Childhood Disorders

ODD and Conduct Disorders

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is seen in children who show a strong defiance or opposition to rules or norms in their home or social setup. If left unattended it may develop into a conduct disorder gradually.

Children with conduct disorders show a persistent disregard for the norms and rules of society. Conduct disorder, is one of the most frequently observed mental disorders in adolescents, affects approximately 15% of boys and 10% of girls below the age of 18. As the symptoms are closely tied to socially unacceptable behavior, many people confuse this illness with juvenile delinquency. However, young people with conduct disorder often have other problems that have been ignored, like epilepsy or a history of head and facial injuries or even ADHD. Children who have demonstrated at least three of the following behaviors over 6 months should be evaluated for possible conduct disorder :-
  • Stealing
  • Constantly lying
  • Deliberately setting fires
  • Skipping school
  • Breaking into homes, offices, or cars
  • Destroying others' property
  • Physical cruelty to animals or humans
  • Forcing sexual activity
  • Starting fights
  • Using weapons in fights
Appropriate treatment for conduct disorder is essential. Aimed at helping young people realize and understand the effect their behavior has on others, treatment includes behavior therapy and psychotherapy, in either individual or group sessions. Some youngsters may have depression or ADHD in addition to conduct disorder. For these children, use of medications , as well as , psychotherapy has helped lessen the symptoms of conduct disorder.

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