Children are normally difficult to deal with and could be very challenging sometimes. They usually have mood swings and tantrums that are sometimes hard to control and deal with. On the other hand if the child or an individual is observed with relentless pattern of tantrums, arguing and have disruptive behaviors to their parents or other people then there is a possibility that the person have oppositional defiant disorder.
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a kind of disorder that is being characterized by a recurrent pattern of negativistic, defiant, disobedient and hostile behavior towards authority figures such as parents and teachers and the elders and it usually occurs and happens for at least 6 months.
Teenagers and children with ODD shows a consistent symptom pattern of refusing commands, orders or request coming from adults and they may manifest great annoyance, irritability and stubbornness to people that are older to them. ODD is usually normal in early childhood and adolescence stage (Sadock, Kaplan, & Sadock, 2007).
Having a defiant behavior is usually common among children most especially if they are in the transition of 2 to 3 years or when they reach the teenage years. At this age children normally act with defiance so that they can affirm themselves and check their limits. There are a lot of symptoms that may indicate that a child or a teenager has ODD. Symptoms of ODD are: if an individual always loses his or her temper, often argues with adults, deliberately annoys people, blames other people for his or her mistakes, misbehavior, often annoyed or angry, academic problems, often spiteful and defies obeying with adults’ rules and requests.
It is an oppositional defiant disorder if four or more symptoms are present in a person’s behavior and lasts for at least six months (Sadock, Sadock & Levin, 2007). Furthermore, children with ODD are usually moody and they get easily frustrated with things and they can also have a very low self-esteem. There is also a possibility that they will abuse the use of drugs, other substances and alcohol (Webmd, 2008). Etiology There is still no clear cause behind the oppositional defiant disorder. The etiology of ODD is believed to come from different factors such as environmental and genetic or combined.
A child who has ODD is more likely to have a history in his or her family of some behavior disorders, anxiety disorder, personality disorder, and mood disorders. In addition, if the parents of the child are alcoholic or have problems with the behavior such as being always into trouble the child can adapt the behavior and may develop into having ODD later on (Tynan, 2008). Diagnosis/ Assessment It is difficult to determine and diagnose different kinds of mental health conditions in a person because some of the symptoms of a certain disorder may also be present in another mental disorder.
Furthermore, it makes also difficult to diagnose a child whether he or she has ODD because it is normal for children to have the different behaviors that ODD characterized. In diagnosing ODD, there are no medical tests such as blood test that can determine whether a child or a teenager has ODD or another type of disorder. Some disorders such as ADHD, conduct disorder, bipolar disorder and other mood or behavioral disorders can overlap the signs and symptoms of ODD, therefore it is very important to have a thorough check up and observation to see and diagnose a child suspected with ODD (Rapoport & Ismond).
Moreover, in diagnosing ODD different types of medical tests may be given to the person to be bale to rule out physical illness or medication side effects like X-rays and blood tests. Only mental health professionals like the psychiatrist or psychologist can determine different kinds of mental illnesses such as ODD in an individual. By looking at the child’s family and health history experts will be able to find it easier to diagnose a child with ODD (Chandler, 2008). Prevalence
Oppositional defiant disorder is said to be more common in boys rather than in girls and in children or adolescents. This disorder can usually be seen and observed when a child reaches the age of 8. It is said in some research that there are about 2 to 16% of the US population both male and female have ODD and about 25 % of the population with ODD develops conduct disorder and about 10% of the population have antisocial personality disorder and mostly are already adults (Videbeck, 2007).
ODD is more prevalent in males than females before they reach the puberty stage. However after they reach the puberty stage or adolescence, the ratio of both genders already become equal due to the reason that females tend to be involved with antisocial males as partners (Corcoran & Walsh, 2006). Risk Factors Oppositional defiant disorder usually comes with other behavior disorders or mental disorders. There are about 50% to 65% of children with ODD usually have attention deficit disorder (ADD) or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ome form of affective disorder may also be present among 35% of children with ODD, 20% with mood disorders like anxiety disorder or bipolar disorder and 15% develop some personality disorder (Kane, 2008). Other risk factors that may be present to children with ODD are; being abused or neglected, lack of supervision from parents, poor relationship with one or both parents and other family members, family instability such as incident of divorce, financial problems in the family, exposure to violence and abusing substance like drugs and alcohol (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2007).
Treatment Psychotherapy There are many options for treating oppositional defiant disorder in an individual. Different treatments depends on the age and the severity of the condition and its symptoms and the person should be willing or aware so that he or she will be able to participate and cooperate well in the treatment process of ODD though it is usually complicated and difficult especially if the individual is a child. First and common treatment being used with patient with ODD is psychotherapy. In psychotherapy the process is juts like counseling.
The goal of this kind of treatment is to help and assist the child in developing ways on controlling his or her anger and other defiant behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy is another way of therapy that can help a child or a person with ODD. It is a kind of technique or approach that intends to influence bad behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented process. This kind of therapy has been proven to be effective on most mood disorders, behavioral disorders, personality disorders and other mental diseases.
In addition, family therapy can also serve as a great help for treating ODD. This can help family interactions and communications not only to the child with ODD and parent but to rest of the members of the family as well. There is also a new therapy that has been introduced that can help treating ODD and it is called parent management training (PMT). This approach teaches the parents different techniques to positively modify or change their children’s behavior (Webmd, 2008). Medications
Medications or drugs can also help in the process of treating oppositional defiant disorder in a child. There was a study made to see whether a certain drug called Ritalin can be effective in treating children with ODD. The research’s result found out that there were about 90% of children with ODD who were treated by Ritalin do not have ODD anymore when they finish the study. Another drug called Strattera did also help and got treated for some children with oppositional defiant disorder.
Mood stabilizers can also help in the process of treating ODD using medications to be bale to control the behavior of the person with ODD. Lastly, other alternative treatments but has not been proven by studies that is suspected to help in the treatment of ODD. It is said that Omega-3 oils and Vitamin E helps lessen the behavioral problem of a child with oppositional defiant disorder (Kane, 2008). Prognosis Treating oppositional defiant disorder usually takes time to treat. It requires long term commitment to the person and most especially to the parents.
If the individual did not receive proper treatment there will be a higher risk that the child will develop a conduct disorder or antisocial personality disorder (Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders, 2007). Prevention Good parenting can prevent the prevalence of oppositional defiant disorder. It is very important that parents should treat their children fairly and should be consistent with their rules and consequences inside the home. Proper communication is also needed between children and parents to avoid such problem to occur.
Abusing and neglecting children should be also avoided; hence it is one factor that triggers ODD to occur in an individual. If parents can already observe different or unusual behavior in their children they should ask for help or seek advice to experts to know if there is something wrong with their children. If ODD is detected earlier then it will be easier also to treat and the person will no longer have to suffer and experience this kind of disorder that can disrupt their lives (Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders, 2007).
Conclusion In conclusion, becoming aware and knowing all the information that lies ahead in oppositional defiant disorder is very important. One should be attentive most especially the parents of all the necessary repercussions that it can bring to a person particularly children and adolescence to be able to stop the increasing number of ODD and so that children and other people will be able to live normally and function well in the society.