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Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Does your child exhibit hostility or aggression to authority figures? Is he often disobedient or defiant even when the requested task is routine or simple?

According to PubMed Health, the issue could be oppositional defiant disorder, an issue that could affect about 20 percent of school-aged children – mostly boys – though this number may be high due to the constantly evolving definition of “normal” childhood behavior.

If you’ve noticed aggressive and hostile behavior in your child since around the age of eight, oppositional defiant disorder may be the issue. Treatment can help your child to learn how to better control angry outbursts and improve his relationships with you, teachers and peers. Call now for information about your options.

6 Other Disorders That Can Look Like Oppositional Defiant Disorder

  • Learning disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • ADHD
  • Substance abuse disorders

Possible Signs

If your child has experienced the following issues for six months or more, it may signify a diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder:

  • Purposefully ignores your requests or refuses to do what he’s told
  • Argues relentlessly when you ask him to perform a task
  • Blames you or others when he is punished for poor behavior rather than taking responsibility for his mistakes
  • Resents others
  • Has a hard time maintaining friendships or has lost friends
  • Gets in trouble frequently at school, church and other activities
  • Easily triggered to angry and/or violent outbursts
  • Vengeful or spiteful
  • Often irritated and quickly loses his temper

These behaviors must cause substantial problems for your child at school and at home, and be significantly different from the behavior of other children his age.

Remember: You may notice some of these issues in your child, but they may or may not be due to oppositional defiant disorder – they could be signs of another mental health issue like ADHD or anxiety. Talk to your doctor and get the input of teachers and other providers to make sure that your child’s diagnosis is as informed as possible.

Dealing With Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Your Child

Dealing with the negative behaviors that come with a child who has oppositional defiant disorder can push you to your breaking point emotionally. If you find yourself getting stressed out, you can:

  • Walk away. Leaving the room even for a few seconds can help you regain your calm and return to handle the situation more effectively.
  • Learn how to restrain without hurting. If your child is violent or physically aggressive, you may need to learn how to stop him from hurting you or others without hurting him.
  • Get support. Find a support groups for parents who have children with behavioral disorders.
  • Vent in therapy. Find a children’s therapist who will work with you to help you get a better grip on how to handle specific struggles with your child, one who is an expert in behavioral disorders.
  • Get treatment for your child. Therapy, peer groups, family therapy – there are a number of options in treatment for children struggling with oppositional disorder. Contact us today to learn more about your options for treatment and to find a program that can help you better help your child get control of his emotions.