Mental Health


Mandy Kloppers

Angry young men with oppositional defiant disorder

“Choose your battles carefully, and find humor in every situation.” -Robin, Colorado

Angry young men are a forgotten section of society. Parents are left to cope alone whilst their sons avoid adulting by gaming all hour of the day. Many angry young men fear being an adult and the responsibility that comes with that.

Young men often feel misunderstood – they are unsure of their place in society yet feel immense pressure to be a man and live up to the expectations of others.

Overlooked and misunderstood, angry young men end up acting out. This is where Oppositional Defiance Disorder enters the picture:

ODD  Oppositional Defiance Disorder , ADHD. Drugs don’t always work, and diagnoses not always correct – trial and error. Affects the mental health of individuals even more, reinfodrcing hopelessness, and there there is something fundamentally wrong with them.

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) are common behavioural disorders in childhood and adolescence and are associated with brain abnormalities. showed evidence of smaller brain structures and lower brain activity in individuals with ODD/CD in mainly hot EF-related areas: bilateral amygdala, bilateral insula, right striatum, left medial/superior frontal gyrus, and left precuneus.

Although both disorders have some distinct characteristics, the general consensus is that ODD and CD (conduct disorder)are highly correlated expressions of psychopathology.

persistence of childhood ODD or CD into adulthood results in a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder (APD), which is in turn related to high rates of domestic violence, unemployment and homelessness (Loeber et al. ; Kimonis and Frick ).

Lack of funds for mental health


ROLE PLAYS – good for processing

How to help individuals with ODD

There is no ‘magic bullet’ unfortunately.

Practice positive parenting:

Helping parents learn to praise good behavior is one of the toughest challenges therapists face. Many parents are so focused on bad behavior that they stop reinforcing positive ones. A few tips for children with ODD: Specify the praiseworthy behavior, be enthusiastic while not overdoing it, and finish up with a non-verbal gesture — a kiss on the cheek or a hug.

Forty percent of children with ADHD also develop ODD. Before puberty, ODD is more common in boys; after puberty, it is equally common in both genders. About half of all preschoolers diagnosed with ODD outgrow the problem by age eight. Older kids with ODD are less likely to outgrow it. Oppositional defiant disorder may persist into adulthood.

[Self-Test: Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Children]

[Take This Test: Could You Have Emotional Hyperarousal?]   ODD includes processing difficulties and the build up of emotions explodes as anger as the individual struggles to process the emotions and express them in a healthy balanced and controlled way.

“I am strong-willed as well, so it has been a battle of the wills. But instead of trying to change my daughter, I changed myself. It wasn’t easy, but when she became defiant, I said to myself, “I will not buy a ticket to this show.” I ignored her, no matter how she tried to pull me in. She stopped almost immediately.” -Ramona, Florida

The treatment of choice for ODD is parent management training. Parents are taught to change their reactions to a child’s behavior — good and bad. Training involves using carrots and sticks — giving well-defined rewards and praise when your child cooperates, and consequences for misbehavior. Therapists will also work with a parent and child together to solve specific challenges.

Recommended viewing: A Dangerous Son



Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash