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Could It Be Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

“My son has ADHD and takes Ritalin. He has poor hygiene and seriously misbehaves at home and at school. Does he have ODD?”

I share your concern with your son’s behaviors. My first question is whether his ADHD is adequately treated. Is he on the proper dose of medication, taking it at the proper times, and taking it all day, every day? It may be that some of his behaviors are because the medication may not be providing optimal results.

My other question is whether he has more than ADHD. He shows many of the behaviors of a child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, a mood disorder, or an anger-control problem.

Be sure he has been evaluated by a competent mental health professional. It may be that his family doctor is treating the ADHD, but that his other psychiatric problems have not yet been diagnosed or treated.

One thing is for sure: You must do more. His behaviors are disruptive to others and cannot be making him feel very good about himself. Get more help.

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