Oppositional Defiant Disorder Symptoms

Oppositional Defiance Disorder Symptoms (ODD)

Children who suffer through oppositional defiant disorder symptoms do actually possess angel wings but it can seem like they disappear all too quickly when it comes to you making a request of them. It could be something as simple as asking them to put on their shoes, get dressed, or sit up for breakfast. Simple requests that end up with massive overreactions; and not the responses a parent or care giver would hope for. Keep in mind that adults can also suffer from oppositional defiant disorder although this would often just be labeled as grouchy or moody.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder or, as it is often called, ODD can be extremely stressful for a family. The poor people that suffer from oppositional defiant disorder symptoms are not exactly very happy either. I know what it is like to go through living with oppositional defiant disorder because one of my children suffered through ODD for a few young years of his life due to his food problems.

As much as it might seem that the child suffering from oppositional defiant disorder is doing it on purpose, this is not the case. This is not attention seeking behavior and most times, oppositional defiant disorder is a condition that makes them feel out of control of their emotions.

To put this into perspective, imagine that you have just had a fight with someone and you are feeling angry. You feel like that emotion is ruling you at that moment; and emotions can be linked to the flight or fright response within all of us. As adults we have the ability to calm ourselves using certain techniques. Children do not have the life experience that we have to apply calming techniques and even so, many adults have not mastered this skill. So, keep this in mind when dealing especially with children suffering from oppositional defiant disorder symptoms. For them, it is like flicking a switch and they can feel out of control for as long as 1 hour at a time. Oppositional defiant disorder can roll into one like a snowball. It can start with a negative  response and then continue for each and every request you make after that.

According to Sue Dengate’s book Fed Up: Understanding How Food Affects Your Child and What You Can Do About it some of the oppositional defiant disorder symptoms are:

  • Uncooperative
  • Argumentative
  • Grouchy or easily annoyed
  • Overreactions
  • Temper tantrums
  • Constantly saying “no” to everything or anything
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Breaks rules
  • Blames others
  • Deliberately annoys others
  • Angry
  • Spiteful
  • Resentful
  • Defiant

Suffering through ODD could mean experiencing one or all of the above symptoms. As you can see, it is extremely unpleasant for all involved.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder – a solution

My personal opinion is that you can help children that are suffering through oppositional defiant disorder symptoms and adults can take this same approach. To remove those feelings that accompany oppositional defiant disorder would be a huge relief for any person and especially a child. I know from experience that it was awful to watch my son in a state of almost constant oppositional defiance amongst other things. I used to worry that he would not have enough memories of being happy as a toddler and that was enough to prompt me to do something about his behavior.

The steps I took meant firstly, identifying that my son suffered from food intolerance symptoms and then conducting a food elimination diet. What this did was help me find out to what extent salicylates and amines were the cause of his food intolerance symptoms and thereby causing oppositional defiance.

The result of the food elimination diet was that my son was very sensitive to amines. One good dose of amines and we had a world household war on our hands. Salicylates did cause a different reaction and when you conduct a food elimination diet you will be testing for both amines and salicylates.

Many people think that it is only sugar, food colors, food preservatives and food additives that set off a child so when they remove these from their diet and see very little change, they then start to wonder if their child is just ‘like that’. Understanding the impact of naturally occurring chemicals in foods can bring about massive change for anyone that suffers from food intolerance symptoms.

Once you have worked out which naturally occurring chemicals and food colors or additives are a problem, you can then restrict the diet until you can help heal the body. For those suffering from food intolerance symptoms, you might want to have a read of one of my earlier posts here as this will assist you with understanding problems surrounding food intolerance symptoms and how to deal with them.

Keep in mind that it is also a good idea to have some handy positive parenting tips to handle children’s behavior during this difficult time. How you handle this can impact their self-esteem and their later years. It can be difficult to focus on a positive outcome for a child that suffers from oppositional defiant disorder symptoms because the reaction seems non-stop. So, while you are in the investigative and healing phase it is a good idea to have some techniques up your sleeve to manage this time. Check out this fantastic book – if in Australia or for other locations go here:  Children are People Too: A Parent’s Guide to Young Children’s Behaviour, as it will greatly assist you during this time.

If you have found something that has worked for you or your child then feel free to share it in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!

Your News On Food brought to you by
Eileen Baudinette
Food and Health Commentator.
© 2009 – 2013 www.thenewsonfood.com


I’m no medical expert and information contained on this blog is written through my own experience with the aim of furthering your education on health. It is your responsibility as to how you use this information and I cannot be held liable for any misinterpretation or misuse of the information provided.




Oppositional Defiant Disorder Symptoms by


  1. I would imagine that Oppositional Defiance Disorder is tough on both sides – the child as well as the parent. And it is amazing what a big role food and nutrition do play. Very often that is forgotten and both sides have to suffer through something that might be avoidable.
    Thanks for your tips on what might help to get past ODD.
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Donald Trump – Think Big And Kick Ass =-.

