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Oppositional Defiant Disorder is Alive and Well

April 15, 2010

But which one should be diagnosed?

Diagnostic criteria for 313.81 Oppositional Defiant Disorder
A. A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least 6 months, during which four (or more) of the following are present:
(1) often loses temper
(2) often argues with adults
(3) often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules
(4) often deliberately annoys people
(5) often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
(6) is often touchy or easily annoyed by others
(7) is often angry and resentful
(8) is often spiteful or vindictive
Note: Consider a criterion met only if the behavior occurs more frequently than is typically observed in individuals of comparable age and developmental level.
B. The disturbance in behavior causes clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.
C. The behaviors do not occur exclusively during the course of a Psychotic or Mood Disorder.
D. Criteria are not met for Conduct Disorder, and, if the individual is age 18 years or older, criteria are not met for Antisocial Personality Disorder.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. unmoored permalink
    April 15, 2010 9:23 am

    See Snopes for more information.

  2. April 15, 2010 9:32 am

    Is it a fake? That’s too bad, it’s hilarious.

  3. April 15, 2010 9:41 am

    Snopes maintains its status is “inconclusive.” From my experience (working nearly two years in primary and secondary schools) it’s definitely not outside the realm of possibility.

  4. Canadian Curmudgeon permalink
    April 15, 2010 10:30 am

    How many teenagers would be diagnosed using these criteria. Hell, I probably would have fit that at 14.
    I am sure that at a certain level of defiance, it wold indicate some sort of disorder.

  5. April 15, 2010 1:33 pm

    It’s in the DSM-IV. It’s supposed to be on the tail end of the behaviour disorder spectrum, i.e., when the behaviour isn’t serious enough to merit a Conduct Disorder diagnosis. Not terribly useful for clinicians.

  6. Lassi Hippeläinen permalink
    April 16, 2010 3:38 am

    Is that the test you have to pass to become a member of the Tea Bugger Party?

  7. Kat permalink
    April 16, 2010 4:41 am

    Even if it is a fake, letters of a very similar kind are definitely real. My parents received a very similar letter from one of my teachers when I was in grade school.
    I’d vote D because to me his behavior does not seem (from the description anyway) significantly worse than what might be expected given the circumstance and his age, etc.
    But since my parents got one of these letters too, maybe I’ve got the same disorder as this kid and that’s why I can’t diagnose it 🙂

  8. dmitry permalink
    April 16, 2010 8:15 am

    None of the criteria should be met. If this child was oppositional to this one teacher on this one occasion — because the teacher was obviously wrong and being stupid — then it cannot be ODD. If this child acts in this way in most of his classes and for most of the time, then you might have a case for ODD.

  9. Dan Clark permalink
    April 17, 2010 12:45 pm

    “Insisted numerous times” is they key phrase here. The teacher should be diagnosed with poor teaching abilities.

  10. Simon permalink
    April 18, 2010 12:17 am

    So the poor sod gets labelled with a psychiatric “disorder” because they didn’t put up with a teacher’s inaccuracy and egomania? I had that happen to me, the teacher got peeved, checked his facts and then apologised to me the next lesson (Stephenson didn’t invent the steam locomotive, it was Trevithick). The teacher needs the help! GO ALEX!

  11. May 18, 2010 10:35 am

    I’m reminded of the definition that Cochran and Harpending, in “The Ten-Thousand Year Explosion,” give for ADHD: “… best defined as a set of behaviors that irritate grade-school teachers.”

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