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Is There A Surgery For Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

The oppositional defiant disorder is a classified mental illness as described in the DSM 5 classification of psychiatric disorders. It is a disorder comprising of behavioral abnormality with impulsive, argumentative, irritative personality. The individual finds it very impulsive to fight and disagree with others, be it their elders or anyone else.

Since it is a behavioral and psychiatric illness without any known organic cause, it is not feasible to locate or pinpoint a position or site in the brain and since there is no organic etiology of the oppositional defiant disorder and other behavioral disorders known, there is no surgical treatment available in any form for the treatment of oppositional defiant disorder.

Is There A Surgery For Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Approach for the treatment of oppositional defiant disorder considers only the medical treatment in the form of drugs as the organic way of treating the disease. Otherwise, only the psychological treatment in the form of behavioral therapies can be given at an appropriate time interval to make the individual susceptible to the emotions. Various psychological treatment modes like (CBT) also known as cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, social skill training, parenthood training,(1) can be used in variety of patients depending upon their symptoms and choice of the treating physician for the appropriate treatment of oppositional defiant disorder which especially presents at a younger age.

In the medical form of treatment, only a few groups of drugs that are useful in various psychiatric illnesses can be used here also. Drug groups like mood stabilizers consisting of lamotrigine, valproate, etc., anti-psychotic drugs like haloperidol, thioridazine, etc. can be used in the palatable as well as injectable forms. If the oppositional defiant disorder is associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder then a few other groups of drugs like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, for example, atomoxetine, methylphenidate, etc. can be used specifically.

Since all the psychiatric disorders do not occur singularly usually and are associated with other comorbid syndromic associations like the presence of suppressed major depression which can be leading to the symptoms of the oppositional defiant disorder and other comorbid psychological illnesses can occur in the form of bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, etc.

It is equally important to differentiate oppositional defiant disorder with the conduct disorder in which there is the involvement of violence done by the affected individual and intention to cause harm to others is also present which is not there in oppositional defiant disorder. There is no violation of the rights of the other people in oppositional defiant disorder which is not true for a conduct disorder patient.

Psychiatry is a widely researched field but with limited modes of treatment especially, the surgical mode of treatment is of minimal importance in it. The only surgery that can be performed in a psychiatric illness is cingulotomy that too in an obsessive-compulsive disorder and else there is no other surgical process done for the treatment of psychologically originated diseases.(1)


Since the Oppositional defiant disorder is a behavioral abnormality and even being separately identified in the psychiatry but it is included in the group of conduct disorder and all of their origins lie in the psychological conflicts of the mind. There is not much of any organic etiology found till date even after wide research in it. When there is no organic etiology found on investigations like computed tomography scan or magnetic resonance imaging scan, then it becomes very difficult to pinpoint the location of the defect in the brain and hence there cannot be surgical treatment done in such cases.

So, it is known facts about the oppositional defiant disorder as well as other behavioral and conduct disorder that there is no surgical treatment available for them which can completely cure it.


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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:March 11, 2020

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