Disruptive, impulse-control and conduct disorders refer to a group of disorders that include oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, kleptomania and pyromania. These disorders can cause people to behave angrily or aggressively toward people or property. They may have difficulty controlling their emotions and behavior and may break rules or laws.
One difference between conduct disorders and many other mental health conditions is that with conduct disorders, a person’s distress is focused outward and directly affects other people. With most other mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, a person’s distress is generally directed inward toward themselves.
Conduct disorders tend to begin in childhood or adolescence and are more common in males than females. Several factors make it more likely a person will have a conduct disorder, including harsh parenting, physical or sexual abuse, or parents with a history of addiction or problems with law enforcement.