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Unusual or strange behavior is behavior that is not appropriate to the circumstances. It occurs when a person is unnaturally moody, aggressive, euphoric, or mild-tempered. Fluctuations in mood from time to time are normal. However, unusual reactions to events may be a sign of a medical or mental disorder. Some examples are being happy to hear tragic news or being nonchalant in situations that would normally cause stress or aggravation.
Grief, bad news, and disappointment can cause a normally happy person to become downtrodden. Sometimes, a person’s mood can be altered for weeks or months after hearing devastating news.
However, some people experience unusual or strange behavior for years. This usually occurs if they have been through a traumatic change or witnessed an unpleasant event.
These behavioral changes may be caused by a mental disorder, such as:
Medical conditions that cause a fluctuation in hormone levels can also cause strange or unusual behavior. These conditions include:
Medical emergencies can also cause strange or unusual behavior. These situations include:
Look for the following signs to determine if strange or unusual behavior is an emergency situation:
If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Do not drive yourself to a hospital. Call 911.
If you’ve been experiencing unusual or strange behavior, speak to your doctor about it. Make sure to note
The answers to these questions will be extremely helpful to your doctor. They will help him or her diagnose the cause of your unusual behavior. They will also assist him or her in determining whether your problem is a mental or medical issue.
The doctor may choose to run tests. These may include a complete blood count, glucose level test, hormone profile, and tests for infections. If you have no discernible medical condition, he or she will refer you to a mental health specialist.
Unusual or strange behavior caused by a medical condition, such as hypothyroidism, may subside once the condition is treated. However, in some cases, this symptom will not go away with treatment of the underlying condition. In this case, you must be treated separately using mood-altering medications.
If you have a hormonal imbalance, the strange behavior may subside after being prescribed medications to balance your hormones. Replacement estrogen, low-dose birth control pills, and progesterone injections are commonly prescribed medicines.
Mental health conditions may be treated with a combination of mood-altering medications and therapy. Doctors typically prescribe medications to treat conditions such as anxiety disorder, panic disorder, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, might also be recommended to help you learn to cope with stressful situations.
Written by: April Kahn
Updated on Feb 15, 2013
Medically reviewed by George Krucik, MD
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