Raising teenagers is difficult. By nature they are likely to go through periods of oppositional behavior that can be hair pulling frustrating to deal with. Children and teens occasionally need to be oppositional toward authority in order to develop a strong sense of self. However, children with oppositional defiant disorder are so intently defiant that it interferes with every day life. They are incapable of concentrating in school, maintaining friendships, staying out of chronic trouble, and keeping peace in the household.
In today’s society, psychiatrists and psychologists are often too quick to diagnose children and teenagers with disorders. Just because a child is chronically challenging authority and finding himself in trouble doesn’t necessarily mean that they are suffering from a psychological dysfunction. Before conceding to the notion of treatment for a disorder, examine all viewpoints thoroughly.
Children who grow up in highly argumentative homes or home without boundaries are likely to display oppositional behavior when they are inflicted with sudden restrictions and haven’t learned self discipline. Traumatic events can lead to suppressed anger and therefore a great deal of opposition.
However there are cases where there is no likely explanation and the child truly has a misfiring in the brain that leads to oppositional defiant disorder. If your teenager is diagnosed, you should be aware that without proper treatment, the child is at risk for a more serous form of the disorder known as conduct disorder.
Conduct disorder is blamed for many behaviors that result in serious consequences, including violent crimes. While it is certainly not guaranteed that a child with oppositional disorder will develop conduct disorder, the possibility is great enough that vital attention should be paid to the treatment program.
Typically children with oppositional disorders are diagnosed between the preschool ages and early adolescence. Often the disorder walks hand in hand with a co-existing disorder such as ADDHD, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, or learning disabilities and depression. If this is the case both disorders must be treated in order to provide the youngster with a shot at a happy and productive life.
Those with the disorder display a wide range of symptoms that are typical of childhood behaviors like temper tantrums, vengeful behaviors, arguing, resentful presentation toward adults, deliberately upsetting others, and outrageous anger issues. Any of these behaviors can describe any given teenager having a particularly bad week. A teenager experiencing these symptoms on a long term basis needs to undergo a psychiatric consultation and evaluation. If at all possible, they really need to undergo at least two independent evaluations to combat the disorder many psychiatrists suffer from, the “everybody has a disease disorder.” Evaluate your child’s evaluator just as thoroughly as they are evaluating your child.
There are numerous treatment programs which have been shown to be effective in correcting oppositional defiant disorder. There are specialized parenting programs to assist your teenager with learning effective coping skills and therapy program for your adolescent to learn better methods of dealing with anger and frustration.
It is important with all adolescents, but in particularly with teens suffering from oppositional defiant disorder to react to positive changes and take the time to notice improvements. Maintaining consistency with limitations on behavior and consequences for violations is equally as important. Make sure the limitations and consequences are spelled out as clearly as possible for your teen so there are no misunderstandings when it comes time to enforce the consequences.
Taking care of an adolescent with ODD is taxing and stressful and exhausting. Taking care of you is vital. Maintaining outside interests and maintaining friendships is vital so that dealing with ODD and any accompanying disorders becomes a manageable task. Even if you are a single parent, you still must keep your own health a reasonably high priority in order to take care of your kid. You are permitted time away and fun without having to feel guilty.
Find support out there in the world who understands the daily challenges of dealing with ODD, or any type of life altering disorder. There are support groups, friends, internet resources that can help connect you with people who are in similar situations. It is not weakness to ask for help when you need it. There will be good periods and bad periods, and you will have to be able to prepare for them as they come along. Having numerous resources prevents you from wearing them out.
Above all, remember that most teens who undergo treatment improve enough to lead reasonably happy and productive lives if they maintain their treatment. You as a parent can see your child through this remarkably difficult period and you both can come out on top.