Oppositional Defiance Disorder

Can philosophers help resolve the real problems that people have in their lives?

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Gary Childress
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Oppositional Defiance Disorder

Post by Gary Childress »

Here are the symptoms in children:

https://psychcentral.com/disorders/oppo ... -symptoms/

Apparently it can drag into adulthood too:

https://www.additudemag.com/screener-op ... st-adults/ (My favorite from the symptom questionnaire: "I can’t stand authority figures. Fight the power!")

I wonder, is there a line between being fiercely independent minded and having "defiance disorder"? I also wonder if any of the great thinkers in history would fall into this category; Galileo, for example? What about Anarchist, Noam Chomsky?
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Kayla
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Re: Oppositional Defiance Disorder

Post by Kayla »

A fiercely independent child might ignore their parents telling them that laying Dungeons & Dragons is evil. But if their parents ask them not to leave their D&D books on the kitchen counter (cause its needed for cooking) they will move the books elsewhere.

but a child will oppositional defiance disorder will be like "Fuck you! Don't tell me where to leave my books.
Gary Childress
Posts: 1985
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:08 pm
Location: The Domain of Confusion

Re: Oppositional Defiance Disorder

Post by Gary Childress »

Kayla wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:48 pm A fiercely independent child might ignore their parents telling them that laying Dungeons & Dragons is evil. But if their parents ask them not to leave their D&D books on the kitchen counter (cause its needed for cooking) they will move the books elsewhere.

but a child will oppositional defiance disorder will be like "Fuck you! Don't tell me where to leave my books.
I see. Good points.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Oppositional Defiance Disorder

Post by Immanuel Can »

Gary Childress wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:50 am Here are the symptoms in children:

https://psychcentral.com/disorders/oppo ... -symptoms/

Apparently it can drag into adulthood too:

https://www.additudemag.com/screener-op ... st-adults/ (My favorite from the symptom questionnaire: "I can’t stand authority figures. Fight the power!")

I wonder, is there a line between being fiercely independent minded and having "defiance disorder"? I also wonder if any of the great thinkers in history would fall into this category; Galileo, for example? What about Anarchist, Noam Chomsky?
Hi, Gary.

I have met people who have been clinically diagnosed with this condition, and have, in fact, dealt with them for decades. For a long time, such people went undiagnosed, but now they are being clinically identified. As with all clinical diagnoses, there is some grey area. Some folks may have an authentic Oppositional Defiant Disorder condition (or "ODD") but others are just really cranky and rebellious.

Galileo was a guy who went around picking fights, for sure. So, obviously, is Noam Chomsky. But did they have a clinical disorder? Who can tell? It's possible, but by no means certain.

What is clear, though, is that whether for clinical or for personal reasons, some folks are unreasoningly rebellious. They lash out against authorities they do not need to be in conflict with, and create problems where none existed. So I suppose the most important thing is to know the difference. Unfortunately, since the '60s, essentially, people have tended to view "rebelliousness" as a sign of free-thinking and courage. It's been valorized beyond all reason, and has made "saints" of some obstreperous fools. The virtue of peacemaking, or of finding ways to direct authority into positive uses has been increasingly downplayed.

One good recent example would be the BLM riots. They are a terrific example of unfocused, purposeless, destructive rebellion. How setting a Foot Locker or church on fire conduces to the end of racism is surely obscure to everyone -- especially the rioters themselves. And it has produced no freedom or improvement of anything at all. Yet there are those who praise those riots as some sort of "protest." That's very ODD. It's opposition without focus, without purpose, without endgame. It's knee-jerk rebellion, rebellion from the gut and with no brain.

Behind them are different types, though: the Neo-Marxists. They know exactly why they are fomenting the riots. They believe, with Marx, that destruction itself is creative, because it leads to the triumph of the oppressed and to the ideal society; that the prerequisite to them getting into power is the destruction of the "oppressive" status quo. They don't have a personal, emotional stake in the riots at all; their stake is ideological and deliberate. They are not ODD...they are calculating and malevolent, and very focused on the purpose of obtaining power.

So who has joined that cause out of malevolence, who is well-intended by misguided, and who is ODD? Who really knows, since they all act out the same things?
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