One-Eighty is working with schools in Oxfordshire to understand more about Oppositional Defiance Disorder and Conduct Disorder, and how mainstream schools can introduce preventative support to limit its development.
But… do you know what Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD) even means?
Perhaps one of the biggest problems creating a gap between mental health services and schools is a gap in how we understand and credit behaviour. One person might call a child avoiding social contact as shy, others may say they have anxiety. Another person might call a child who is angry as ‘moody’ and another person might call them ‘oppositional’. In some ways it is good to have lots of words to describe behaviour – it means no one is labelled too specifically or type-cast. However, it sometimes means that the meaning of words or diagnosis’ get lost. It’s even worse when people expect you to know what some words mean, and you plan along because you don’t want to look stupid or behind the times.
The good thing is that you can relax – because you’re not alone. Even a psychology charity like ours has to learn new phrases, partly because research is always finding out new things about behaviour and how we think, but also because we sit in two camps- the ‘educationalists’ (people who work in schools or teaching young people skills) and ‘therapists’ (those who work to solve problems when the mind and the body aren’t talking to each other properly or the way we would like them to).
For the next few months we’re focusing some of our research time on understanding ODD and CD. What is really interesting is that they sound similar but they’re actually slightly different- and this difference makes a big impact on how they affect behaviour in young people and how we can support them to change.
Point 1: ODD behaviour often comes when a child is hurting inside, and as a result trys to hurt other people to satisfy their own anguish. It can involve a pattern of defiant, angry, antagonistic, hostile, irritable, or manipulative behaviours. These children may blame others for their problems.
Point 2: ODD, if left untreated, turns into CD 50% of the time.
Point 3: CD may be diagnosed when a child seriously misbehaves with aggressive or nonaggressive behaviours against people, animals or property that may be characterized as belligerent, destructive, threatening, physically cruel, deceitful, or dishonest. This may include stealing, intentional injury, and forced sexual activity. Keep in mind that this behaviour disorder consists of a pattern of severe, repetitive acting-out behaviour and not of an isolated incident here and there.
Point 4: If someone has CD they are very likely to go to develop an Antisocial personality disorder.
So, you’re probably thinking ‘treat ODD so it doesn’t develop’, right? Well, yes, but you may not be able to help everyone and some people may develop CD even if treated. The big question is therefore ‘If we offer the same treatment to CD young people as we do ODD, will it cause any changes, or does the treatment for ODD not work and do we need to develop a new treatment plan for young people with CD?’
Good Question! That’s what we want to find out.
If you’re working in a school and you want to help us understand ODD and CD why not volunteer a couple of hours a month to help us think more about how we can tackle some of these questions. You may be able to help us try out some new treatment plans and learn some new skills along the way. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org