Understanding Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders

Disruptive, impulse control, and conduct disorders are a group of mental health disorders that can begin in early childhood and teenage years. People who suffer from these disorders have more aggressive behavior toward other people. Many people can become angry and have occasional outbursts. But if these behavioral problems interrupt personal relationships, education, or work, it becomes a problem. In that case, a mental health disorder may need addressing. Common disorders within this group are oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, kleptomania, and pyromania.

 Understanding Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders

 Symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder:

  • Problems with authority
  • Showing anger or resentment
  • Talking back to parents or teachers
  • Trying to annoy others
  • Blaming others for their bad behavior
  • Acting spiteful to others

 Symptoms of conduct disorder:

  • Bullying or starting fights with others
  • Being physically harmful to animals and people
  • Destroying the property of others
  • Stealing from others
  • Lying to others
  • Skipping school or running away from home

  Symptoms of intermittent explosive disorder:

  • Shouting or yelling at others
  • Throwing temper tantrums
  • Hitting or smacking others
  • Breaking or throwing things
  • Making threats to harm others or animals

Symptoms of kleptomania:

  • Lacking the ability to control the urge to steal
  • Feeling enjoyment after stealing things that are not necessary for survival
  • Feeling bad after stealing but continuing to do it
  • Having an uncontrollable urge to steal
  • Retaliating is not the reason for stealing

Symptoms of pyromania:

  • Lacking the ability to control the urge to set fires
  • Having no reason to set fire other than the obsession with fires
  • Feeling pleasure before and after starting fires

Causes of disruptive, impulse control, and conduct disorders.

The environment that a child grows up in can play an essential role in some mental health disorders. A neglectful parent or a very authoritative parent can lead to children developing disruptive, impulse-control, or conduct disorders. A child who has a family member with a mental illness can mimic some of the aggressive behaviors that they display. Some conflicts between caregivers in a child’s life can also contribute to the development of these disorders.

Treatment options.

Treatment options for these disorders include working on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The goal of treatment is to help people learn to use more self-control and manage emotions more efficiently. If a child has one of these disorders, treatment can involve working with the parents. For example, therapists can teach parents to realize their reactions to aggressive behaviors. Treatment will also help parents communicate and discipline children with these disorders. The goal is to treat the mental health condition before it worsens as an adult. The wellbeing of someone who is suffering is the primary focus of treatment. They can learn to react better to stressful events and form better relationships.

If you or someone you love is suffering from mental health disorders, we can help provide a better quality of life. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!  Contact us to schedule an appointment with our professionals.

Gene Testing Cracks Code for Drug-Metabolizing Effects

Genetic tests today are so advanced they provide biological clues related to medical risk factors and personality traits. Although there is no absolute evidence that gene testing predicts you will develop a certain mental disorder, pharmacogenomics tests do shed light on whether a specific medication could assist with an existing psychiatric diagnosis.

Gene Testing Cracks Code for Drug-Metabolizing Effects

How does gene testing help?

Pharmacogenomic tests zero in on genetic variants that tell professionals about how your body metabolizes or processes various drugs. Such key information leads to more helpful dosing because everyone’s body responds differently to specific drugs. For example, genetic and psychological factors contribute to antidepressant side effects reported by individuals.

Researchers say some of the most prevalent pharmacogenetics tests include CYP2C19 as well as CPY2D6 and CPY2C9. Depending on a person’s “CYP phenotypes,” a prescriber works to find the optimal starting dose and type of antidepressant medication. In fact, prescribers often use genetically informed guidelines.

Which drugs are not tolerated by everyone?

CYP2D2 is the enzyme identified as influencing the metabolism of various opiates, including oxycodone, codeine, hydrocodone and tramadol. CYP2C19 is associated with the metabolism of carisoprodol, diazepam, clopidogrel and several antidepressants. Meanwhile, CYP2CD is the enzyme credited with metabolizing NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

If you have had past trouble tolerating a certain antidepressant or other medication, consider gene testing. Your prior conditioning, anxiety and expectations based on preconceived ideas could influence drug tolerability, so it’s important to work with trained professionals who understand drug tolerability, genetic influences and neuroticism.

Should I obsess over my genes?

