Violent Behavior

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Violent Behavior

Topic Overview

Anger and arguments are normal parts of healthy relationships. But anger that leads to threats or violence, such as hitting or hurting, is not normal or healthy. Physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual abuse are not acceptable parts of any relationship.

Violent behavior is any behavior by an individual that threatens or actually harms or injures the individual or others or destroys property. Violent behavior often begins with verbal threats but over time escalates to involve physical harm.

Violence is learned behavior, so it is especially important to help your children learn that violence is not a healthy way to resolve conflict. Set a good example by handling conflict in a calm and thoughtful manner. Never use violence, such as spanking, pinching, ear pulling, jabbing, shoving, or choking, to discipline your child.

The risk of violence may be greater in men or women with:

  • A history of childhood abuse.
  • A history of violent behavior.
  • Low self-esteem and feelings of hopelessness.
  • Alcohol or drug use or abuse.
  • Mental health problems, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or personality disorder.
  • A history of arrests.
  • A history of attempted suicide.
  • Feelings of suspicion or hostility.

Violent behavior may occur in cycles. First, there is conflict and tension. This is followed by abuse of another or destruction of property. This pattern usually repeats itself and gets worse over time. If there is a cycle, learning to recognize it may help you prevent violence from occurring.

If you are angry, hostile, or have violent behavior, it is important to find help. You can learn ways to control your feelings and actions. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline toll-free at 1-800-799-7233 or the National Department on Mental Health at 1-888-793-4357. These agencies can help you find the help you need.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last RevisedOctober 13, 2011



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