Symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Children who are diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder display many different symptoms. Some of the symptoms may include:
- Does not listen to or obey the requests of adults or authority figures
- Angry and resentful of others
- Pattern of arguing with adults
- Blames others for their own mistakes
- Easily agitated
- Loses temper
- Deliberately does things to upset or annoy others
- Frequently breaks rules in school
- Spiteful and/or vindictive
Although children and adolescents may display some of these behaviors throughout the course of their childhood, Oppositional Defiant Disorder is characterized by a combination of at least four of these symptoms that persist for at least six months.
For a child or teen to be diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder the behavior has to occur more frequently and intensely than behavior that is typically observed in individuals of a comparable age and developmental level.
Sometimes the problems appear in the home setting but may not be as evident in the school or community setting; sometimes the problems are more prominent in the school setting. Regardless of where the behavior of Oppositional Defiant Disorder occurs, it causes significant impairment in social and academic functioning.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder is different than Conduct Disorder. Conduct Disorder is a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior by a child or teenager in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated. The behavior is reflected in aggressive conduct that causes or threatens physical harm to other people or animals, nonaggressive conduct that causes property loss or damage, deceitfulness or theft, and serious violations of rules. Conduct Disorder is a more severe mental health disorder in young people.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder is also different from Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is a disorder diagnosed in adulthood that is characterized by a long-standing pattern of disregard for other people’s rights.
It is important to seek help for your child or adolescent if you are concerned about a pattern of symptoms reflective of Oppositional Defiant Disorder. This is a disorder that can be addressed and children/adolescents can learn how to manage their behaviors and thought patterns through treatment before they develop more significant and problematic behavior.