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How Long Will It Take To Recover From Oppositional Defiant Disorder & How Long Do The Symptoms Last?

Oppositional defiant disorder or ODD is a condition in which a kid or a teen shows anon-going pattern of an enraged or irritable mood, rebellious or confrontational behavior and vindictiveness or malevolence towards adults or people having authority, like teachers, caretakers, overseers, authority at the workplace, etc.(1)

How Long Will It Take To Recover From Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Oppositional defiant disorder needs treatment and if left untreated it can quickly turn into a progressive disorder. The treatment of this condition is usually based on family interventions. However, it may also include other treatment methods like psychotherapy, training of the child, training of the parents, etc. Treatment may continue for several months or maybe even longer than that, depending upon the severity of the case in each individual. Also, if any other medical issues are co-existent with the oppositional defiant disorder, they need to be treated as well, as these health conditions can worsen the oppositional defiant disorder problem.

Also, the oppositional defiant disorder cannot be properly treated just with medications. These are only used if your child also suffers from other co-existing mental problems like ADHD, depression, anxiety, etc. In such cases, medications may prove to be beneficial.(3)

How Long Do The Symptoms Of Oppositional Defiant DisorderLast?

The symptoms of the oppositional defiant disorder can last for quite some time and may worsen and become permanent if left untreated. Also, the fact that it is sometimes very difficult to distinguish between an emotional or strong-willed child and an oppositional defiant disorder child, makes it more difficult to diagnose the condition and there may be an unusual delay in diagnosing it. The later the condition is diagnosed, the more is the severity and the more it is difficult to treat. There are different stages of a child’s development and at some stages, it is quite normal for them to exhibit some kind of oppositional behavior.

Preschool years generally mark the beginning of the oppositional defiant disorder. In some kids, it may develop later. However, it almost always develops before the teen years set in. These changes make an impact on the child’s social activities, school life, work-life and family life.(2)

Symptoms Of Oppositional Defiant Disorder-

Based on the emotional and behavioral symptoms, a child can be diagnosed for having oppositional defiant disorder. These symptoms may include-

Enraged Or Irritable Mood

  • A child easily loses temper and quite often too
  • The child is very touchy and gets annoyed easily by others
  • The child is oftentimes enraged and resentful or annoyed(2)

Confrontational And Rebellious Behaviour-

  • The child repeatedly argues or confronts with people having authority
  • The child often refuses to listen to the adult’s requests or rules
  • The child often upsets or irritates people deliberately
  • The child regularly holds others responsible for his mistakes or bad behavior(2)

Malevolence Or Vindictiveness –

  • The child is every so often vindictive or malevolent
  • The child has shown such behavior for at least two times in the last six months(2)

The Severity Of Oppositional Defiant Disorder Can Vary:

Mild ODD– wherein odd symptoms are seen only at one setting, like a home or school or work

Moderate ODD– wherein some symptoms are seen in at least two places or settings

Severe ODD– wherein some settings are seen in three or more settings or places(2)

In some kids, symptoms initially may be seen only in one place or setting, but with time, they may widen to other places as well.(2)


The symptoms of the oppositional defiant disorder may last for a long time. The oppositional defiant disorder may need to be treated for a long time, sometimes for several months. In some instances, the treatment may be needed to be continued even after the child looks seemingly normal. The earlier the treatment is started, the better are the chances of a good recovery from this disorder.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 2, 2020

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