be extremely frustrated, because when you are hyperactive and have difficulty paying attention, it’s really hard to do your schoolwork, and your grades tend not to be so good, no matter how good your intentions are. As a result, out of control teen behavior may result.
  • Bipolar Disorder Formerly called “manic depression,” bipolar disorder is a condition in which a person experiences dramatic mood swings, from depression, on the one hand, to mania, on the other. During mania, a person may be hyperactive, hardly sleep, experience racing thoughts, aggressive behavior, irritability poor judgment, risky behavior, truancy, poor performance, and sometimes delusions. Manic periods can occur after long periods of normal behavior, so especially for a young person, there may be no way to understand what’s going on and what’s making everything feel so out of control.
  • Conduct Disorder  Conduct disorder is an emotional behavioral disorder found in children and teens. A teen with this disorder will exhibit behavior beyond the bounds of normal disobedience and behavior issues of growing up. Key elements can include aggression, destructive behavior, lying, and rule-breaking.
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is characterized by extremely oppositional behaviors including general negativity, disobedience, hostility, and defiance. It may manifest in arguments, tantrums, uncooperativeness, irritability, anger and resentment, aggressiveness, and problems in school.
  • Schizophrenia Schizophrenia is a disorder in which the person is not able to distinguish what is real from hallucinations and delusions, leading to irrational thoughts and actions, an inability to communicate and make decisions, and behaviors that seem absurd.

A teen whose behavior can be described as out of control for any reason would best be checked by a healthcare professional to make sure that no underlying cause is contributing. Such a person could also recommend how to approach further treatment or diagnosis.



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