As parents, we are not perfect and all children will have their days of bad behavior. They may have temper tantrums, or talk back to their parents or teachers. When things start to get out of hand, however, it may be a clue that something in the child or teen’s life needs professional attention.
Children and teens can seem irritable or even hostile when they are tired or aren’t feeling well. They may argue with parents or disobey them. Young children may lie because they are too young to understand the difference between the truth and a lie. Sometimes they lie to get themselves out of trouble. However, this is normal, but,when they act this way all the time, or when this behavior gets them into trouble all the time at home, at school, or with other kids in the neighbourhood, they may have what we call a disruptive behaviour disorder.
There are two main types of disruptive behaviour disorders – Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD). A child who has a lot of temper tantrums, or is disobedient or argues with adults or peers on a regular basis, may have Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). More serious problems like frequent physical aggression, stealing or bullying may be a sign of Conduct Disorder (CD). At Aspire Wellness in Temecula, CA we can help with both types of behavioral disorders.
TYPES OF BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD):
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a type of behavior problem in which children are openly hostile, uncooperative, and irritable. They frequently lose control their tempers and are mean and spiteful towards others. Also, they often do things to deliberately annoy other people. Most of their defiant behaviour is directed at authority figures, but they also sometimes behave the same way towards their siblings, playmates, or classmates. As a result, their life at home, school, and peer relationships become negatively affected because of the way they think and behave.
Conduct Disorder (CD):
Conduct Disorder (CD) is sometimes a later, more serious, phase of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). A child with CD is not just a child being “bad”; CD is a serious psychiatric disorder that requires professional help.
Children with this condition are aggressive all the time in a way that causes problems for them and their family. They may threaten or actually harm people or animals, or they may damage or destroy property. They may steal or shoplift, or even be involved in breaking and entering. They often lie or try to “con” other people, and frequently skip school.
Children with Conduct Disorder often have trouble understanding how other people think. They may have trouble talking to others. They may think that other people are being mean to them or wish them harm when that isn’t the case at all. Their language skills may be impaired, which means they have trouble using words and may act out instead. They may not know how to make friends with other children, and may feel sad, frustrated, and angry as a result.
What treatment is effective?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) stabilize and improve their mood while learning to manage their angry outbursts. CBT works by making the child aware of the thinking patterns that fuel their behaviour, and teaching them ways of counteracting that thinking. Social skills training may also be helpful to the child with ODD.
Family therapy that helps change how the family functions can also help. Many parents of children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD) punish their children harshly and are very critical of them, usually because of their own life experience and because they suffer from depression. Changing these parenting practices can help the child and benefit the family as a whole. If the parents, particularly the mothers, are unable to develop new ways of parenting, their children may go on to develop the more serious condition of Conduct Disorder (CD).
In treatment, it is very important to focus on other conditions the child may have. Children who have AD/HD, depression, or anxiety tend to lose symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) when their other problems are successfully treated. These are often easier to treat than ODD.
Conduct Disorder (CD) is harder to treat than Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), and becomes worse as a child gets older. This makes early intervention extremely important. Programs that can be effective include parent training, family therapy, and Multisystemic Therapy (MST), an intensive program that treats the whole family and also involves school and community. Programs that are punitive or threatening in nature are not shown to be effective and may even cause more harm than good.
Schedule An Appointment
If you would like to meet or talk with our psychiatrist or therapist in Temecula, CA about behavioral disorders call us at (951) 363-3150, or click below to fill out our secure online form.