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Adults with ODD?

By far the most popular question coming through my website and email is one that doesn’t even deal with children and adolescents. Regardless of how the questions are stated, they all sound something like this:

Everything I hear and read talks about Oppositional Defiant Disorder in children and adolescents. What about ADULTS? Is there an adult ODD?

Odd is classified as a condition of childhood and adolescence according to the current edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), as published by the American Psychiatric Association. When a youngster reaches 18, he or she moves out of ODD and into the adult classification system. If the adult’s behavior is serious enough, they might be classified according to a group of diagnoses called “personality disorders.” At one time there was a classification called Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder, but it is no longer being used. One theory on it being discontinued was that all personality disorders contain some passive-aggressive (oppositional and defiant) behaviors.

Okay, what constitutes “serious enough?”

Maladaptive behaviors are serious enough when the adult cannot maintain employment or constantly moves from job to job, has trouble with significant other relationships (possible multiple divorces), or has a strong dependence on alcohol, substances or negative habits.

Although we’re talking about adults here, young people can engage in similar behaviors when they have trouble in school, have difficulty making and keeping friends, and rely on fancy toys or video games to synthetically alter their mood.


James D. Sutton, Psychologist


Note added December 5, 2009:

This post has obviously struck a chord with a lot of folks. The comments are reflective of the frustration of not only family members of individuals presenting adult-type features of oppositional and defiant behaviors, but of these individuals themselves as they watch their lives and the lives of loved ones fall apart before them.

As noted, these behaviors in adulthood can go by a lot of different names, classifications and diagnoses. Identification and treatment can be a paramount concern, also. In response to these posts, I have added a short video (length: 9:51) entitled  Adults with ODD. My intent was to offer introductory insights, interventions and resources. I hope you find them helpful. –JDS


September 30, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,


  1. This is my husband! He had ODD as a child and I don’t think it ever went away! If anyone has advice on how to deal with him and his behavior please let me know! We have been married for 2.5 years and it gets tougher as time passes!


    Comment by Tina | December 8, 2008 | Reply

    • You deal with this person by packing up your stuff and leaving. You are in a no win situation. Your life will be ruined . Take my advice and run as fast as you can.p


      Comment by Elsie | August 1, 2017 | Reply

  2. Get out ! It will continue to get worse and he will hook you in with children and family, property , etc which makes it difficult to leave the longer you stay. My ex was ODD/ personality disorder ( and still is). Your life with be riddled with tension, power struggles over everything great and small, weirdness, baffling behavior …all in an effort to make sure you do not get anything you want …ever. It will get worse as he becomes bolder ( as he realizes he can get away with messing with you). This is serious emotional abuse and you will live under constant attack if you don’t get out of the relationship now. I lived it. I know of what I write.
    Good luck.


    Comment by mehgan | December 26, 2008 | Reply

    • thanks for your comment. This is my ex-wife. You’re exactly right. She’s Madonna on steriods. I took out a restraining order and got it to where we can communicate by text/email only. Now, she screws with me with all kinds of hassle-communication behavior. Have a doctorate and am a psychotherapist. These people tend to be 8’s in the enneagram, and ESTP’s in the MBTI. She’s hell on wheels. Made a bad choice marrying her and having to endure 14 years of her. ODD for adults exists because of developmentalism–many adults do not necessarily progress toward psychospiritual maturity in 21st century American culture.


      Comment by Jack | February 10, 2011 | Reply

      • Just want to pass on that it is not just 8 on the enneagram.It can be anytype.I am a 4 and know that I have this issue.But counter phobic 6’s have good potential for this problem.1’s too they have deep angry complexes that manifest this way.If an adult wants to change that is what is needed to move past the type stuff.We should use the enneagram for development not devolving others as not going to change.I have know healthy 8s that can listen.
        In kindness


        Comment by Austina | April 27, 2011

    • “2.Get out ! It will continue to get worse and he will hook you in with children and family, property , etc which makes it difficult to leave the longer you stay. My ex was ODD/ personality disorder ( and still is). Your life with be riddled with tension, power struggles over everything great and small, weirdness, baffling behavior …all in an effort to make sure you do not get anything you want …ever. It will get worse as he becomes bolder ( as he realizes he can get away with messing with you). This is serious emotional abuse and you will live under constant attack if you don’t get out of the relationship now. I lived it. I know of what I write.”

