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    How Do You Know If Your Child Needs Oppositional Defiant Disorder Treatment?

    Teenagers are a volatile and hormonal bunch–it’s normal for a teen to be angsty, right? While teen angst is relatively normal, it can be difficult for a parent to discern between regular angst and real signs of mental health issues, like oppositional defiant disorder. You’re not alone in your confusion, many parents find it hard to identify and read the signs–often because they don’t know what to look for. If your son or daughter’s defiance is becoming a barrier to daily life and getting in the way of their education, it may mean you need to look into oppositional defiant disorder treatment options.

    What is oppositional defiant disorder?

    According to Mayo Clinic, oppositional defiant disorder is described as a teenager having “a frequent and persistent pattern of anger, irritability, arguing, defiance or vindictiveness toward you and other authority figures.”

    Currently, the specific cause of oppositional defiance disorder eludes scientists, but they do theorize that it has to do with two things: genetics and the environment a child is brought up in. Genetics and the environment have a lot to do with a child’s temperament, coping skills, neurobiological makeup of the brain, and behavior.

    We also know of risk factors that could make your child more likely to develop oppositional defiant disorder:

    1. Temperament. Does your child have issues regulating their emotions? Are they very sensitive to difficult situations or challenges? Do they often react to problems with frustration? This could most definitely be a risk factor for oppositional defiant disorder.
    2. Family Issues. Children who have experienced neglect, poor discipline, or adversity in their lives are much more likely to develop oppositional defiant disorder.

    Signs your child may need oppositional defiant disorder treatment

    Intervening early with oppositional defiant disorder treatment is essential to success for teens dealing with this type of issue. If it goes on ignored, it’s likely the issue will worsen into adulthood, making treatment even more difficult. This is while it’s critical to know the signs of oppositional defiant disorder in order to recognize it in your child and get them help as soon as possible. From the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychology, common signs of oppositional defiant disorder include:

    • Temper tantrums
    • Issues with authority figures
    • Frequently questions rules
    • Often defies and refuses to listen to adults
    • Purposely tries to upset or annoy others
    • Easily peeved or annoyed by others
    • Often blames others for their own mistakes
    • Bursts of anger or resentment
    • Spiteful and revenge seeking behavior

    If you believe your child could benefit from oppositional defiant disorder treatment, it’s incredibly important to seek out a professional for further guidance on how to best help your child succeed.

    Trails Carolina can help your family

    Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for struggling youth, ages 10-17. Our students commonly deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other behavioral challenges. We strive to improve the lives of young people.

    For more information about oppositional defiant disorder treatment at Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303 today



    Graham Shannonhouse

    A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Graham Shannonhouse has been actively involved in the wilderness therapy field for nearly three decades. After receiving her degree in 1991, Shannonhouse spent 10 years working with a premiere wilderness-based therapeutic program in south-central Idaho. During her tenure, she served three years as a hands-on Field Instructor, three years as Field Supervisor, and the remaining time as Wilderness Program Director. During this period she developed, managed, and served as counselor for the country’s first wilderness program specifically focused on pre- teens ages 10 to 13 Graham returned to the east in 2002 to serve as Executive Director for a therapeutic wilderness program based in North Carolina, successfully growing it to one of the most respected companies in the industry. In 2008, she resigned her position to open Trails Carolina. Having an intimate working knowledge of the roots of wilderness therapy, Graham has brought her experience and wisdom to her position as Partner and Executive Director with the goal of integrating the true family work that must be done to insure lasting success.

    All stories by: Graham Shannonhouse