Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Every child goes through a stage where they are simply stubborn and do not want to listen. This is the “boundary testing” stage of development. However, this behavior can reach extremes. Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is diagnosed in both children and teenagers, although the symptoms usually appear in early childhood – during the preschool ages of 2 to 5 years.
Symptoms & signs of ODD
Symptoms fall into three main categories:
- Vindictiveness – acts in a cruel or spiteful manner on a regular basis.
- Defiance and argumentativeness – blames others for mistakes, argues with authority figures, acts in a deliberately annoying manner.
- Moods that are irritable and angry – easily irritated by others, quick to lose temper, shows signs of anger or resentment for seemingly no reason.
When is it time to get help?
When your child’s behaviour becomes a consistent pattern of defiance, vindictiveness, and anger, when these symptoms are severe or last more than six months, or when they cause noticeable disruption in school, at home, with friends or other family members, this behavior is characteristic of ODD. It’s recommended that you seek support for dealing with this challenging issue for a parent and to help your child to manage their disorder as well.
ODD treatment methods
Oppositional defiant disorder can be treated in several different ways and is dependent on exactly how your child is affected and the effects on you and your family. Your therapist will work with your child and you to determine the best treatment method for your individual needs. Effective treatments for dealing with ODD include:
- Structural family therapy involves looking at the structures within the family unit. Changing the underlying structure tends to cause a ripple effect on the family. This therapy analyzes the hierarchical structure, subsystems, and boundaries within the family.
- Family systems therapy looks at the family as one emotional unit. This therapeutic approach looks at the relationships within the family and the structure as a whole.
- Strategic family therapy is a type of therapy where the therapist is a problem-solver and focuses on finding solutions to client’s challenges.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves.
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a treatment method that’s similar to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) but emphasizes building skills to manage stress, emotional response and regulation, mental health issues, and the psycho-social aspects of relationship building.
- Behavioural therapy tends to view human beings and behaviour with the assumption that humans are a product of their sociocultural conditioning and environment, looking at the current problems and the factors influencing them and emphasizes behaviour changes more than the underlying unconscious processes.
In order to determine the best options for your child, a full assessment must first be conducted by a trained therapist.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
With therapy, you can learn how to improve your relationship with your child in a way that can help to support them and alleviate symptoms of ODD. Your child can learn tools that will help them to express thoughts and feelings appropriately and to self regulate their extreme emotions.
Please call Insight Psychological today in order to schedule an appointment to see what we can do to help your child!