RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTER FOR TROUBLED TEENAGE BOYS

Conditions and Diagnosis: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ODD

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a diagnosable behavioral condition. It is when your teen (or child) displays a frequent and persistent pattern of irritation and anger, and/or vindictive, argumentative and defiant behavior – especially towards authority figures such as parents, teachers, and other adults. This behavior is disruptive to their everyday activities with family, friends, and learning time at school.

It is common in children and teenagers with ODD to have multiple behavioral disorders. The most common disorders coupled with oppositional defiant disorder are attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, and learning disabilities. When uncorrected, children and teens with ODD often develop a more serious behavioral disorder known as conduct disorder.

It is natural for children to have bouts of irritability and stubbornness as they’re growing and learning. But these episodes are temporary in average children. If your child or teen is constantly angry, arguing, and fighting against your reasonable expectations and requests, then you may need to consider seeking professional help for your child’s behavior, as they may be struggling with ODD.


AMONG BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS IN CHILDREN, OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER IS ONE OF THE MOST COMMON

  • 2-16 percent of children develop oppositional defiant disorder. ODD is based on a number of factors and ranges in severity, which makes it challenging to give an exact percentage of children with ODD. Multiple studies have concluded the percentages range anywhere from 2-16 percent while a majority of the conclusions lie within 10 and 12 percent.
  • Prior to puberty, oppositional defiant disorder is more prevalent in boys than in girls.
  • Post puberty, approximately 11% of boys and 9% of girls will have oppositional defiant disorder.
  • ⅔ of children diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder learn to overcome their behavioral disorder.
  • By age 18, nearly 70% of youth diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder no longer display symptoms of their disorder.
  • 30% of children diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder will go on to develop conduct disorder.
  • Of adults with conduct disorder, nearly 40% develop antisocial personality disorder.
  • Oppositional defiant disorder is commonly accompanied by multiple behavioral disorders, the most common including:
    • Anxiety disorders
    • Depressive disorders
    • Bipolar disorder
    • Intermittent explosive disorder
    • Intellectual developmental disorder
    • Language disorders

Successfully Managing ODD – What You Can Do

  1. Surround yourself with educational resources to be mentally equipped to handle stressful situations with your child who has ODD: books, forums, therapy and support groups.
  2. Seek treatment from a professional for an extended period of time- doctor, counselor, residential treatment center, therapeutic boarding school

WHAT OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER LOOKS LIKE IN TEEN BOYS

  • Teen boys with ODD display at least four out of the following five behaviors:
    • Irritable Mood – easily annoyed by others
    • Frequent Anger – regular loss of temper
    • Defiant Behavior – actively defies requests or rules from adults; deliberately annoys others
    • Argumentative Behavior – argues often with people in authority/adults; does not accept responsibility for own actions
    • Vindictiveness – acted in spite multiple times in a six month period.
  • Behavior is excessive compared to what’s considered normal behavior for the child’s age.
  • Behavior can range from mild to moderate to severe.
    • Mild – behavior is situational, depending on the setting (only at home or only at work)
    • Moderate – some of the symptoms occur in two settings
    • Severe – many symptoms occur in three or more settings
  • Repeated tantrums; poor regulation of emotions
  • Fighting
  • Blatant hostility
  • Willingly destroying friendships
  • Not willing to compromise or negotiate
  • Disruptive at home, work, and school
  • Behavior occurs independent of other mental health related issues ( including depression, substance abuse disorders, or bipolar disorder)
  • ODD behavioral patterns are displayed for at least six months

WHAT OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER FEELS LIKE FOR YOUR TEEN

You see your teens behavior and it directly affects everyday aspects of your life. Though their actions are troubling and add stress to your work day and home responsibilities, understanding how your teen is feeling when they’re acting out can help you to learn coping tools and problem solving solutions during their outbursts. When you see defiant, angry, and destructive behavior, your teen may be feeling (yet, poorly conveying) the following:

  • Feeling frustrated frequently
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Struggling to make friends and have close relationships
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lots of negative emotions
  • Socially isolated
  • Difficulty forgiving others

HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR TEEN OVERCOME OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER

  1. Provide your teen with access to regular therapy if this is something they would like to do. If they are uncomfortable with therapy, help them to find someone that they can talk to – someone they trust, whether it is a friend or a family member.
  2. Set expectations/boundaries for if their conduct threatens (emotionally or physically) to their safety or the safety of others, including property.
  3. Maintain your boundaries with their conduct. Do not allow bad behavior that can be unsafe (i.e. punch walls, break items etc…)
  4. Invite them to participate in coping exercises – going for a walk or listening to appropriate music to blow off steam. Parents can ask the teen to continue the discussion later when both parties have calmed down by saying “I really want to hear what you have to say. Can we finish this conversation later when we are both calm?”
  5. Find a professional willing to tailor treatment to your teens specific needs, age, severity of behavior, and possible coexisting mental health conditions
  6. Participate in a parent-management training program to learn how you can better manage the behavior

WHAT YOUR TEEN CAN DO TO OVERCOME ODD

Learn cognitive problem-solving skills – This will help the teen respond in more positive ways in stressful situations

Medication can be taken to reduce stress and when paired with therapy it has been found helpful in correcting poor behavior


HOW SUNDANCE CANYON ACADEMY HELPS TEEN BOYS WITH OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER

Sundance Canyon Academy knows there isn’t always a clear cause for oppositional defiant disorder. This behavioral disorder can be a result of either genetics or environment. Some children and teens struggle with ODD due to their natural disposition or temperament. It is possibly a neurobiological problem where the nerves in the brain are functionally different. Often times, children who are diagnosed with ODD have developed the behavioral disorder due to a number of factors – feeling lonely, harsh and/or inconsistent parenting or co-parenting, and in some cases even abuse and neglect.

Treatment can include medication for this type of disorder, but therapy is highly recommended. However, short-lived therapeutic treatment has been found to be very ineffective. Our therapeutic program at Sundance Canyon Academy is designed to remove youth from their destructive patterns and distracting home/social settings to provide them with a structured schedule, safe environment, and focused goals – learning to cope with stress, overcome emotional struggles, and learn tools to help them grow into successful, contributing members of the home and community.

Experts agree that boot camps, scare tactics, and other tough-love programs are ineffective at treating a disorder like ODD. Besides their inability to treat the behavioral issue, they’re even known to create more deep-seeded emotional damage. Intimidating or forcing correct behavior typically results in more aggressive habits. At Sundance Canyon Academy, our treatment provides emotional rewards for positive behavior which creates a longer lasting incentive to behave well. We can teach teens the skills they need to manage negative emotions and live happy, emotionally healthy lives.