Oppositional Defiant Disorder

You’ve heard of ADD and OCD but do you know what ODD is? Defined as an “Oppositional Defiant Disorder,” or referred to by some as “Oppositional Defiance Disorder,” ODD commonly plagues tweens, teens and young adults. And as a matter of fact, it’s usually related to other disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorders and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders. Similar to these kind of mental health disorders, Oppositional Defiance Disorders are typically treated by professional psychiatrists, psychologists and youth counselors. To discover whether or not your teen is suffering from ODD, here’s everything you need to know about it.

ODD Signs & Symptoms

The biggest indicators of ODD among teens are defiance, irritability and combativeness. Though these symptoms and attitudes are typical of most teenagers, excessive aggression and exceedingly defiant behavior are signs that your teen is dealing with an Oppositional Defiant Disorder. These signs usually begin during preschool years and worsen as he or she gets into the teen years.

ODD Treatment Options

If the case is mild or moderate, you may be able to correct it by building up your teen’s self esteem and making him/her feel appreciated, supported and wanted. You’ve also got to lay out specific expectations and follow up by administering consequences if those responsibilities are not met. In extreme or severe cases of ODD, the best option might be to seek the help of professionals at a  teen treatment center. Some of the most effective treatments include one-on-one counseling, parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), social skills training and cognitive problem-solving training. Your teen’s psychiatrist or psychologist might even prescribe him or her a medication that has shown to successfully treat Oppositional Defiance Disorders.

Be aware that experts agree that trying to scare or forcibly coerce children and adolescent into behaving may only reinforce aggressive behavior. Short term boot camps and tough-love camps are not effective for children with ODD, in fact according to American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) many of these programs reinforce aggressive behavior. For those who do not receive treatment, ODD can develop into more serious conduct and other behavioral disorders, of those with CD, almost 40 percent will develop antisocial personality disorder in adulthood.

Find yourself constantly fighting and endlessly arguing with your teen? Chances are his or her behavior could be a result of an Oppositional Defiance Disorder or irresponsible parenting. Now that you know the signs of ODD and how it’s treated, you can confidently make the decision to get him or her some much needed help.

Related Resources:

Teen Defiance – What Can Parents Do To Break The Cycle?
A Guide for Families by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Oppositional Defiance Disorder and Out of Control Anger


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