Oppositional Defiant Disorder In Teens

Oppositional Defiant Disorder In Teens
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The oppositional defiant disorder is one thing that almost every parent is frustrated and scared. Dealing with such teens is extremely challenging for parents. When trying to sort out things, they sometimes find themselves in a fix

Defiant behavior in teens who are at the threshold of a new life is not abnormal. Through their resistance, disagreement, and even disobeying and talking back. They often express their defiance. If you also notice that your teen is going through this process, this article is for you and your child.

Should I Be Worried?

Challenging teen behavior is very common. You might say it’s part and parcel of growing up. But if this behavior continues for well over 6-7 months, you have to ring the alarm. This condition is known as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).

Causes Of Oppositional Defiant Disorder In Teens

While there is still to be discovered the exact cause of Oppositional Defiant Disorder in teenagers, it is assumed that a mixture of factors could be behind such behavior in adolescents.


Studies say that childhood ODD may also result in certain disorders or abnormalities in certain parts of the brain. If certain brain chemicals are not working well, a child may develop such behavioral problems.


ODD may also result in parents and disturbed overall family life. If an adolescent has a mental illness, family history or even substance abuse, this can lead to ODD.


ODD can be inherited if someone close to the family suffers from the same condition. The children may actually be made vulnerable to such disorders by their mental conditions such as personality disorder, anxiety disorder and mood disorder.

How to recognize teenage defiance?

It is said that adolescents who suffer from Oppositional Defiant Disorder suffer from low self-esteem and are easily frustrated. Here are a few signs of teen’s defiant behavior:

  • A persistent pattern of resistance, noncooperation, fighting or continually disobeying in authority people–be their relatives, siblings, teachers or any elder.
  • A relentless irritated attitude towards everything that, according to them, does not work.
  • Holding others to blame for their own mistakes and failures.
  • To express everything, use violence, and obscene language.
  • Constant refusal to comply with the rules.
  • A roller-coaster ride full of resentment and anger.

Diagnosis Of Oppositional Defiant Disorder In Teens

For the most part, the signs and symptoms in your teen can help you identify this problem. If you find these problems and behavior persistent, you need to go as soon as possible to visit a doctor.

  • The doctor will then test your teen by first reviewing medical history and doing other physical exams.
  • Even an adolescent therapist or psychiatrist can be referred to by the doctor.


Once the trigger behind the rebellious actions of your teen is identified by your doctor, he will then begin to treat him or her. The doctor is going to choose:


  • While there are no particular drugs to treat such a condition, if any, the doctor may still prescribe certain medications to treat the mental illness of your child.
  • It will allow your teen to overcome problems that could lead to his rebellious actions.


  • Counseling, known as psychotherapy, is another treatment. This therapy aims to improve the ability of the child to think and helps him or her to cope with problem-solving skills.
  • It basically teaches adolescents how to regulate and express themselves.
  • Also, parents are part of this intervention in which they are encouraged to change the behavior of their teen in a more positive way.


There is no guaranteed way to avoid an oppositional defiant disorder. Positive parenting and early treatment, however, can help improve behavior and prevent worsening of the situation. The faster the ODD is treated, the better.

Treatment will help restore the self-esteem of your child and re-establish a healthy relationship with your child. Early treatment will also help the relationships your child has with other significant adults in his or her life— such as teachers and care providers.

When you suspect that your teen has these symptoms, make it a point to immediately take him to the doctor. Oppositional defiant disorder in teens, when diagnosed early, can be treated fairly quickly. ODD can actually help prevent a lot of ancillary issues associated with it when treated on time.

Also Read: Is Your Teenager Having Behavioral Issues?