Emotional and behavioral disorders

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By Rose Jessica Octaviano

A Sound Mind

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

LAST week, the Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) Bacolod-Negros Occidental Chapter celebrated its 38th anniversary with the theme: “Advocates of Peace: Pillars for a Mentally Health Community.”

PMHA continues its extensive campaign for a sound mental health for each individual. We promote one’s total well-being with the help of our partners.

PMHA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOA) with the Province of Negros Occidental through the Provincial Health Office (PHO), under its Mental Health Unit, to bring mental health services to the community.


The PHO and PMHA go to the district hospitals around Negros Occidental to have psychiatric medical missions. The PMHA is the one providing the psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors. So far, we have been to Valladolid District Hospital, Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City and Cadiz District Hospital. We are planning to visit Himamaylan City this July.

The Bacolod Council recently approved an ordinance declaring every October 10 as Mental Health Day in the city. The city will form a council headed by the City Health Office with PMHA as part of the council, along with other LGUs. The council will plan activities for the day with the option to celebrate for a week. This will be implemented this year when Mayor Monico Puentevella signs the ordinance.

One of our concerns is the children. We organized a lecture forum entitled “Sad, Mad, Glad: How Emotions Affect Children’s Behavior,” with PMHA national president Dr. Cornelio Banaag Jr. as the resource speaker.

Last week, I shared about the importance of children’s feelings/emotions. Parents have a very important role in helping children learn self-regulation, as well as the connections between thoughts, feelings and behavior.

There are children who may show inappropriate emotional and behavioral responses in certain situations. When do parents consult professionals?

It has been observed that parents hesitate in bringing their children to seek help. They maybe in denial, they may be afraid that their children will be labelled and they will be blamed, and some may feel guilty – that it is a personal failure on their part.

When is referral needed?

*Degree of distress experienced by child, parents, other family members, teachers
*Duration of the problem
*Intensity of emotional/behavioral problems (e.g. episodes of rage, despair or hopelessness, self-injuring behavior, suicidal thoughts)
*Drop in level of functioning

Dr. Banaag continued his talk with the emotional and behavioral disorders. He said that there are two types of disorders: externalizing and internalizing.


1. Oppositional Defiant Disorder
2. Conduct Disorder
3. ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

The markers for externalizing disorders are:

*Antisocial behavior in school/at home
*Hyperactive behavior
*Loud-yelling, cursing, disruptive talking
*Hits, fights other children
*Ignores teachers, parents, authority figures
*Argues excessively
*Steals, lies
*Destructive, uncontrolled anger
*Repeated temper tantrums
*Noncompliant to rules and redirection

Here are the signs and symptoms of the externalizing disorders:

*Often loses temper
*Often argues with adults/authority figures
*Actively defies/refuses to comply with rules
*Deliberately annoys others
*Blames others for his/her mistakes/misdemeanor


*Highly prevalent especially among boys
*Patient behaves without care for rules, social norms or rights of others
*Onset usually late childhood, early adolescence
*Onset may be early as five or six, symptoms of oppositional and *defiant disorder

Symptoms to look for:
*Lying, stealing, cheating
*Cruelty to animals/people, bullies
*Early use of legal/illegal substances


*Most common disorder of childhood
*Hyperactivity present before child enters school
*Forgetful, inattentive, “daydreaming” in class
*Intrudes, blurts out, can’t wait for turn
*No labs, definitive test; use of rating scales helpful
*Most patients with ADHD have comorbidities (anxiety, depression, conduct problems, learning problems)
*Need for early diagnosis and intervention because of comorbidity

I will discuss about the Internalizing Disorders next week.


If you have questions or need help about any of the disorders, please call PMHA 433-8868 or email at pmha_bacolod@yahoo.com.ph or the columnist at jet.octaviano@gmail.com

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 01, 2014.


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