Oppositional defiant disorder in adolescents

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is not just a thing for young children, but teens can behave this way too. If the symptoms of this disorder are ignored in childhood or overlooked by parents in the most critical years, negative behaviors can intensify, causing much more worrisome scenarios to appear. Although adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder tend to act in an age-appropriate manner, they must learn to recognize the rights of those in their environment to avoid having problems with social relationships.

Does your child have behaviors of this disorder?

There are certain behaviors associated with this disorder that can interfere with a teenager’s daily life. Negative behaviors are common at school, at home, and even with friends. Teens with oppositional defiant disorder often have angry outbursts with aggressive language and are very easily irritated. They don’t want to obey rules and question any kind of authority . They tend to have revengeful behaviors and do not have the will power to take responsibility.

Why happens

The cause of oppositional defiant disorder in adolescents is not conclusive, but this disorder begins in the first years of life and if it is not treated as the years pass, the symptoms harden . What some think of as typical child tantrums may actually be a harbinger of more serious things in the future. If this type of behavior is negatively reinforced by parents or other people in authority, behaviors learned can also be acquired in the teenage years.

In the same way that a child learns that with a tantrum he gets what he wants from adults, a teenager with this disorder acts in a similar way. Like the young child, the adolescent sees that his bad behavior will get the attention he wants. But of course, a tantrum is not the same in a two-year-old as in a fifteen-year-old.

Look for the diagnosis

If you suspect that your child may have oppositional defiant disorder, you should seek the help of an expert in order to know if it is really this disorder or not, and above all, to be able to look for the ways and strategies that your child can behave in a more balanced way. When a child behaves in this way, the one who suffers the most is he,  because anger or rage are negative emotions that when they control people make them feel really bad.


An evaluation based on observation of the adolescent will be carried out by a psychologist or psychiatrist . Although due to the close links that this disorder can have with other conditions such as anxiety, the specialist must have some formal tests. In addition, parents and teachers must agree to do some interviews and parents a full medical examination. All of this may be necessary to know if your child really has oppositional defiant disorder in adolescence.

Seek professional help

If your child is really diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder, it will be necessary to go to a professional (or follow the therapy with the professional who diagnosed him) in order to carry out individual or family therapy in which the adolescent can learn to know his emotions and above all, to control all the negative feelings that sometimes control him. You will have to learn a new way of behaving with others, new social skills, etc. In this way, living together at home can improve and your adolescent will begin to feel better and more valued without the need to attract negative attention.…