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I only found your message just a minute ago....I was searching for information on ODD myself. My now-22 year old son went into a Behaviorial Medicine Unit for a month right after he had turned 14. His behavior was not as disturbed as your son's although he did exhibit occasional behavior that met all the criteria for this disorder. It was a rough couple of years for us and I patched many holes in our walls and survived many power battles. But once his older brother moved out, his behavior improved for the most part although he continued to have difficulty with school work. He's never been into any serious trouble at school altho he spent a lot of time in detention one year and participated in a number of non-harmful pranks from time to time. He actually liked school but was depressed sometimes because of his grades. On the other hand, he didn't put much effort into homeworks or studying for tests as he had a tendency to be lazy. I only recently found out that his older brother (who I have a tentative relationship with now) put him up to a lot of his antics around the house in order to aggravate me. I'm not minimizing how bad his behavior could be at times though and sometimes when he would use threats to kill himself (more of a sadness type threat) or me, it was done to "push my buttons" and manipulate me. And it did. I took his suicide threat seriously since I didn't want to take chances but I knew he wouldn't really harm me. But because his coping skills were lacking and his behavior and anger was out of control, he agreed to go into an adolescent inpatient program. Although they found him amusing, well-behaved, cooperative, well-groomed and pleasant and gave them no problems whatsoever, he still was given a discharge diagnosis of ODD mainly on the basis on mine and his separate intake interviews. It turns out that this may keep him out of the military which he is trying to get in at the moment, even though his behavior had improved tremendously by age 16 (and after his brother left home). He is actually the more pleasant and funny one of my two sons and although he doesn't live at home anymore either, he comes over several times a week to raid the fridge and just spend time with me. We've both read a copy of his hospital chart and are deeply disappointed and upset that many things were taken out of context, blown out of proportioned or just purely mistaken. It tended to make him look like a suicidal homicidal psychotic--if there is such a thing. But he is a well-adjusted and good-natured young man now so I tend to wonder if this wasn't just a long phase of teen rebellion he was going through at the time. I myself spent almost all of 10th grade (age 15) being grounded and felt isolated and angry most of the year. I was not getting along well with parents and was rebelling every chance I could. By the next year, that behavior was gone....yet I still don't know why I did what I did. I always assumed it had something to do with teenage growing pains and anxiety...things of that nature. I'm only a nurse but your son's behavior seems to indicate more than ODD. He seems capable of great violence and rage. Of course, I could be wrong since I'm only going by your description but you might want to try a second opinion or perhaps therapy, inpatient or outpatient for him...and your family too as a unit. But whatever you do, if he outgrows it and trys to get into the military, tell him to answer "no" when he is asked if he has ever been hospitalized and why (IF he does enter a program). They have no way of knowing whether he has or hasn't been hospitalized and my son wouldn't be having the problem now with the military had he known of that first. Honest or not, had he asked me what he should do, I too would have told him to answer "no" since it was many years ago and he isn't now the same angry, post-puberty, barely 14-year old boy who parents were having severe marital problems. He is the apple of my eye.


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