These days, behavioural care for teens in Canada and other countries is typically more accessible than it was in the past. It’s a good thing, too, because parents and guardians sometimes need professional help in handling more than just their teens’ physical and mental health. Some mental health conditions observed in younger people have to do with their behaviour and conduct. Sometimes teaching or leading by example isn’t enough to handle daily struggles with your teen’s negative actions.
Your teen’s hormones, and natural desire to assert their independence, can result in occasional defiant behaviour. By nature, teenagers can be rebellious and difficult, but there are cases where it goes beyond what’s typical. If you feel you are dealing with an extreme example, your teen may struggle with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). If you suspect that your teen may have ODD, you should have them assessed and diagnosed at a trusted behavioural or mental health facility. Are you searching for behavioural care for teens in Canada? Reach out to Venture Academy today by calling 866.762.2211 or contacting our team online.
What Is Teen Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
ODD is among several disruptive behaviours listed in the American Psychiatric Association (APA)’s fifth edition of their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). It’s a common mental health disorder observed in children and teens. ODD’s prevalence among school-age children is about 16%.
Whether observed in young children or teens, ODD is primarily a conduct disorder. It features consistent defiant, hostile, and uncooperative behaviours, particularly toward parents, guardians, and other authority figures.
ODD behaviours are often first seen in young children. Those who don’t outgrow ODD symptoms can continue to develop even more disruptive behaviour patterns into adolescence. Teen ODD can have serious consequences, such as the following:
- A decline in academic performance
- Dropping out of school
- Getting into legal trouble
In addition, social factors and interpersonal relationships suffer. Your teen’s peer group can find it difficult to maintain a friendship with someone that displays ODD-related behaviours. It’s also notable that many teens with ODD may have undiagnosed co-occurring disorders, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or a mood disorder. In cases like this, both conditions should be addressed and treated simultaneously.
What Are the Signs of Teen ODD?
Children can occasionally be angry, argumentative, defiant, or hostile. Teens with ODD, however, exhibit these traits consistently; their moods can change with little provocation. Your teen’s behaviours may be representative of ODD if some or all of them are included in the following:
- Angry outbursts
- Antagonistic behaviour
- Irritable mood, touchiness, or frequent temper tantrums
- Negative attitude
- Open defiance toward authority figures
- Refusal to follow rules
- Rejection of authority
- Verbal aggression, combined with hateful and mean language
A teenager that displays even one of the symptoms above frequently can be a taxing presence for a typical family, a group of peers, or authority figures like teachers and coaches. However, an undiagnosed and untreated teen with ODD also lacks the coping skills needed to respond appropriately to a given challenge, request, rule, or task. It’s not your teen’s fault if they act out by negatively expressing their frustration. They just need professional help and guidance.
When Should You Consider Teen Behavioural Care?
Parenting a teen with ODD is taxing, especially if they’ve exhibited ODD symptoms since early childhood. Everyday family interactions can become a battleground where tempers flare, and voices raise regularly. Without professional help, this battleground is where the teen ultimately learns how to manipulate authority figures in their life.
Parents and guardians typically reach a point when they realize they can no longer manage their teen alone and need help from a mental health professional.
Having a professionally recommended ODD treatment plan is vital for parents and guardians who are weary from attempts to manage their child’s disorder on their own. However, parents and guardians must remember that a thorough psychiatric evaluation of their child must be conducted to develop their ideal mental health treatment plan for ODD. This assessment often includes an interview with the parents and guardians, as well as the teen.
These interviews often shed light on causal factors that mental health professionals consider when forming the teen client’s ideal ODD treatment plan. For example, it’s often found that a teen with ODD is exhibiting caustic behaviours as a result of feeling fear or emotional pain. This information can be incredibly helpful; getting to the root cause of the teen’s emotional state is one of the keys to developing an effective ODD treatment plan.
ODD treatment plans typically are a combination of the following therapeutic interventions:
- Cognitive problem-solving skills training
- Family therapy
- Individual psychotherapy
- Parent or guardian management training
Ready To Learn More About Venture Academy’s Options for Teen Behavioural Care?
Needing help does not make you a bad parent; seeking help when required makes you a great parent. If you’re looking for behavioural care for teens in Canada, contact Venture Academy today. Reach out to our team online or call 866.762.2211.