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Oppositional Defiant Disorder Diagnosis

(Also Known As: ODD Diagnosis, Adhd Diagnosis, Defiant Diagnosis, Oppositional Diagnosis, Bi-Polar Diagnosis, Explosive Disorder Diagnosis)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

How is Oppositional Defiant Disorder Diagnosed?

Diagnosing oppositional defiant disorder is often difficult to do considering the prevalence of comorbid factors, where other neuropsychiatric and mental illnesses may accompany the condition’s manifestation of symptoms. The symptoms of the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder commonly overlap. Other symptoms of depression and anxiety may also be revealed thereby increasing the requirement of the conduct of multidisciplinary assessment when diagnosing oppositional defiant disorder. 6

The most common diagnostic procedures involved in the diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder include the assessment of the common symptoms that may suggest oppositional defiant disorder. Further evaluation is done by the completion of a thorough physical examination and a complete medical history. No laboratory tests are specific in diagnosing oppositional defiant disorder, but in order to rule out common physical illnesses and medication side effects that can cause the symptoms, they often order a complete blood test analysis and x-ray examination.

Once there is no physical cause of the symptoms, the patient is then referred to a psychologist or psychiatrist for further psychological evaluation. The patient is assessed by them through the use of clinical interviews and assessment tools as a means to evaluate the child for possible mental illness. The diagnosis is mainly based on the symptoms and the observation from the child’s behavior and attitudes. A detailed history of the child’s behavior is often obtained from the child’s parents, teachers, and other authority figures. The early diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder is a very significant step in correcting the behavioral problem that helps eradicate the future development of other associated behavioral disorders to the condition, such as depression and anxiety disorders, ADHD, and conduct disorder, which can often make the condition worse and harder to treat.

DSM IV Criteria for Oppositional Disorder:

  • The defiance shown is one that interferes with the ability of the child to function in home, school, and the community.
  • The defiance shown is not a result of another disorder such as depression, anxiety, and conduct disorder.
  • The defiant behavior manifested by a child has been persistent for 6 month or more.
  • The child needs to meet at least 4 of the following symptoms: 7

Arguing with adults

Losing temper

Refusal to follow the rules

Deliberately annoying people

Easily annoyed

Blaming others for their own mistakes

Spiteful and revengeful

Angry and resentful

Could You Have Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Oppositional Defiant Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Antisocial Personality Disorder – disregard of rights of others, deceitful, manipulative, antisocial
Anxiety Disorder NOS – uneasiness, extreme worry, irrational fear, emotional imbalance, moody
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – neurobehavioral disorder, impulsiveness, hyperactive, attention deficit, inattention, developmental disorder, inadequate coping mechanism
Bipolar Disorder – hypermania, hypomania, mood disorder, psychosis, depression, anxiety, suicidal tendency, mixed episodes of mania and depression