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Oppositional defiant disorder

Even the best and most well-behaved children can sometimes be a real challenge for their parents. However, if your child is consistently mean to you, shows aggression, and undermines your authority or that of other authority figures, he or she may be suffering from oppositional defiant disorder.

It is important to know that if your child suffers from such a disorder, you are not alone and many counselors, doctors and therapists could lend you a hand and offer support.

Treatment for oppositional defiant disorder involves therapy and education aimed at teaching children and parents how to build positive family relationships. In some cases, it may be necessary to take medication to control the condition.

Symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Sometimes it is very difficult to distinguish OCD patients from other people who are just very emotional and wayward.

In fact, at certain stages of children’s development, it is normal to display such oppositional behavior. However, there is a significant difference between ordinary oppositional and stubborn behavior and the manifestations of the aforementioned disorder.

Symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder usually begin before the child is 8 years old. In some cases, it may begin a little later, but in practice it always begins before the early 10s. The symptoms of the disorder appear gradually and tend to worsen month after month.

Your child may be showing signs of ODD if they exhibit the following characteristics:

– if the symptoms are persistent over time
– they have been going on for at least six months
– if the disruptive behavior disrupts order and harmony in the family and home or in the school environment;

Be alert for the following symptoms:

– negativity
– disobedience
– hostility directed towards authority figures

The following regular occurrences are possible:

– angry outbursts;
– constant arguing with older people;
– refuse to comply with requests or rules imposed by authority figures;
– annoy other people intentionally;
– blames others for their mistakes and bad behavior;
– show touchiness and easy irritability;
– easily feel and express anger and resentment;
– show malice or vindictiveness;
– act aggressively towards their peers;
– have difficulty maintaining friendships;
– have academic problems;
– feel a lack of self-esteem;

In addition, such children are unlikely to see their behavior as challenging. Instead, your child will most likely feel that the demands made on him were unreasonable.

OPD-Related Mental Health Problems

Oppositional Defiant Disorder often co-occurs with other behavioral or mental health problems, such as:

– attention deficit/hyperactivity;
– anxiety;
– depression;
Symptoms of OCD can be difficult to distinguish from those of other behavioral or mental health problems.

The important thing with this type of diseases is to diagnose and treat them in time, because otherwise they can create or worsen already existing irritability and disobedience.

It is very important to establish whether the behavior is not the result of some emerging dependency. Substance abuse and dependence in children can be one of the possible causes of irritability and changes in his usual behavior.

When to see a doctor?

If you are concerned about your child’s behavior or if you are not confident in your own ability as a parent to meet the challenge of such a child, seek help from a doctor, child psychologist or behavioral expert.

Your GP will in most cases be able to refer you to a good specialist who is suitable for your case.

The earlier you catch this disease, the more successfully and quickly you will cure it. Treatment will help restore your child’s self-esteem and restore a positive relationship between you.

Your child’s relationships with other important people in his life – such as teachers, doctors, relatives, friends and others – will also benefit from early treatment.

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