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ODD Behavior Or ADHD?

Aug 20, 2008
When loved ones are struggling with the world around them it's difficult to know what to do, particularly if you cannot understand the source of their problems.

While understanding may not solve the issues, it can go a long way toward healing relationships and building a good foundation for treatment. Proper diagnosis and education on the facts of any behavioral disorder will drastically increase the chances of your loved one thriving rather than just surviving.

Two Disorders With Two Different Causes

Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are often confused because of symptoms that on the surface seem quite similar. Children, teenagers and adults all have the potential to suffer from ODD or ADHD, making their lives and the lives of their families much more difficult.
In order to fully grasp what issues your child or spouse might be facing you need to look at what behaviors their disorder compels them to act upon and what motivates them initially.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Everyone at some point in their lives has experienced what are called "oppositional feelings". Moments where you really don't care about the consequences of your actions, you just want to argue with someone in a position of authority. Maybe it was during your rebellious teen years or maybe at some other point in time, but you were angry, negative, generally feeling hostile and wanting to 'take it out' on the entire world.

This is how someone with ODD feels almost all the time.

Moody and argumentative, children and adults suffering from ODD will throw temper tantrums on a consistent basis, refuse to follow rules, blame others for their mistakes, act aggressive, spiteful and vindictive, will annoy peers deliberately, will argue with anyone in a position of authority, are touchy and will often use foul language. Due to these outbursts and negative behaviors people with ODD usually have few or no friends.

Anyone suffering from ODD is distressed and in need of help, just as those who are dealing with the consequences of these extremely disruptive behaviors, need professional help and guidance to cope.

The symptoms of ODD do NOT respond to medication - if there are other underlying disorders these may be treated pharmacologically. Instead physicians generally prescribe Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Family Training Programs.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

In contrast to ODD, children and adults suffering from ADHD are generally not angry but frustrated by information overload. ADHD sufferers want to be good students or employees; they want to follow directions and feel very bad if they find themselves in trouble with others. Unfortunately they are often in trouble because of impulsive behavior, inattention or hyperactivity.

ADHD affects the way the brain receives and interprets information and stimulus from the outside world. Thoughts, images, sights, sounds and smells race through the mind at lightning speed and overwhelm the ADHD sufferer. Unable to focus on any one specific thing it leads to disorganization, time-management problems, procrastination and inattention. Hyperactivity and impulse control problems also affect some ADHDers and cause them to struggle in school and work situations. Those who are overwhelmed with ADHD shut down emotionally from time to time. Many ADHDers have been accused of laziness because of their physical need for downtime.

ADHD can be treated with medication. Physicians often prescribe a stimulant medication to help the brain focus while patients learn skills to combat behavioral problems.

Despite their issues ADHDers are usually happy, show empathy, remorse and get along well with peers and younger people.

Proper diagnosis of your loved ones behavioral disorder is the only way to receive proper care.
About the Author
ADD and ADHD doctor provides solutions for situations that can prevent you from doing your best at work, school or in relationships. For treatment and recommendations of ADD and ADHD, consider Dr.Svec Institute of Psychological Services.
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