ODD Treatment in Dallas

It’s not unusual for a child to misbehave, talk back or otherwise disregard people of authority from time to time. However, when aggressive or irritable behavior becomes more consistent, it could be more than just a phase. Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a behavioral disorder characterized by excessive anger, defiance and irritability, which effects the child’s ability to communicate with others and establish positive relationships. The disorder typically begins to surface when a child is between five and eight years old, but if left diagnosed, the symptoms of ODD can continue through adolescence and into adulthood.

Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers provides counseling for ODD through a multi-modal treatment approach. With a variety of therapeutic options available, residents are able to address the symptoms of their disorder and learn to control their emotions.

The Characteristics of ODD

It may be hard to tell the difference between a child who is developing normally, but expresses some defiant behavior and a child who has ODD. Typically, psychologists are able to diagnose ODD if the symptoms have persisted for longer than six months. When aggression and anger have become a continuous behavioral trend, it may be time to seek treatment.

The most common signs of ODD include:

  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Arguing with authority figures
  • A lack of responsibility for one’s actions
  • Seeking revenge on others
  • Excessive foul language
  • Intentionally upsetting others
  • Very easily irritated
  • Refusing to comply with requests
  • Angry or aggressive outbursts

The behaviors associated with ODD will usually occur when an authority figure tries to assert any sort of dominance, no matter how minimal. This intense sensitivity will often disrupt the child’s ability to function normally throughout the day and keep them from experiencing other important developmental milestones. ODD is also typically a co-occurring disorder (i.e. a disorder that occurs in tandem with another mental health or substance abuse condition) and may be seen alongside attentional deficit disorder (ADD), learning disabilities and anxiety disorders.

The Causes of ODD

Many of the causes of ODD are still unknown, yet experts believe the disorder can be traced back to biological and environmental conditions. Injuries to the brain during childhood or defects in communication between neurotransmitters may be linked to the onset of ODD. Likewise, a dysfunctional family environment or a lineage of mental health issues could increase the chances of a child developing ODD.

Diagnosing ODD

Before applying a proper diagnosis for ODD, it’s important to rule out any medical conditions that may be causing irritable behaviors. Typically, a medical doctor will perform an examination in order to ensure that bodily dysfunction isn’t leading to unruly behaviors. If the individual's health is in good condition, then a psychologist or other trained professional will need to assess them for ODD and other mental health issues. Without a proper assessment and diagnosis, ODD in older individuals can lead to unhealthy relationships, antisocial behavior, substance abuse and possible suicide. If you are noticing that your child seems to be unusually aggressive and defiant compared to his peers, a professional evaluation may be necessary.

Treating ODD at Visions

At Visions, we understand some of the most significant factors when it comes to treating teens with mental health problems. Not only do we recognize and acknowledge the dignity of each resident with respect, but we also implement treatment in a way that teens can identify with. Additionally, we specialize in treating co-occurring disorders and understand the importance of diagnosing all underlying behavioral and emotional problems before treating the disorder that is most prevalent. Without addressing each issue simultaneously, treatment will be ineffective.

In order to properly diagnose ODD, a number of evaluations services may need to be administered. Psychological, psychosocial, substance abuse and psychiatric assessments are particularly important for treating ODD because the severity of the disorder can depend on the specific factors that occurred in an individual’s life. Therefore, it is almost impossible to tell how a resident will respond to treatment without an evaluation.

Evaluations examine factors such as social functioning, employment history, educational states and chemical dependency in order to establish the severity of mental health disorders and design the most individualized treatment plan for the resident. All of the Visions staff, from our dietitians to our psychiatrists, use the information collected in evaluations to appropriately interact with residents and administer therapy. Results from an evaluation help licensed staff choose the therapeutic methods from our multi-modal treatment program that will benefit the resident the most, and when a resident can comply completely with their personalized treatment plan, they have a better chance of controlling their emotions and overcoming ODD.

Therapies like Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, family therapy and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy may be implemented to help treat ODD, depending on the specific individual. The goal is to help residents identify potentially problematic and dangerous behaviors and help them transfer these emotions into positive actions and relationships in the future. If you would like more information about ODD or the treatment options available to you, please contact Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers in Dallas.