Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The ODD

ODD. It stands for "oppositional defiant disorder." According to the DSM V doctors' manual on mental disorders, it's a prelude to a more serious type of conduct disorder.

Children, teens, and adults may suffer from ODD. It can be mild, moderate, or severe in a continuum.

Helen, a university student, feels angry at the world.

At home, she habitually argues and fights with her parents and breaks house rules. In school, she excessively argues with professors and other authority figures.

I find it as no surprise then when she tries to argue, fight, or quarrel with me during sessions. She doesn't want to be in therapy.

According to her, it's "forced" only on her by the consequences of her parents. She blames them for what she's going through.


ODD, like most habits, is a learned behavior. It's usually borne out of a lack of positive attachment to a parent, chronic instability or stress in the home, or even personality disorders. 

IT (individual therapy) and PCIT (parent-child interaction therapy) is a standard combination to address the core concerns and wounds of ODD.

In IT, the ODD person learns to develop personal values and responsibility, practice mindfulness, control impulse, or upgrade anger management skills.

Like other behavioral disorders, ODD has deeper emotional roots. Permanent recovery lies in this curative component of IT.

The PICT, on the other hand, is geared towards developing positive and nurturing communications between parents and children. 

The quality of parenting is often associated to the genesis of ODD. Hopefully, through PICT, the ODD gains a healing breakthrough from its core relational roots.