When it comes to a treatment plan – particularly more complicated concurrent therapies — understanding drug interactions is paramount to achieving safe and effective outcomes. Avoid adverse consequences with proper gene testing. At the same time, relax knowing we have scientific-based guidelines and treatment solutions. Although it’s tempting to analyze your specific genes for personality, mental health and physical health risks, ultimately your power is in mental health resources and support.

At Pandora’s House Psychiatry, we specialize in psychiatric mental health solutions for adults, adolescents and children. Talk to us about our at-home telemedicine and telehealth options for those who desire proven methods for coping and improving their quality of life. Improving mental health often means boosting life span and productivity as well as increasing the sense of self-worth. For more information about treating anxiety disorders, bipolar related disorders, substance abuse, gene testing and more, please contact us today.


Neurodevelopmental disorders and their treatment

Neurodevelopmental disorders can come in a number of forms. They include:

Neurodevelopmental disorders and their treatment

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a broadly defined condition that can have significant impacts on how someone who has it communicates, behaves, and interacts socially. Autism affects people in different ways and to different degrees. No medical test, such as a blood test, exists for autism. However, a trained professional can diagnose the condition in someone at an early age and prescribe a course of treatment that can help someone with autism function better.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD manifests in the person diagnosed with the condition having difficulty maintaining focus, moving about constantly, even in situations where it is inappropriate, and acting on impulse without thinking through the consequences of the action. No cure exists for ADHD, but a combination of medication and psychotherapy can help to reduce the symptoms and increase the patient’s ability to function.

Specific Learning Disorder causes a child to have difficulty mastering a number of skills in school. Dyslexia is a condition that causes one difficulty learning to read. Dyscalculia causes difficulty doing math. Dysgraphia causes a student difficulty learning to write. These conditions sometimes manifest along with ADHD and cause a great deal of frustration for a child suffering from one or more of them. Children with learning disorders can benefit from early diagnosis and a specialized form of education to help them to overcome the condition,

Motor Disorder is a catchall phrase that can include conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, Dystonia, and Rhett’s Syndrome that causes involuntary movements. Motor disorders can be treated with medication to a certain extent, as well as physical therapy and even surgery in some cases. No cure exists for any of the conditions classified as a motor disorder and treatment is lifelong.

Tourette’s Disorder manifests in involuntary movements and vocal sounds. A movement tic may involve blinking, shrugging one’s shoulders, or even jerking one’s arm. A vocal tic can include grunting, whistling, or shouting out a specific word or phrase. No cure exists for Tourette’s, but a combination of medication and behavior therapy can help someone with the condition keep the tics under control.

For more information on neurodevelopment disorders contact us.

3 Reasons To See A Psychiatrist For Substance Abuse

If you are dealing with substance abuse, you may want to consider seeing a psychiatrist. They can help you to overcome an addiction and get you on the path to recovery. Here are three great reasons to see a psychiatrist for substance abuse.

3 Reasons To See A Psychiatrist For Substance Abuse

You Learn Coping Strategies 

One great reason to see a psychiatrist for your substance abuse is to help you learn different coping strategies. Your psychiatrist will teach you how to deal with your compulsions when it comes to substance abuse and will give you alternative ways to help you overcome your addiction. This will help you to cope in ways that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

You Have Someone To Help You With Relapse 

Another great reason to see a psychiatrist for substance abuse is because you have someone to help you with relapse. Your psychiatrist can help you when you are struggling. You can call or visit them at anytime, and they will help you to talk through your emotions surrounding relapse. If you have happened to relapse, they will also talk to you about how you can get back on track and prevent it from happening again.

You Create A Support Network

When you see a psychiatrist for substance abuse, you have access to a great support network. You have the support of your psychiatrist whenever you need them, and you also have access to other kinds of support in the form of group therapy. You can talk with like-minded people who are also struggling with substance abuse and who also need support. This helps you to rely on each other to get the level of support that you need.

To learn more great reasons to see a psychiatrist for substance abuse, or to contact a great psychiatrist today, visit us at Pandora’s House Psychiatry.

Somatic Symptom Disorder: What Is It and How Is It Treated?

Somatic symptom disorder consists of an obsessive focus on physical senses such as pain and fatigue. Patients afflicted by somatic symptom disorder are diagnosed with significant distress and difficulty functioning normally.

