Oppositional Defiant Disorder: Symptoms of ODD

Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Oppositional defiant disorder, or ODD, is a behavioral disorder in children that can be difficult to identify for many parents. Children may be strong-willed or emotional without actually having ODD because it can be normal for children to behave in ways that oppose their parental figures. Though signs typically develop during preschool, there are times when ODD may develop later and cause significant issues related to family, school, work, and socialization.

To be diagnosed with ODD, at least four symptoms must occur from the following categories:

  • Moodiness, both angry and/or irritable
    • Losing temper
    • Easily annoyed by others
    • Resentful
  • Defiant behaviors and argumentative speech
    • Arguing with authority figures
    • Deliberately defying rules or requests by authority
    • Purposely annoys people
    • Places blame on others for their own mistakes
  • Vindictive behaviors
    • Spitefulness (must be recorded happening at least twice within a six month period)

These symptoms must occur with at least one other person who is not a sibling, causing significant problems at school, home, or other places frequented by the child. These symptoms must last for at least six months and have no relation to other mental health issues, such as depression. In some cases, symptoms are first seen occurring in the home and in time begin happening in other settings. Mild ODD means the symptoms occurring in only one setting. Moderate ODD occurs in two settings and severe in three or more.

Neurofeedback naturally trains the brain to function calmly and more efficiently. Those with oppositional defiant disorder will experience direct improvements in mood, which will decrease oppositional, impulsive, and/or aggressive behavior. Patients may also notice academic improvement in school as a result of neurofeedback because of these improvements combined with improved executive functions such as attention, focus, and memory. Learn more about how neurofeedback can help your child’s individual, unique case by scheduling a free consultation with our Dr. Jolene Ross. Click here to contact our office.

8 Ways Neurofeedback Improves School Performance

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Neurofeedback works for students of all ages ranging children and young adults in grade school to college level students. Younger ages benefit from neurofeedback because the sessions strengthen and enhance brain development. For older students, neurofeedback keeps the brain strong and healthy and prevents the decline of memory and other executive functions vital to academic success. Read the eight ways neurofeedback improves school performance by boosting brain function!

Image courtesy of Paul Gooddy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Paul Gooddy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 1. Attention – Being a good student heavily relies upon being able to sit and listen during lectures and classes. Neurofeedback improves the brain’s ability to maintain attention for longer periods of time which directly impacts how much information is absorbed in any given class session. This benefit of neurofeedback is particularly important for students who struggle with ADD or ADHD, as it minimizes the possibility of distraction and having the brain “zone out”.

 2. Focus – Students often face heavy workloads and long study hours during the semester. Neurofeedback directly improves a person’s ability to focus, making it easier to complete work at a faster rate with better completion. Additionally, more information will be absorbed if a person is focusing better during the hours that they study. This will positively impact test taking because the improved study ability will ensure the students are adequately prepared for important exams.

3. Memory Studying for certain subjects often requires a substantial amount of memorization for exams. Neurofeedback works to enhance the brain’s ability to absorb and hold information for easier recall in times of need.

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4. Test Performance – If a student struggles with test taking in general, neurofeedback strengthens the student’s ability to focus while actually taking the tests, promoting better test outcomes. Test results are sure to reflect a person’s strengthened ability to memorize as well.

 5. Sleep Quality– The success of students is heavily determined by the amount and quality of sleep a person gets. The brain does not function at highest capacity if the brain is tired. Neurofeedback specifically improves a person’s ability to fall asleep, to stay asleep, and enhances overall sleep quality.

6. Anxiety Reduction – Neurofeedback can be specifically used to lower a person’s anxiety. When it comes to school performance, anxiety can be crippling, especially in times of high stress such as during final examinations. Training the brain to function calmly and effectively will reduce anxiety levels, setting a student up for success.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

7. Mood Improvement – The stresses of life outside of school do not disappear during the semester. If a person struggles with mood issues, such as depression, this will likely have a negative impact on school performance. When the brain is functioning more calmly and working at it’s highest aptitude, depression symptoms often decline and/or disappear.

8. Learning Disability Improvement – If your child or you struggle with a learning disability, school can be much more difficult with which to keep up. Certain tasks may take longer and may not register as easily. Neurofeedback works to reduce the symptoms of learning disabilities to ensure for better success. Each person has different, unique needs, which is why neurofeedback sessions begin with taking a quantitative EEQ brain map to pinpoint where in the brain these issues are initiating. The protocol for the neurofeedback sessions is then determined based on these individual needs.

 

To schedule a free consultation with our director Dr. Jolene Ross, click here.

Why December is Great for Neurofeedback Booster Sessions

Image courtesy of Feelart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Image courtesy of Feelart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Neurofeedback helps to retrain the brain to function at it’s optimal ability, creating safe and long-lasting results. However, patients can return to Advanced Neurotherapy for occasional booster sessions to ensure the brain continues to stay on the right track. December is an excellent time to come in for a booster session for several reasons!

