Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a behavior disorder in which the child is hostile, uncooperative and defiant toward peers, parents and other. Children who have ODD are often disobedient, easily angered and may seem to be angry much of the time. Very young children with the disorder will throw temper tantrums that last for 30 minutes or longer.
In addition, the child with ODD often starts arguments and will not give up. Winning the argument seems to be very important to a child with this disorder. Even if the youth knows that he or she will lose a privilege or otherwise be punished for continuing the tantrum or argument, he or she is unable to stop. Attempting to reason with such a child often backfires because the child perceives rational discussion as a continuation of the argument.
Most children with ODD, however, do not perceive themselves as being argumentative or difficult. It is usual for such children to blame all their problems on others. Such children can also be perfectionists and have a strong sense of justice regarding violations of what they consider correct behavior. They are impatient and intolerant of others. They are more likely to argue verbally with other children than to get into physical fights.
The symptoms are usually seen in multiple settings, but may be more noticeable at home or at school. The causes of ODD are unknown, but many parents report that their child with ODD was more rigid and demanding that the child’s siblings from an early age. Biological, psychological and social factors may have a role.
A child presenting with ODD symptoms should have a comprehensive evaluation for other disorders such as, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder) and anxiety disorders. It may be difficult to improve the symptoms of ODD without treating the coexisting disorder. Some children with ODD may go on to develop conduct disorder.
Individual therapy, family therapy, Training for parents and medications are necessary for controlling child’s defiant behavior.
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Jayesh K.G is an experienced and eminent Psychologist based in Thrissur and Kochi. He is currently working as Consultant Psychologist & Child Specialist at POSITIVE Psycho therapeutic Clinic, Thrissur. He worked as a Consultant Psychologist, Dept. of Child and Adolescent Guidance Clinic, Healing Minds-A clinic for mind wellness, Kochi. He is also leading the Department of Child and Adolescent Guidance Clinic at CHILD Development & Psychotherapy Clinic, Kodungallur and Olive Health Care, Vatanapalli. Jayesh undertakes programs to increase awareness regarding mental health issues among the general population with the help of visual and print media.view more