Previously referred to as somatoform disorder or somatization disorder, somatic symptom disorder leads to excessive thoughts and feelings about physical symptoms. The belief that you’re suffering from physical pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, or frailness does not go away despite reassurance from medical professionals that you are, in fact, in perfect health.

Somatic Symptom Disorder: What Is It and How Is It Treated?


A person diagnosed with this portrays the following symptoms:

  • Pain, especially in the chest, arms, legs, back, abdomen, and joints.
  • Severe headache, physical disability, weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and other neurological symptoms.
  • Abdominal pains and bowel complications, diarrhea, constipation, incontinence, and other digestive symptoms
  • Sexual syndromes, including painful sexual activity or painful periods

With symptoms ranging from mild to severe in different patients, most indicate experiencing more than one.


Commonly diagnosed in women rather than men, somatic symptom disorder results from several factors, including biological susceptibility, childhood trauma, and a learned way of thinking. The main factors are:

  • Extreme anxiety and scrutiny of bodily processes, low pain threshold
  • Stunted emotional development possibly due to parental neglect during childhood
  • Physical and sexual child abuse


Treating somatic symptom disorder to improve a patient’s quality of life and relieve anxiety involves medication, therapy, or a blend of both.

Psychotherapy, specifically cognitive behavior therapy, involves engaging the patient to pinpoint negative or illogical thoughts and patterns and working through them.

Antidepressant medication also aids in repressing somatic symptom disorders and anxiety. An ideal combination when paired with psychotherapy, antidepressant medication causes side effects when prescribed initially and should only be medically recommended.

Pandora’s House Psychiatry is dedicated to providing mental health care and raising awareness in the North Dallas area. Contact us to find out more about our psychiatric care facilities.


The Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Neurodevelopmental disorders are certain conditions that affect the functions of the brain. These conditions may be mild impairments, which may see people living everyday life, or severe disorders that may require lifetime healthcare. Examples of neurodevelopment disorders include; Schizophrenia, ADHD, Tourette syndrome, Fragile X disorders, Autism, and Language and Speech disorders.

The Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Causes of neurodevelopmental disorders

Neurodevelopmental disorders occur when complex environmental and genetic factors interact to change the development of the brain. Sometimes, these environmental and genetic factors are known, and sometimes they are not known. Neurodevelopmental disorders seem to be inherited within a family where some family members might have different disorders. Although the causes of these disorders might be unknown, it is essential to identify the extent to which they interfere with the patient’s daily life to identify an intervention. Some experiences during pregnancy may result in neurodevelopmental disorders such as

  • Premature birth
  • Substance and drug abuse during pregnancy
  • Low birth weight
  • Environmental contaminants such as lead

Symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders

The symptoms of many neurodevelopmental disorders start manifesting when a child is young, mostly in preschool age. However, like schizophrenia, signs may start in teenage or young adulthood, and symptoms vary depending on the disorder.

  • ADHD- hyperactivity, lack of attention, impulsivity, and distractibility.
  • Schizophrenia – delusions, withdrawal from family and friends, hallucinations, and disorganized thoughts.
  • Tourette Syndrome- coughing or grunting, ticks such as eye blinking and shoulder shrugging.
  • Autism- resisting touch, self-harm, little or no eye contact, and difficulty communicating.

Treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders

There are no cures for these disorders identified, although effective therapeutic strategies exist that help control some symptoms and signs depending on the disorder and its extent. Some medications reduce agitation, hyperactivity, pulsations, and anxiety. Doctors also offer psychotherapy and behavior therapy to help parents and children manage behavior patterns. Counseling and therapy help people learn coping techniques to control behavior and carry on with their daily life activities. Effective and consistent prenatal care for conditions such as autism and ADHD increases the chances of delivering a healthy, full-term baby, with reduced chances of neurodevelopmental challenges. It is essential to have regular health checks up to identify these disorders and have intervention in place. Schedule an appointment with us today at Pandora’s House Psychiatry.

3 Effective Strategies of Quitting Substance Abuse

Health experts consider using a substance to be crossing the line if it is causing impairment such as mental health issues, failure to meet responsibilities, social problems, and disabilities. Society has determined the use of harmful substances to be illegal and has prohibited their use. Preventing their use is primarily to protect the wellbeing of society and avoid the costs involved in crime, lost productivity, and healthcare of individuals. However, people within society still abuse illegal drugs and are struggling to end the habit. Here are effective strategies to help with quitting.

