Treating Oppositional Defiant Disorder Naturally

Do you have a child that is dealing with emotional disorders? Is oppositional defiant disorder an issue your child is dealing with? Being a child is hard enough, but when you couple that with the endless list of disorders that can affect their day to day life, you have challenges that can really put your child and your family to the test.

Treating Oppositional Defiant Disorder NaturallyOppositional defiant disorder (ODD) can cause disruptive behavior at home, in school or just about any public area. It can seriously impact a child’s ability to interact with their peers and educators in a positive way in turn causing long term emotional issues. Many doctors when diagnosing a child with ODD automatically turn to drugs as a treatment, but they may not always be the best alternative. Drugs can have severe side effects – both emotionally and physically which could make your child even more miserable. Because every child is different in how they react to drugs, it is important to closely monitor whether the drugs are working enough to help their ODD symptoms to warrant them taking them.

There are a variety of therapies and techniques that can be used to replace the drugs that can give your child a whole new outlook on life! Drugs can alter the mind and cause other issues, but these therapy procedures can help rework the issues that your child has that is causing the unwanted behaviors.

Dr. Rosenthal, a licensed child psychologist based in NYC, offers the following treatments for children dealing with emotional issues such as ODD, social anxiety disorder, eating problems, sleeping problems and so much more.

1) Group Therapy – by immersing your child in a group of children that are in their own age range we can help them learn to socialize better with their peers in a more natural environment. Typically when a child is taking part in group therapy they are also receiving individual therapy which results in a much higher improvement rate.

2) Social Skill Training – in social skills training groups their are goals that are set for each child and through the use of drawing, role-play, discussion and sharing of experiences children can learn to overcome barriers to their social skills. These groups help children deal with anxiety, depression and help them learn to express feelings, problem solve and other issues such as aggression. With this type of therapy often the parents are met with as well to help them continue working with their children on the techniques they learned in the group therapy.

3) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – this type of therapy focuses on finding the faults in your childs thinking that is bringing on the bad behaviors and then works on changing those thoughts. This treatment is a short-term treatment where everyone involved works together to identify and meet specific goals and objectives. Thought monitoring, activity management and response prevention are some of the treatments within CBT Therapy that will help your child learn to define the issues and control them before negative behaviors begin.

4) Family Therapy – because some children have emotional issues because of the family dynamic, it is important to have family therapy sessions to ensure everyone understands the issues and goals. It offers the opportunity for children to express themselves in a more neutral environment and allows the therapist to see how the family unit works which in turn will allow them to better help your child. Hidden anger or pent of thoughts can be set free in this therapy will adults, siblings and the child with the issue be more open and able to better handle conflict. By building a stronger family unit – many behavioral issues can be resolved.

Although we understand in some cases that drugs are the only option, we sincerely hope most families will consider reaching out to their closest child psychologist for a full evaluation. Ask about the therapies available that can best help your child and work with the psychologist closely on a program that they create just for your unique situation.

If after trying the therapies there is no major improvement, then it is time to consider the use of drugs in conjunction with the therapy.

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Drugs or Therapy? Which is better for children?

It seems everywhere you turn these days drugs are being prescribed for children for everything from common colds to anxiety and even depression. It seems when I was a child – kids did not have depression at the rates they are today – which I think is interesting in itself. Is the world that much more difficult? Are parents being more critical and have higher expectations than those from 40 years ago? We cannot be sure but children are being treated for emotional and mental illnesses at a higher rate than ever before – now the question is, do natural treatments and therapies work or are drugs always required?

Choosing Drugs or Therapy For KidsIn studies that have been done – it has been shown that even three years after starting treatment for attention deficit disorder, children can continue to see improvement in the symptoms that they are experience. Contrary to what most people believe, medications have shown to not have those long term affects and ultimately when the medication stops it seems the symptoms eventually reappear. With so many available therapies these days including behavioral therapy, cognitive therapies, play therapies and more – we do recommend that you try therapy before medication for any behavioral issues your child or teen may have.

When deciding which route to to take for your child – of course it is critical to take into account what your doctor or therapist is recommending, but you as the parent should give thought to your child’s specific needs.

When deciding whether to use medication – please consider these items:

1) MONITORING – you should closely monitor your child if you decide to go the medicinal route. Children can have side effects from some drugs and it is important that when they start a new drug you are available to monitor their well being and report any negative reactions to their doctor.

2) TIME – just because your child gets started on medications it does not mean you need to keep them on it forever. It is OK to test it and see how it works. After time if all seems to have improved, then ask your doctor about reducing the prescription and work on weaning your child off.

3) CO-TREATMENT Рwe believe this is critical! Medication is great, but when combining it with therapy Рthen  you know your giving your child the best opportunity for a long term resolve to his issues. By working with a child psychologist who specializes in therapies that help various issues Рyou can help your child improve to a point where medicines will no longer be required to manage their issues.

If you are not sure if your child has behavioral issues and would like to get some feedback before making a call to a doctor, you can do a quick web search. We like Wikipedia personally, but there are many great sites to assist you. Be sure you are using a credible website for your searches though!

What do you think – drugs or therapy? Which has worked for you?

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