Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)


Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a disorder that can cause significant behavioral changes in your child. Although difficult to manage, it isn’t something that is impossible. It is also something that a parent or child doesn’t have to deal with alone. Recognizing the symptoms and seeking the resources you need to help you and your child tackle ODD, is the most important step. ODD does not look the same in every child and outbursts may not occur with the same frequency. Some ODD behavior can be triggered by a particular setting or person that the child is around. While some children can be triggered by everything. It is important to assess the severity of your child’s ODD, so you and your provider can figure out the best steps to take in managing the disorder. 

Symptoms of ODD

  • Loses their temper easily
  • Easily annoyed or irritated by others
  • They often have a problem with authority
  • Defiant with their parents or other adults
  • Purposely agitates the people around them
  • Won’t or can’t take responsibility for their own behavior
  • Your child can begin to lie about small things
  • Can become physically aggressive to those around them

Causes of ODD

  • Genetics
  • Child’s environment

If your child is having any of the above symptoms consistently at home, school or with others, it may be time to seek help from a professional. Doing so will give you and your child the resources you will need to manage the diagnosis and develop healthy coping mechanisms over time. Your child may feel like their behavior is not an issue, so developing these coping mechanisms may not be easy at first. Listed below are some of the ways that Oppositional Defiant Disorder can be treated.

Treatments for ODD

  • Family based therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Low dose medications
  • Increasing healthy vitamins (for parents that prefer holistic approaches)

ODD can develop at a very early age or during adolescence. Since ODD can develop at different points in a child’s life and be caused by a few different factors, it is extremely important to seek professional help so that the best form of treatment is chosen for your child. It is also important for the doctor to rule out any other disorders that may be the true cause of your child’s behavior, so they are not misdiagnosed and provided a treatment that won’t be helpful to them.

Click below to learn more about ODD and when you should ask for help:

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

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