Oppositional Defiant Disorder: ODD Child Behavior

An angry young boy glaring at the camera

oppositional defiant disorder is a serious psychiatric disorder that affects around 2 to 16% of all the kids. It is a serious behavioral anomaly which when untreated may result in many other disorders in the life of the patient. The main reason why oppositional defiant disorder, or ODD for short, goes unnoticed is because people are not aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease. This is where the importance of the behavior chart comes in.

A child suffering from ODD may show various signs. Some of the symptoms from behavior chart are mentioned below:

  1. Defiance of all adults and seniors and refusing to comply with their rules.
  2. A case of bad temperament.
  3. Arguing with elders and annoying them on purpose.
  4. Remaining angry and irritated almost always.
  5. Refusing to take responsibility for one’s actions and putting the blame on someone else’s shoulders.
  6. Remaining touchy and getting annoyed at the slightest pretext.

The behaviors listed above are not dangerous signs of Oppositional Defiant Disorder in themselves as almost every child displays similar behavior at some point of time in their lives. However, when these symptoms keep recurring and become a regular feature for about 6 months or above, then it should become a thing of concern. A child suffering from ODD should not be confused with a child who is slightly moody and emotional in nature. It is completely normal for all children to display the behaviors mentioned in the behavior chart for oppositional defiant disorder but if they persist for almost 6 months, the child should be treated medically at the earliest possible. Behavior modification for Oppositional Defiant disorder is important.

The reasons for a child developing ODD are many and can range from genetic factors to environmental factors to even medical factors. It is believed that if the parents of the child have remained on the wrong side of law for behavioral problems, chances are that the person will also develop ODD in his life. A mother smoking heavily during her pregnancy can also result in the child being born with impaired mental health that might result in the disease later.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is the most common of all of children’s mental disorders. Almost anybody has a chance of getting the disease and it does not happen to people of a certain economic strata. It has however been seen that Oppositional Defiant Disorder seldom features independently. It is almost always accompanied by other such neuropsychiatric conditions. A child with ODD is most likely to suffer from ADHD.

How does one identify and diagnose Oppositional Defiant Disorder? The most important criteria would be that parents educate themselves and come to terms with the symptoms listed in behavior chart. They need to talk to the child and not brush off any of his antics. They would do good to pay heed as it is better to be safe than sorry.

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