  1. Finals – If you are a student, December brings the hardest exams of the semester. In addition to the actual tests, students spend long hours compiling information and studying to prepare. A booster session keeps the brain functioning at it’s best to ensure success during difficult academic periods. The better the brain functions, the better performance a person will give on their exams.
  2. Depression and Anxiety – For many people, the holidays provoke many emotional symptoms of depression and anxiety. Although the holidays are meant to be a time of happiness and celebration, often people feel increased symptoms of emotional distress. Booster sessions provide emotional assistance to the brain as neurofeedback teaches the brain how to cope.
  3. Stress – The holidays bring about a substantial amount of stress. Holiday parties, financial struggles, and family-related issues can impact a person heavily during this time of year. Neurofeedback helps the brain handle the stress with greater ease. A booster session provides excellent stress management.
  4. Grief – For those who have lost loved ones over the years, the holidays can bring feelings of immense sadness and grief. To help the brain cope with the grief and try to improve emotional stability, boosters sessions are very effective.

To schedule a booster sessions, please call our office at 781-444-9115!

Booster sessions are effective year round! Read our list of 10 Reasons Why Neurofeedback Booster Sessions are Beneficial to Clients.

 

5 Mood Boosting Foods

Nutrition impacts how well the brain functions on a day-to-day basis. Some foods will make your brain work wonderfully, contributing to a person’s good mood and ultimately productivity. If you have a case of the blues or you struggle with a mood disorder, the importance of a well-balanced, nutrient dense diet can not be underestimated. Try adding these five foods to your diet to improve overall mood!

 

Image courtesy of amenic181 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of amenic181 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Oily Fish – Some excellent choices are salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, and lake trout. What do all of these fish have in common? High levels of omega-3 fatty acids! Omega-3’s are extremely important nutrients, especially for those suffering with a mood disorder. In fact, omega-3’s actually make up a very large percentage of our brain tissue. Studies have shown deficiency of omega-3’s can contribute to depression and poor mood.

 

Image courtesy of amenic181 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of amenic181 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lean Poultry – Chicken and turkey breasts are filled with the amino acid tryptophan, which the body utilizes to make serotonin, the key neurotransmitter in mood regulation. Those suffering with depression benefit from the increase in serotonin production. Additionally, lean poultry contains tyrosine, another amino acid that helps reduce depression as it is used to make adrenaline. Low levels of adrenaline are also associated with depression.

 

Image courtesy of Viacheslav Blizniuk at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Viacheslav Blizniuk at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Spinach – Leafy greens are all really good for the body and brain! Spinach is particularly good for obtaining B vitamins. Deficiencies of B vitamins have been linked to depression as well.  Spinach is full of many other vitamins and a large amount of fiber in addition to being low in fat and cholesterol. Buying organic whenever possible is highly recommended. Make sure you are getting your daily dose of greens!

 

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Bananas – Comprised of many mood-boosting elements, bananas should be added to your diet! Tryptophan is also present in bananas as well as a variety of vitamins, fiber, potassium, iron, and phosphorous. Additionally, bananas have healthy carbohydrates that help tryptophan absorption in the brain. Since tryptophan helps create serotonin, this will improve mood and also improve sleep!

 

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Brazil Nuts – Many people who show symptoms of depression, irritability, anxiety, and fatigue are often low in the mineral selenium. Brazil nuts happen to be an excellent source of selenium! Brazil nuts are slightly larger than the average nut, so a person only needs about three nuts to get your daily dose of selenium.

5 Natural Mood Boosters

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lifestyle choices will greatly impact a person’s mood! If you struggle with a mood disorder, finding natural methods of boosting mood is key to living a happier life on a day-to-day basis. People who struggle with mood issues often find themselves less productive in daily life. If you find yourself feeling down, try to examine various daily choices and evaluate how they may be impacting your current mood. Read these five natural mood boosters:

1. Eat Healthy and Nutritious Foods – Life can be extremely busy and stressful, which often results in people turning to fast food or craving foods, like carbs and sugar, that are simply not good for a person’s mood. No matter how hectic a person’s life is, eating healthy is one of the simplest things a person can do to naturally improve their mood. While unhealthy cravings feel good when satisfied, the feeling does not remain after the initial eating process. Eating well is one of the first steps you can take to promote natural change in your mood.

2. Exercise – One of the best ways to naturally mood boosters to feel great on a regular basis is to get regular exercise. Getting the right amount of fitness every day will actually boost hormones in the brain responsible for elevating mood. Many people say being busy is the reason for their lack of physical activity. However, even just taking thirty minutes a day to take a walk in your neighborhood can be helpful in boosting mood.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3. Light Exposure – Particularly during the dark and cold months of winter, many people find their mood decline as a result of not getting enough sunlight, which can even become Seasonal Affective Disorder. Investing in a therapeutic mood light, such as a Veriluxis an easy, effective way to expose a person suffering with mood issues to the right amount of sunlight to improve overall mood.

4. Make Time for Hobbies – Many people have so many responsibilities each day that there is little time to do things that help maintain mood and keep a person happy. It is very important to make sure you are involved in activities that make you happy, otherwise of course your mood will suffer as a result! There are many great fun activities that are actually known to function as mood boosters, such as yoga, singing, and spending time with friends.

5. Neurofeedback – Did you know that neurofeedback actually finds the root of mood issues in the brain? Once this has been determined, neurofeedback sessions target the root of the problem to help the brain function more calmly and efficiently, leading to sustained better moods and also higher productivity! What’s the best part about neurofeedback? It’s completely natural!

To learn more about neurofeedback and how Advanced Neurotherapy can help you develop a plan to beat the daily blues with nutrition counseling, therapy, neurofeedback, and more, call our office to set up a free consultation with our director Dr. Jolene Ross. 781-444-9115