3 Effective Strategies of Quitting Substance Abuse

1. Recognizing that you have a problem and determining to change

It is normal to feel unready to start the recovery journey. You may feel unsure of how to cope without the drug you have been abusing. Weighing options for what you will be using once you leave the drug may be troublesome and cause discouragement. It is a familiar feeling to feel torn between quitting or not. However, take the bold step of committing to being sober. Keep reminding yourself of the many reasons you want to leave substance abuse.

2. Explore addiction treatment options

Explore treatment options available depending on the drug you have been abusing. Do your research or consult a health practitioner to guide you. As you explore, consider detoxification, behavioral counseling, medication, and the necessary follow-up. As you explore the options, consider a facility that will address your substance abuse issue and the root cause of the habit.

3. Identify support for your recovery journey.

Do not go alone. Have a positive influence and a solid support system to help you through. Identify several people who will support your choice to change, and the more they are, the higher the chances of your success. These may be your family, close friends, a sober living home, or the combination of all. The support system will keep you on your toes on the set goals and encourage you when you feel discouraged.

Contact us at Pandora’s House to access mental health care and treatment.

Three Eating Disorders And Their Most Common Victims

There are a few things that are central to life’s joys and pleasures, like food. Our Birthdays, our anniversaries, our graduation parties are as memorable as the food that was cooked—and heartily enjoyed. Yet while food can be the source and center of unalloyed happiness, it can also be the cause and trigger of untold pain and suffering. About 30 million Americans are victims of eating disorders and a whopping 7.8 million of this group attempt suicide. Here, we look at four common eating disorders and those who are most susceptible.Three Eating Disorders And Their Most Common Victims


Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder that’s usually characterized by an obsessive concern about weight. Victims of Bulimia undergo episodes of uncontrollable eating followed by a compulsive determination to shed any consequent real or imagined weight gain.

Studies show that about 0.28% of Americans, or 920,000, suffer from Bulimia. While the exact course is not known with certainty, societal ideals of beauty, weight, and shape are thought to be contributing factors.

The Most Common Victims of Bulimia Nervosa

Perhaps because of the nature of their occupations, swimmers, athletes, and gymnastics enthusiasts are the most susceptible. Females are up to five times more susceptible than their male counterparts. Almost all victims of Bulimia (95%) have at least one other psychiatric disorder.

Anorexia Nervosa

This eating disorder is evidenced by abnormal anxiety and fear of weight gain. As a result, those who suffer from Anorexia adopt a harmfully restrictive diet with serious health consequences recognized by extreme thinness.

Studies from the National Institute of Mental Health show that about 0.6% of the American population suffer from Anorexia. This translates to about 2 million. Family history, perfectionism, and a desire to conform to society’s expectations and values are thought to be contributing factors.

The Most Common Victims of Anorexia Nervosa

A remarkable two-thirds of Anorexia Nervosa victims had some traumatic event that occurred before the onset of their condition. These traumatic events are broad but include sexual trauma, emotional abuse and neglect.

Teenage girls and young women in their early twenties are at an elevated risk of developing Anorexia. But perfectionism and related personality traits are also important associations.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder, characterized by compulsive and excessive eating, is the most prevalent eating disorder in the United States. Its prevalence rate is 1.2% or 4.7 million. A combination of psychological factors (including stress), dieting, and family history are thought to play a role in the development of binge-eating disorder.

The Most Common Victims of Binge Eating Disorder

Females are twice as likely to suffer from binge-eating disorders as are their male counterparts. Teenagers are particularly prone.

If you or your loved one is struggling with any eating disorder, you should consider seeing trained and Board-Certified Psychiatric practitioners as a matter of urgency. Contact us today and schedule an appointment.

When Your Teen is Struggling with Anxiety

As a parent, one of the toughest things to witness is your teen struggling with anxiety and mental health.  It is often easiest to explain it away as a normal adolescent phase; a rite of passage.  However, sometimes, the best call is not always to ignore what could be a real problem.  Here’s why.

When Your Teen is Struggling with Anxiety

Normal teen angst… or something more serious?

