Oppositional Defiant Disorder (“ODD”)

When I was a little kid, I remember, on the very rare occasion, my mother would say that I was throwing a “temper tantrum” (Actually, my brother threw A LOT more tantrums than I. Just saying….).  Anyway, I never really knew what a temper tantrum was but I knew I was bad for throwing it and I would then begin to hope Mom didn’t tell Dad when he got home from work.

What, you may be wondering, has this got to do with ODD. The connection is that I NOW understand what a tantrum is or was. I was being oppositionally defiant. I had ODD (My brother had it worse, much worse!).

What is it? ODD is just as the title suggest; a child being oppositional or defiant…breaking the rules, talking back, refusing to do as told, doing the opposite of what they are told. These children often lose their temper, are touchy or easily annoyed, often resentful. They argue with authority figures, blame others for their mistakes and can be spiteful or vindictive.

I know what you are thinking…This is my teenage daughter or son! Yes and no. While adolescence is characterized by these behaviors (This doesn’t mean that adolescence is a mental illness!), this can occur in younger children also. Further, the reason a child acts in such ways is also important here.

ODD has become much more “popular” over the past 10-15 years, I believe due to a variety of factors, not the least of which is social media.