HELP FOR PARENTS WITH STRONG-WILLED, OUT-OF-CONTROL CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

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My child has just been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. What is it exactly?

OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by two different sets of problems. These are aggressiveness and a tendency to purposefully bother and irritate others. It is often the reason that people seek treatment. When OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER is present with ADHD, depression, tourette's, anxiety disorders, or other neuropsychiatric disorders, it makes life with that child far more difficult. For Example, ADHD plus OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER is much worse than ADHD alone, often enough to make people seek treatment. The criteria for OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER are:

A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least six months during which four or more of the following are present:

• is often angry and resentful
• is often spiteful and vindictive
• is often touchy or easily annoyed by others
• often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules
• often argues with adults
• often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
• often deliberately annoys people
• often loses temper

The disturbance in behavior causes clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.

All of the criteria above include the word "often". But what exactly does that mean? Recent studies have shown that these behaviors occur to a varying degree in all kids. These researchers have found that the "often" is best solved by the following criteria:

Has occurred at all during the last three months—

• blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
• is spiteful and vindictive

Occurs at least twice a week—

• actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules
• argues with adults
• is touchy or easily annoyed by others
• loses temper

Occurs at least four times per week—

• deliberately annoys people
• is angry and resentful

If you are not careful, this disorder will destroy you long before it ruins your child. The outcome can be dismal if you do not seek some outside assistance from a professional.

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