Defiant disorder, sometimes called oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a condition characterized by argumentative, defiant, or vindictive behavior, often accompanied by a generally angry mood and a short temper. This misplaced anger is generally targeted towards figures of authority, however ODD differs from conduct disorder (CD) in that children with ODD will not exhibit physically violent or aggressive behavior towards animals or people. We have found that our wilderness therapy and Rites of Passage ranch are extremely effective as a defiant disorder treatment due to their focus on healthy relationships, self-respect, dealing with adversity, and constructive cooperation.
There are eight medically recognized signs and symptoms which may be indicative of oppositional defiant disorder.
Signs and Symptoms
- A refusal to obey rules or requests
- Intentionally annoying others
- Being abnormally angry and resentful
- Frequently transferring blame on to others
- Short temper
- Vindictive or spiteful behavior
- Being quick to take offense
If four or more of these symptoms persist for more than six months then it could suggest ODD, particularly if they are exhibited towards someone other than a sibling.
Doctors are still uncertain of what exactly causes ODD but most believe that it is caused or exacerbated by a variety of genetic, environmental and psychological factors. The disorder occurs more frequently in families with a history of other mental disorders such as ADHD and CD. It is thought that complications during pregnancy and birthing can also have a significant impact on the likelihood of children and adolescents to suffer from ODD.
There are many different approaches which can be taken to ameliorate the symptoms of ODD. One of the most effective forms of defiant disorder treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy, which we are proud to offer at Rites of Passage. By distancing young people from the stress caused by the modern world while focusing on forming positive thought patterns and habits we can help them overcome ODD.