Other serious behavioral problems Talk To Us

Other serious behavioral problems

In addition to the other symptoms listed here, Centerstone can help with more serious and persistent behavioral health issues (problems like bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder or schizophrenia). These issues can be managed and improved, and Centerstone is here to help. If you think you or someone you love has one of these issues, read the information below to learn more.

Bipolar Disorder | Oppositional Defiant Disorder | Schizophrenia

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, sometimes known as manic-depressive disorder, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms are different from the ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time and can include extreme lows (depression) and extreme highs (mania).

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

When someone experiences the low, or depression, of bipolar disorder, he or she can feel sad and hopeless and lose interest in activities. On the other hand, when someone experiences the high, or mania, of bipolar disorder, he or she may feel euphoric and full of energy. Sometimes a mood episode includes symptoms of both mania and depression and is called a mixed state.

Mania or High:

  • Having a long period of feeling “high,” overly happy or outgoing
  • Feeling irritable, jumpy or wired
  • Talking fast
  • Being easily distracted and restless
  • Sleeping little
  • Taking on new projects with extreme optimism

Depression or Low:

  • Having a long period of feeling worried, empty or sad
  • Feeling tired or sluggish
  • Having problems concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Being restless or irritable
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors

Doctors usually diagnose four main types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I is usually defined as the classic form of the illness, where a person experiences recurrent episodes of mania and depression
  • Bipolar II brings a milder form of mania called hypomania that alternates with depressive episodes
  • Cyclothymia is a mild form of bipolar disorder with symptoms that don’t meet diagnostic requirements for bipolar I or II
  • Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS) is a diagnosis for disorders with bipolar features that don’t meet criteria for any specific bipolar disorder

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder often develops in a person’s late teens or early adult years, with more than half of all cases starting before age 25. It is treatable, and people with the illness can lead full and productive lives. However, like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person’s life.

An effective maintenance treatment plan usually includes medication to control mood swings and symptoms. Psychotherapy, group therapy and peer support can also be helpful in treatment and understanding of the disorder. 

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Even the best behaved children can be difficult and challenging at times, but if your child has a persistent pattern of tantrums, arguing and angry or disruptive behaviors, he or she may have what is called Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).

ODD is a childhood condition characterized by repeated disobedient, negative and defiant behavior toward caregivers and peers. In most cases these behaviors are present by age eight, though they can emerge as late as adolescence. As many as one in 10 children may have ODD in a lifetime.


  • Refusing to comply with adults' requests or rules
  • Actively defying adults' requests or rules
  • Often losing temper or arguing with adults
  • Deliberately annoying other people, yet easily annoyed by others
  • Showing anger and resentfulness

If your child experiences four or more of these symptoms for at least six months, it might be a good idea to have them evaluated for ODD.

Treatment for ODD

Treatment usually includes teaching parents a wide variety of skills, which according to research, can greatly reduce problem behaviors.


  • Learn the most effective ways to monitor, praise, discipline and communicate with their children
  • Are given suggestions on prevention of common problems
  • Learn how to impove the quality of the parent-child relationship


Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder. It affects about one percent of Americans—an equal number of men and women in all ethnic groups. Schizophrenia is believed to result from both environmental and genetic factors, but the cause is yet unknown. Symptoms of schizophrenia often interfere with a person's ability to lead a normal life and earn a living. Most symptoms appear between an individual's late teens and early 30s.


If you have four or more of the symptoms below for more than a month with no physical cause, you might consider being evalutated by a mental health professional.

  • Hallucinations: hearing voices others don't hear; seeing people or objects that others don't see
  • Delusions or false personal beliefs: envisioning self as famous or believing others control your thoughts
  • Paranoia: believing others are cheating, harassing, poisoning, spying upon or plotting against you
  • Disorganized thoughts: an inability to plan, organize or logically connect thoughts
  • Poor comprehension: an inability to take in and understand information or make decisions
  • Difficulty paying attention or using recently collected information
  • Speaking infrequently, even when forced to interact
  • Lack of facial or vocal expression
  • Having involuntary, clumsy or uncoordinated movements
  • Repetitious movement or unresponsive and/or immobile
  • Lack of self care: neglecting basic hygiene such as bathing, brushing teeth or requiring help to complete everyday activities

Effective Treatment

Typically, schizophrenia is treated with antipsychotic medications that help alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of a person's life. Since everyone responds differently to antipsychotic medication, it is sometimes necessary to try several drugs before the best one is found. People with schizophrenia should work in partnership with their doctor to find the best medication for them.

Psychosocial treatments are often used to help with symptoms such as difficulty communicating, maintaining relationships, staying motivated, hygiene and home care or employment. Learning coping skills also helps in maintaining a medication schedule with fewer hospitalizations. A positive relationship with a therapist or case manager provides a reliable source for information, sympathy, encouragement and hope—all of which are essential for managing schizophrenia.

Take our free, confidential mental health screening to help decide if treatment is right for you.

If you or someone you love needs help, contact us via email or phone:

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