Is medication usually recommended for Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Re: Is medication usually recommended for Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

The short answer is "no." Parent education and training is the first course of treatment for children and teens with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (i.e., the parent learns behavior modification techniques tailored to the ODD child).

In the event that medication is warranted (which is usually a “last resort” intervention), several options exist:
  •  serotonergic agents (e.g., Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft)
  • mood stabilizing drugs (e.g., Depakote)
  • antihypertensives (e.g., Tenex, Clonidine)

Medication should only be considered:
  • when the symptoms are very severe
  • if non-medical interventions are not successful
  • if medically treatable CO-morbid conditions are present (e.g., ADHD, depression, tic disorders, seizure disorders, psychosis) 

==> Help for Parents with Oppositional Defiant Children and Teens

What is the recommended treatment plan for a child diagnosed with O.D.D.?

Treatment of Oppositional Defiant Disorder usually consists of the following:

• Behavior modification
• Family therapy and education
• Group therapy and education
• Individual therapy and education
• Having a healthy role model to look up to
• Providing a consistent daily schedule
• Providing consistent rules
• Providing discipline
• Providing limit-setting
• Providing support
• Training in how to get along with others
• Self-management skills
• Medication (last resort)
• Residential or day treatment (last resort)

To make the fullest possible recovery, the ODD child or teen must:

1. Attend all therapy sessions
2. Develop a predictable, consistent, daily schedule of activity
3. Develop ways to obtain pleasure and feel good
4. Find and use ways to calm oneself
5. Find ways to limit stimulation
6. Frequently remind oneself of one's goals
7. Get involved in tasks and physical activities that provide a healthy outlet for one's energy
8. Identify what increases anxiety
9. Learn how to confide in others
10. Learn how to get along with peers and adults
11. Learn to admit mistakes in a matter-of-fact way
12. Talk about feelings instead of acting on them
13. Use self time-outs

Dealing with Relapse—

During a period of good adjustment, the client and his/her family and the therapists should plan what steps to take if signs of relapse appear. The plan should include what specific symptoms are important warnings of relapse.

An agreement should be made to (a) call the therapist immediately when those specific symptoms occur, and (b) notify other people who can help (e.g., parents, school counselor).

Specific ways to (a) limit stress and stimulation, and (b) make the daily schedule more predictable and consistent should be planned during a stable period.

==> Help for Parents with Oppositional Defiant Children and Teens