In this post, we will answer the question: What is oppositional defiant disorder?
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is one of a group of behavioral disorders called Disruptive Behavior Disorders (DBD). These disorders are called this because kids who have these disorders tend to disrupt those around them. Oppositional Defiant Disorder is one of the more common mental health disorders found in kids and teens.
Doctors define Oppositional Defiant Disorder as a pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behavior directed toward authority figures. Children and teens with Oppositional Defiant Disorder often rebel, are stubborn, argue with grown-ups, and refuse to obey. They have angry outbursts and have a hard time controlling their temper.
Even the best-behaved kids can be uncooperative and hostile at times, particularly teens, but those with Oppositional Defiant Disorder show a constant pattern of angry and verbally aggressive behaviors, usually aimed at moms and dads and other authority figures.
The most common behaviors that kids and teens with Oppositional Defiant Disorder show are:
• Hostility and verbal aggression
A therapist is often called upon if these behaviors create a major disturbance at home, at school, or with peers.
Seeking treatment for kids and teens suspected of having Oppositional Defiant Disorder is very important. This disorder is often accompanied by other serious mental health disorders, and, if left untreated, can develop into Conduct Disorder (CD), a more serious Disruptive Behavior Disorder. Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder who are not treated also are at an increased risk for substance abuse and delinquency.
Some moms and dads have trouble seeing defiant behaviors as a symptom of a mental disorder. They may want to wait to start treatment until the youngster matures to see if he will “grow out of it.” Also, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between Oppositional Defiant Disorder and normal, independence-seeking behavior that shows up during the “terrible twos” and early teen years.
However, there is evidence to suggest that early intervention and treatment will help a youngster overcome Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Treatment also may prevent its progression into a more a serious mental health concern.
Treatment usually consists of a combination of therapies, including behavioral therapy, parent training, and family therapy. Some kids may benefit from medication as well.
With proper treatment, kids and teens can overcome the behavioral symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder. They can learn techniques to manage their anger and develop new ways of coping with stressful situations. Treatment also can help moms and dads learn better ways to discipline and reward good behavior. With treatment, kids and teens with Oppositional Defiant Disorder can overcome their difficult behaviors and lead happier, more fulfilling lives.
Help for Parents with Oppositional Defiant Children and Teens