Aggression is a term used to describe a range of behaviors that can result in physical and psychological harm to oneself and others. Many times these behaviors can also result in the destruction of property and personal belongings. Furthermore, the expression of aggression can occur in a number of ways including verbally, mentally, and physically. While certain levels of aggression are normal, individuals who present with aggressive behavior that is grossly outside of the realm of what is considered socially acceptable may have a problem. For these individuals, aggression can be triggered without provocation, which can end up causing problematic consequences.
In some cases, aggression is a potential symptom of mental health disorders or other conditions that interfere with the thought processes, such as dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder, or schizophrenia. Engagement in aggressive behaviors can lead to problems academically, financially, legally, and within personal relationships. Certain aggressive actions can result in hospitalization due to harm to oneself, or in some cases incarceration. Furthermore, aggression can have serious, even life-threatening complications if not properly treated. A treatment center that identifies the causes for aggression and the implementation of effective treatment can greatly improve the lives of those who act out in this inappropriate manner. By seeking a treatment clinic, a wide array of negative consequences can be avoided and will allow a person to have a life free from the profound disturbances and disruptions associated with aggressive behaviors.
Causes of Aggressive Behavior
While the specific causes for the development of aggression are unknown, research has suggested that aggressive behaviors may arise from a collection of contributing factors. Genetics, the environment, the presence of a mental health condition, and certain medications can all lead to the onset of aggressive behaviors. Experts agree that the following factors explain the causes of aggression:
Genetic: Previous research on aggression has concluded that aggression may be inherited. Research identified a certain gene, that when isolated in mice, caused aggressive behavior. That gene is found in humans as well.
Physical: Some studies have shown that having abnormal brain chemistry or structural changes may play a role in the development of aggressive behavior.
Environmental: It has been well determined that exposure to certain environments or circumstances can trigger aggressive behavior in certain individuals. For example, living in a stressful home, being exposed to violence, or experiencing a traumatic event can all make a person more vulnerable to displaying these types of behaviors. Individuals who have not been exposed to these types of environmental factors have been shown to have lower rates of aggression.
Mental health disorders: Many mental health conditions have aggressive behavior as a symptom. Especially for mental illnesses in which impulse control is poor, or in those that involve an inability to manage one’s emotions, mental health disorders can sometimes be blamed for the onset of aggressive behaviors. These disorders include the following:
- Substance use disorders
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Oppositional defiant disorder
- Conduct disorder
- Intermittent explosive disorder
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Adjustment disorder
- Autism spectrum disorders
Effects of Aggressive Behavior
Since aggression can be the result of a serious disease or mental health disorder, failure to seek treatment at a mental health center, like Rolling Hills Hospital, can result in a number of serious consequences and permanent damage. The following short and long-term consequences are known to occur when treatment to curb aggressive behaviors is not implemented:
- Difficulties at school or academic failure
- Disciplinary action at school including suspension or expulsion
- Inability to maintain work responsibilities
- Problems interacting in social environments
- Inability to form and/or maintain healthy relationships
- Engagement in risky behaviors
- Increased risk of injury
- Interaction with law enforcement
- Substance use or abuse
- Self-harming behaviors
- Suicidal ideations and behaviors
Treatment for Aggression
When a person is demonstrating aggressive behavior, it is often an indication that they are struggling with some form of mental health disorder. Individuals that are presenting with this type of inappropriate behavior can greatly benefit from treatment. Not only can treatment for aggression at Rolling Hills Hospital lessen the frequency of symptoms and prevent detrimental effects from occurring, but it can also provide an individual with a set of coping skills and social skills to help them be more successful in the future.
By completing an evaluation from a mental health professional, you can solidify a diagnosis so that an appropriate recommendation for treatment can be made. An inpatient setting allows for a secure environment that offers ongoing support, immediate intervention if aggressive behaviors should occur, and education on effective coping skills that can help young people learn how to manage emotions and impulsions. Additionally, while under the constant supervision of mental health professionals at Rolling Hills Hospital, the underlining causes for aggression can be determined and adequately treated.