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Is Your Child Difficult, or Do They Have O.D.D.?

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Parenting is arguably one of the toughest and most important jobs we can have.  No two children are the same and often as parents we are unsure if the behaviors our children are exhibiting are normal.  Read this awesome guest post to answer the question, “Is your child difficult or do they have O.D.D?” and learn about the treatments for oppositional defiant disorder. 

Is your Child difficult or do they have O.D.D.

Parenting is challenging 

Parenting is one of the hardest roles that we take in our lives. Despite its challenges, it is rewarding. It’s beautiful to see your children grow up and achieve their goals. There are instances where some children present more problems than others. there is a difference between a child that is being difficult than one who has a legitimate mental illness. All children throw tantrums. Each child presents defiant behavior at times. There’s a difference between being defiant and having a disorder. O.D.D. causes the child to act defiant most of the time. Oppositional Defiant Disorder affects children and adolescents and impairs their ability to follow the rules and respect authority figures.

What is O.D.D.?

O.D.D. (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) Is a condition where the individual struggles with listening to rules and respecting authority figures. Here are the other symptoms of O.D.D.:

  • Persistent angry or irritable mood
  • Defiant behavior 
  • Argumentative behavior 
  • Vindictive behavior 

A teenager with O.D.D. appears angry most of the time. They are used to picking fights with parents and authority figures. These young people frequently say no when asked to do anything. They may be defiant verbally, or their behavior may escalate from verbal to physical violence. 

There are three types of O.D.D. that measure in severity

  • Mild – where are the oppositional behavior only occurs in one setting such as school, at home, or the workplace
  • Moderate – some of the oppositional behaviors occur in at least two of the settings mentioned. The actions are impacting the person’s quality of life in two critical areas
  • Severe – severe O.D.D. occurs in three or more of the settings mentioned. The child must get help as soon as possible, as it can impede their daily functioning

O.D.D. affects the entire family 

Oppositional Defiant Disorder affects the entire family unit. The person who has O.D.D. is exhibiting the symptoms and being defiant, saying no, refusing to go to school or do schoolwork, and hurting their family. It’s not just about their behavior, but it’s about how their defiant actions impact the whole family unit. A child with O.D.D. may split the family unit. They may individually dismiss one member of the parents. They refuse to do what is asked of them by that parent. It could be hard for the entire family to make group decisions because the child or teenager with O.D.D. refuses to be involved in the process. Or they may directly self sabotage the family outings or opportunities to bond. Siblings of the child with O.D.D. may become frustrated or hurt because they are expected to do chores or sleep with me go to school.

Kids with O.D.D. aren’t “bad.”

Children who live with Oppositional Defiant Disorder aren’t “bad kids.” That’s a critical misconception to confront. They are living with a real mental health condition that impacts their ability to succeed. Their persistent defiant behavior is a cry for help. They don’t know how to handle their rapid angry mood swings, and as a result, lash out at authority figures. It’s essential to educate yourself on the condition, so you don’t prematurely judge these young people. Kids with O.D.D. need treatment for their condition to start seeing them symptoms lessen, and for them to achieve academic and social success, which they can do. 

What is the treatment for O.D.D.

Treatment options for O.D.D. are available, and an excellent start is seeking therapy. One of the best things you can do for your child with O.D.D. is to get mental health services. A teenager or young person with Oppositional Defiant Disorder is suffering but can benefit from therapy. You can seek out local counselors and choose one for your child to meet with, or try looking into online therapy. Online therapy is a popular mental health treatment option and is especially useful for the younger generation. A person can see a therapist in the privacy of their home, where they feel safe. That can be a game-changer for someone with O.D.D. It may be challenging to get your child or teen to a therapist’s office, but an online therapist can meet with them in a place where they feel safe. If your child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder, there is hope. A therapist or counselor can work with them and determine some behavioral strategies to help. You can also see a therapist to speak about the challenges of parenting a child with a mental health condition. There is support out there for you and your child; all you have to do is seek it out. 

About the Author:

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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