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ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

June 4th, 2014 05:00:00 am


ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

I recently read an article on ADDitude Magazine that I couldn't resist making one or two comments on, not to mention adding in a few different insights. Go figure!

 

Here is the article and the ten conditions:

 

ADHD Plus: 10 Conditions that May Show Up with Attention Deficit

  1. ADHD and Depression

  2. ADHD and Learning Disabilities

  3. ADHD and Anxiety

  4. ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

  5. ADHD and Bipolar Disorder

  6. ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder

  7. ADHD and Autism

  8. ADHD and Substance Abuse

  9. ADHD and Tourette's Syndrome

  10. ADHD and Conduct Disorder

 

Let's take a different look at ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).

 

This is the fifth of a series of articles, so those of you who have been following know what I'll say next: when my first book Managing the Gift: Alternative Approaches for Attention Deficit Disorder was released in 2000, it did not include a chapter called “ADD & Oppositional Defiant Disorder.” (Tricked you there, didn't I?) Back then, it didn't have a fancy name. We simply called it stubborn or mouthy, or a pain in the...I think you get the idea. So what is ODD, exactly?

 

Symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) include repeated temper tantrums, excessive arguing with adults, being uncooperative, deliberately annoying others, seeking revenge, being mean and spiteful. Research shows anywhere from 45 to 84 percent of children with ADHD will develop ODD. Treatment for ODD includes psychotherapy and medication. - ADDitude Magazine

 

Why is there a causal relationship between the two? Well, my thoughts in this article lean towards theory and supposition, because I moved away from my full-time practice around the same time that ODD became more prevalent. Unlike most of my posts on ADD/HD, I have not put much time into researching the topic. I can't pinpoint what's to blame, and I'm not touting myself as an expert on the subject. I'm simply sharing my thoughts, based on the fifteen years of experience I have working with ADHD individuals.

 

That said, take into consideration that you have a highly energized, highly intelligent child who is most likely on a bad diet, in a bad environment (physical or emotional), or both. Chances are, they have a hard time verbalizing what's going on in their head, which as you can imagine is extremely frustrating. A lot of energetic children have minds that move faster than their mouths. Their active imaginations are a gift, yet many ADD/HD children are reprimanded for their behavior, and/or ostracized.

 

These factors can trigger outbursts, or lead to them only know how to say “no.” They can't figure out how to properly communicate what they want or need or feel, and are in pain, struggling to speak. Not knowing what to say (because no one really tells them or knows how to tell them), they simply resort to “no.”

 

People will probably tell you that medication is the answer, or that it will at least help. I'm sure it will. But ask yourself this first: does it help the root of the problem, or is it a BandAid solution that covers up the symptoms?

 

ODD could be a side effect of drugs or medications. Before you or someone you know rushes off to the doctor to get another prescription on top of ADHD meds, check what the side effects of current medications are. Are “changes in behavior may occur” or something to that effect written on the labels or promotional materials?

 

Seek alternative options. Beware of rushing down the rabbit hole of prescriptions, especially when it comes to your children's health. How far will we go in medicating our youth before we say “enough is enough!”?  

 

This is the fifth article in a series on ADHD and accompanying conditions.

1. ADHD Plus...Plus...Plus

2. ADHD and Depresion

3. ADHD and Learning Disabilities

4. ADHD and Anxiety

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