Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
This is a condition where the child’s behavior can become disruptive to daily activities in the social, school and home life. Children can have challenging behavior at times, however children with ODD can have a pattern of behavior that can appear angry, irritable, argumentative, and vindictive at times. Even with sound parenting, ODD behavior may require the help of a psychiatric provider and counselor/therapist.
The cause of ODD is not fully known. It is believed to be a combination of factors such as abnormal neurotransmitter functioning, genetics, and environmental factors.
ODD can coexist with ADHD, Learning Disorder, depressive and anxiety disorders. It is not diagnosed by a specific lab test but is diagnosed by acquiring a history, observing signs and symptoms of ODD. ODD usually is first noticed in the preschool years or early school years and before the child becomes a teen.
Symptoms can include: repeated temper tantrums, constantly arguing with those in authority, refusing to follow direction, “picking” or actively trying to annoy people, becoming easily annoyed by others, displacing blame, outbursts of anger, being resentful, using “bad words”, and being intentionally mean or hurtful when angry.
Early interventions for ODD are extremely important as non-treatment can lead to development of poor social skills, rejection by peers, and a more serious behavioral disorder (Conduct Disorder). This can cause lifelong consequences that impact on the patient’s adulthood.