What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

There are many troubled teens that have oppositional defiant disorder. Having a child with this disorder might be overwhelming and confusing. Many parents might not know what this means so we will go over a few of the signs and symptoms that are associated with this disorder.

Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between a child with a strong will and one with oppositional defiant disorder. Signs of ODD generally begin during preschool years. It may develop later, but almost always before the early teen years. These behaviors cause significant impairment with family, social activities, school and work. ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) include both emotional and behavioral symptoms. These might include, losing temper, often sensitive and easily annoyed by others and angry/resentful. Often times symptoms occur with at least one individual who is not a sibling. Outbursts that are on their own rather than as part of the course of another mental health problem, such as a substance use disorder, depression or bipolar disorder. Usually signs and symptoms lasts at least six months.

Troubled teens with ODD might show different signs in their behavior as well. Some of these signs include arguing with adults or people in authority, actively defy or refuse to comply with rules or requests. They might also deliberately annoy people and blame others for their mistakes and misbehavior. Frequent temper tantrums are also one of the signs of ODD. Most teens with oppositional defiant disorder can manage the illness through therapy and skill training to manage anger and outbursts.

There are different levels of severity with this specific disorder. A mild case of ODD might include symptoms that occur only in one setting, such as only at home, school, work or with peers. A moderate case would be that the troubled teen is showing symptoms in two different settings. Finally, a severe case would be that the youth is acting out in three different settings.

For some children, the signs and symptoms might start out in the home and then progress from there into other settings and with friends. The teen might not recognize that they have a problem, and believe that they have unreasonable demands placed before them. But if your child has shown signs and symptoms similar to ODD that are more frequent than their peers, it might be time to address the issue with a doctor or reach out to a behavioral therapist.

Sometimes getting help outside of your state in a residential treatment center can be the best option for the child. The professionals that can help them at these places are trained to work with teens that have ODD and can help better the future for them and their families. Seeking outside help might seem difficult, but starting early will be beneficial for your struggling youth. It will also be helpful to their siblings to see that they are getting help with their behavior and that you won't let the disease take over their lives as well.