|Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)
||[Dec. 19th, 2013|10:15 am]
I entered into a discussion where someone posted an alarmist article claiming that the "newest revision to the DSM-IV" in 2010 was defining individuality as a mental disorder. Their proof? The diagnostic criteria for Oppositional Defiance Disorder, or ODD.
There can be problems when laypersons try to interpret the meaning of specialist references and tools. I'm not saying I'm a psychiatric specialist, but I have asked psychiatrists and psychologists about how the DSM is to be interpreted.
The diagnostic criteria in the DSM are for helping a psych professional identify the particular problem that a patient is having, to help select treatments. If you're going to a psych professional (and I'm including social workers, aka therapists, in this, too), you're obviously having a problem that is affecting your life. That these issues are causing problems in your life is a basic premise of the DSM.
I had oppositional defiance disorder (ODD) as a child. In real life, it's a confusing and anger-filled condition. If my parents told me to do something I thought was in my control, in even a slightly authoritative way, I would rebel. Even something as simple as a reminder to take a shower, I'd reject their authority and I wouldn't do it. I'd get angry that they were telling me, and the thought was "I'll show them! I won't take a shower!"
One of the hallmarks of ODD is that you will refuse the authoritative request/order, EVEN IF IT SHOOTS YOURSELF IN THE FOOT. You'll refuse the suggestion EVEN IF YOU WERE GOING TO DO THAT THING ANYWAY. It's about the rejection of that authority at any costs... whether the authority knows it or not.
This led to situations where I would go to the bathroom, turn on the shower, sit on the toilet lid for 15 to 20 minutes, then turn off the shower, wet a towel, and leave the bathroom. And continue to stink. (that's the "shooting myself in the foot" part)
I couldn't see that, if I had planned to do X, and someone then told me to do X, that it didn't put me under their control. I thought it did, though, and I would do anything to prove they didn't have control.
By the way, my treatment was not medical, it was therapy on my part and education for my parents. Once the issue was identified, and the root issues were explained to me, I was able to short-circuit the oppositional behavior.