    • Hi Renee,

      And another sad fact is that often well meaning parents have no idea what is going on so they consult a doctor who just wants to medicate.

      Thanks for reading!

      Regards, Eileen.

      • Agree Eileen. As a society we’re wired to medication and seem to look strangely when someone suggests there are other possible solutions. It really should be the other way around.

        Thanks for the info on oppositional defiance. I’d just add that if changing diet doesn’t seem to help… it may just be a case of poor parenting (dare I say :) )
        .-= David Moloney´s last blog ..Free Logo Design Brief: Download Yours Now =-.

        • Hi David,

          Yes, it is important to recognize that parenting definitely plays a part in raising children andnurturing a positive self-esteem. That’s a whole other topic and something I am also passionate about. The two books I recommended in my post on children’s behavior are great for positive parenting; and I’ve read a few books on parenting. :-) It was interesting to watch my 3 year old disagree with a friend of mine on a footy team yesterday. Even though my 3 year old had it wrong, it showed me that I had taught him that he does not have to do or believe everything an adult tells him. He can have his opinion, and it struck me that it was I that had instilled in him his sense of self-worth and confidence through my guidance approach to parenting. I felt very proud and quietly laughed knowing that it was the Blues and not the Bombers he was referring to. But, he was adamant. :-)

          Thanks for your comment.

          Regards, Eileen.

  2. Hi Eileen,

    Reading your post was like you were describing my nephew when he was younger. When asked to put a cup on the sink he would have a huge outburst of emotions which were unexplainable. I have never heard of Opposition Definace Disorder so thanks for the explanation.
    .-= Jackie Stenhouse´s last blog ..Wall Stickers for Kids =-.

    • Hi Jackie,
      Thanks for your comment. It is quite possible that your nephew suffered from food intolerance symptoms. It can go easily undetected and just put down to a behavioral issue. If treated with the proper food, ODD can go away and children tend to get better with age, especially if suffering from leaky gut syndrome. Hopefully my post will reach a few people who need it! :-)

      Regards, Eileen.

  3. Ugh, this sounds so much like our son! He is so sweet really but his emotions are very extreme. He has had food issues since he was a baby causing severe Eczema and we tried several elimination diets to see if his skin improved. It never did and no one had any answers for us. We were so tired of all the meds and creams that could be harmful and that is when we put him on Belly Boost probiotics for kids. Amazingly his Eczema began to clear right up. It was a miracle for sure! I do wonder though if this is still affecting him through this ODD behavior? Thanks for the info.
    .-= smilinggreenmom´s last blog ..Kiwi is NOT just for eating! =-.

    • Hi Lynn,

      Nice to see you visiting my blog again. Yes, pro-biotics are great and especially so for leaky gut syndrome but you can heal naturally with raw milk and fermented products. My opinion is that we can get all we need from nature without the need for supplements. Just my personal opinion. :-) Sounds like your son might have a problem with naturally occurring chemicals being amines, salicylates and MSG. Have a read of my salicylates post. I’m still to write one up on amines and MSG.

      Regards, Eileen.

  4. ODD sucks! I’ve warred with my son, now 10yo, since he was old enough to resist. He’s a kid with great character but out of control behavior. Your description of having wings but losing them is perfect! ODD not only brings out the monster in the child, but the monster in the parent as the ODD behavior wears you down like Chinese water torture! I’ve always been aware of what I’ve fed him. None of us can do it perfectly as there will be times outside of our control, but we have kept our home free of colors and preservatives his entire life. He eats lots of green smoothies and we only drink raw milk in limited amounts. (One gallon, frozen in quarts, usually lasts us 2-3 weeks.) No MSG, no hydrogenated, no toxic oils, no soy, etc, etc, etc. All I can say is…IT’S BAAAAAAAD! Luckily he’s not the violent bi-polar type, but his opposition and disrespect in both big and small things are unbearable! The only thing I haven’t tried is going gluten-free, so giving gluten-free a shot, along with using James Lehman’s “Total Transformation”, will be my final attempt before medication. I hate to go that direction but my family deserves peace and joy, especially for the sake of the other non-ODD children in the house. We’ll see how it goes! Thanks for the article.

    • Hi Gina,

      Thank you for leaving a comment. Sounds like you are on the right track with food and it is hard to say if the gluten would be an issue. Have you tried ferments? Add some pure apple cider vinegar in small amounts to the smoothies if possible. Do you still eat meat?

      Thanks for the resource Total Transformation. I have not heard of it but will certainly investigate further given your comment. I hope you don’t go the medication route as I don’t believe it is the best way forward and I’m sure there are people out there that have tried this and failed or found the medication has too many long term side effects.

      Hope to hear from you again and your progress.

      Stay well, Eileen.

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