Understanding Oppositional Defiance Disorder in Teens

Is your troubled youth struggling with defiance? Oppositional defiance disorder (ODD) is commonly heard with teens especially as their hormones are raging and if they are also diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.

ODD is a condition in which a child displays an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, hostile, and annoying behavior toward people in authority. The child’s behavior often disrupts the teen’s normal daily activities, including activities within the family and at school.

Many children and teens with ODD also have other behavioral problems, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, mood disorders (such as depression), and anxiety disorders. Some children with ODD go on to develop a more serious behavior disorder called conduct disorder.

Is your teen:

-Quick to anger, rage or become explosive?
-Loses their temper frequently?
-Deliberately annoy others?
-Easily annoyed by others?
-Intentionally defy family rules? Break curfews?
Blames others for their mistakes or behavior?
-Are they spiteful or vindictive?


These can be symptoms of ODD. A pattern of negative, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least 6 months which you experience several of the above behavior patterns.


Teens struggling with anger, rage, stress and anxiety due to ODD typically are not treated with medications.  It is about finding ways to handle the negative feelings and impulsiveness as they start escalating.


Seeking help through local therapy and possibly anger and stress management classes can be beneficial.  However as we know with most defiant teens will refuse to attend and will likely shut-down.  This is not in all cases, but it is very common. ODD teens can be extremely stubborn.


This is why therapeutic boarding schools and residential therapy has been successful in treating these situations. They are able to help your teen face their issues among their peers that are having the same feelings.  When they are placed outside of their environment it removes the pressures from home conflict and other issues that might be holding them back from opening up.  Don’t be mistaken, the family is still very involved in the recovery process.  It is about bring the family back together.


It’s rare that the one hour once a week with a therapist will make significant changes if you are dealing with a teen that has been struggling for over six months with these problems – however it’s important to exhaust all your local resources.


Read: Where to Send My Troubled Teenager.

Read: 5 Benefits of Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens.

For more information on residential treatment options that specialize with oppositional defiance disorder, ADD/ADHD please contact us

Contact us today for a free consultation – learn more about helpful tips to research programs.