According to resources like The Child Mind Institute, “Untreated anxiety disorders are linked to depression, school failure and a two-fold increase in risk for substance abuse.” Given this information, and the soaring increase in diagnosed mental health issues among teens today, coming to the realization that mental health intervention is not only helpful, but necessary, can make all the difference in providing your child with the tools they need to find their way through the mire.  Knowing that parents have their back when it comes to concerning issues, as well, goes immeasurably far towards building trust for adolescents, an important asset for them during turbulent years.

Ignoring Mental Health is a Thing of the Past

Exactly why anxiety is up among our youth is a complicated issue involving many factors within their thorny world today.  You may find, surprisingly, that your teen is all too willing to seek help and this speaks volumes.  With the average teen having friends already in therapy, empowering kids to access appropriate interventions is becoming a norm, and a way to teach them early on that problems have solutions to be sought out, and accessed.  Sending the message that you think getting help is not only ok, but a good strategy to establish for life, is one that will empower them toward valuing their comprehensive healthcare into adulthood.

Finding the Right Help is Just as Important as Finding Help

Finding the right therapy, medicine if indicated, or coordinating psychiatrist to properly manage and diagnose disorders, can understandably be an overwhelming pursuit as caregivers come to terms with the idea that their child is needing care.  Navigating the jungle of providers and the cost of services can be extremely confusing, with an array of practicing mental health professionals in a marketplace that is often difficult to understand; one that often requires the comprehensive integration of many.  Met with a diversity of choices among those specializing in anxiety in teens, from psychologists to behavioral therapists to internal medicine practitioners, it can be difficult to know where to start.  All the while, your child’s continued suffering is at stake should you choose wrong, or find a poor fit.

To make things simple for those with children with anxiety or other related mental health issues, in our office, we integrate standard clinical treatments with medication management if needed, therapeutic treatment referrals and close follow-up care; so no one falls through the cracks. We start with a diagnosis from our trained psychiatrist or our highly credentialed psychiatric nurse practitioner; something critical in discerning the best treatment efforts moving forward and ensuring that optimal insurance coverage for each patient can be balanced in as well whenever possible. This, so you don’t have to waste time and money with failed attempts at finding your child, good help.

The Bottom Line

With the knowledge that increasing teen suicide rates over the last ten years may speak to a vast majority of failed applications of the system, we know much is at stake for today’s parents struggling with concerns over the mental health of their children.  With less than 1% of teens being treated within the first year they begin experiencing symptoms of anxiety, we are motivated to do right by every contact we make, expediting results with special attention to our youngest patients.  Because we know that every parent seeking to do what’s best for their child’s mental health, may just need, a little help and a hand to hold.  If you’re worried your child is struggling with anxiety, contact us today for an initial evaluation.  We would be happy to help.

Major Depressive Disorder: More Than the Blues

Major Depressive Disorder is a mood disorder that causes a loss of interest and persistent feelings of sadness. It affects many areas of your life and can lead to a variety of physical and emotional problems. It’s one of the most common mental health conditions in the United States and tends to affect more women than men, though more women tend to seek treatment.

Major Depressive Disorder: More Than the Blues

The actual cause of depression is unknown. There are, however, several factors that may contribute. A combination of stress and genes can affect brain chemistry and the ability to maintain mood stability. Other factors include abuse, alcohol or drug use, other medical conditions, and certain medications.

To be diagnosed with depression, you must meet the criteria listed in the DSM-5. One example is that you must experience a change in the way you previously functioned. Symptoms must also occur for two or more weeks. One of the symptoms must be loss of interest or pleasure or depressed mood.

In that time, you must also experience five or more of the following symptoms:

Feelings of sadness or irritability through most of the day, nearly every day.
Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.
Sudden weight loss or gain or changes in appetite.
Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping.
Fatigue or lack of energy.
Difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions.
Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
When treating depression, medications and psychotherapy work well for most people.

Some different types of medications used include:

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
Atypical Antidepressants
Tricyclic Antidepressants
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
Psychotherapy refers to treatment by talking about your condition and related issues with a mental health professional. Some examples are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy.

Psychotherapy can help you:

Adjust to a stressful event or crisis.
Replace negative behaviors or beliefs with positive ones.
Improve communication skills.
Find healthier ways to solve problems and cope with challenges.
Increase self-esteem.
Regain sense of control and satisfaction in your life.

At Pandora’s House, we are committed to helping individuals and families transform their lives with dedicated, comprehensive care. Please contact us to schedule an appointment and learn more about the benefits and methods of treatment.