Comorbidity: Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Another comorbidity is oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). This is a disorder that I hadn’t heard of before I started looking into and researching ADHD. It’s a disorder that perhaps not everyone is familiar with, like myself. So, this is definitely a good time to look into it and learn.

So, let’s dive into it.

What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a disruptive behaviour disorder. In an article on the Additude magazine website, the author of the article defines it as “a persistent pattern of hostile, vindictive, and defiant behavior towards authority figures.”

It is not uncommon for kids and teens to be a bit defiant and argue or disobey parents or teachers. Many would say that it is fairly normal.

However, in some cases, the behaviour goes beyond what may be considered ‘normal’ for the child’s age and may last 6 months or more. This is when an ODD diagnosis may be needed.

Signs of ODD tends to start showing in childhood. In some cases, some kids will outgrow some aspects of it. However, this isn’t always the case. In some instances, ODD may persist into adulthood.

Here are some symptoms of ODD:

  • Frequent arguments with adults
  • Often having an angry attitude
  • Speaking unkindly or harshly
  • Not doing what adults ask them to do
  • Seeking revenge or being vindictive
  • Always questions rules and refusing to follow them.

This is just a short list of signs of oppositional defiant disorder.

ADHD and ODD

Although not everyone diagnosed with ODD has ADHD, I do want to talk about ODD and ADHD. 

It seems that approximately 4 in 10 kids with ADHD show signs of ODD. Far more common than it is in those without ADHD.

From what I can gather, there are no clear answer as to what causes ODD. Various factors may cause ODD, such as genetics and social factors.

Researchers also don’t seem to know for sure why ODD and ADHD seem to overlap.

For the moment, not much may be known about the link between ADHD and ODD. With time, maybe more information will come out. 

What Can Help with ODD

There are several options when it comes to treatment for ODD. 

There are some medications that may be available for those with ODD. This can be one option for some.

Another option is therapy, seeing a psychologist who is familiar and has good knowledge of the disorder. 

In some cases, the person with ODD may become a danger to himself and others, which may lead to hospitalization. However, this isn’t the case for all those with the disorder.

It is recommended to not simply rely on one type of treatment. But find a balance of different approaches. The child with ODD tends to benefit more when there is more than one approach is involved, when it comes to treatment. 

Final Thoughts

It certainly can’t be easy to have ODD or raise a child with this condition. Thankfully, there are things that can help and manage the issues. This is definitely something to bring aware to.

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