      Good luck.”

      I totally agree with you. Our younger son, a great young man in his forties, had two short and bad relationships with “Bitches on Steriods” in the past couple of years. After the first one he recognized the sickness of the second one quickly, and broke off the relationship when her true Oddity came out.

      He has made friends with and older female shrink, who told him to run from both relationships.


      Comment by Dave | July 17, 2014 | Reply

    • My husband is the defiant one, I admit he was abused throughout his life and our marriage but he has taken the defiance to such extrem’s people have even been put in critical care units, some hurt so bad that years later there are still reconstructive surgery’s. The last 13 years any cooperation from my husband has had to be accompanied by the threat of armed force, and now that has utterly failed, the last time he told a man holding a .45 on him he better make sure he left him dead where he stood because if he did not he was going to turn his. his other friend and his fathers day into one they would be crying about for years. It was an invitation to g get something t eat from his father, without his oldest sons input to the conversation about what we needed, to do to gain control over him after that really horrible summer. My husband walks in in front of 60 other customers, his mother, sister, her husband and the wives of the two men that threatened him. and he continued the terror f that summer by using his cane to lay the faces of the two men open to the jawbone.
      This all started in 1985 when his father and others decided that my husbands cooperation after his return home was needed for what they described as a short period to ease him back into the community after being mostly under water for three and a half years in the navy, Just to keep things stable for everyone, but it turned into from 1985 to 2013 as a need to force my husband to take holidays, weekends and not take vacations so others could have them. My husband was considered to be of little need or consequence to the need of everyone else, in 2001 after they drilled a hole from over his right eye t the center of his head anything that even indicated a cooperation came to a screeching halt, he started hurting people when they thought they could apply force to gain cooperation and he has not stopped.
      His father keeps saying he has to learn that he does not have a say in any family invitation he feels like taking out of his hands, and this has twice had people badly hurt. My husband wont go to the police even when he can handle things more peacefully. He prefers that those that insist he is not in charge of his life learn with as terrible pain as he can deliver that they are wrong,
      As for my roll in all of this I found he has the ability to enforce his will in our marriage, two years ago he called a halt to my making the promise of a future he always wanted. if he would negotiate just a while longer, he considered 31 years of trying to negiotiate his life to much and he forced me into sex, I had promised his father I would go to a fund raiser with his best friend, My husband asked if their were three on the pass, I told him that was a stupid idea, and he said then I was not going either, it turned into a day when nobody used the pass. That’s the day if I am invited he is to came up as a house rule or I could hit the road never to return, His other demand that evening was I was going to be a real wife, both in sex and in truth or again I could put my feet on the street and pick a direction. I tried to set up a way to get things worked out that evening. I promised if he would set up a place myself, his father and mother and his fathers best friend could meet after the event we could get something worked out to every ones satisfaction He reused this overture and took what I had refused since 1985. I would have liked to try and get things slowed down that day. I ended up wondering how a man that one time loved me could be turned into the terror he had become and asking his mother the same question while explaining what had been kept hidden from her.
      I have talked to mental heath doctors asking what had changed so badly from 1985, they say that we abused my husband. His father maintains it was just getting him to be a man, do what was best for other people without thinking of what he wanted, but when asked what my husband had done for recreation and fun fro 1985 to 2013 what movies he had seen, what kind f sports he had played or participated in, I knew he wanted to bowl. and play golf, but he never was able because he was working when he went into rehab in 2010 TV was a foreign thing to him, he had not watched any until he got MRSA in his spine his doctor asked about our sex life and I explained it was a promise for the future if he just did no press his rights until he pressed the issue two years ago the evening his fathers friend was supposed to take me to the fund raiser, I said that was the day our sex life went off a future promise, by me being forced.
      The doctors asked us why he was required to put up with this kind of life, His father said real men did, He was asked if he put up with it as a real man, and I saw him crying.
      My husbands defiance has become such a problem that I now don’t refuse relations knowing he would now toss me out the door,
      Now there is no way to gain anything n cooperation unless my husband wants to. Since the MRSA in his spine he lost feeling in his legs, he feels we stole 32 years of his life that can never be returned, any threat, any promise of something in return for his cooperation is met with a no, answer, he asks what future he really has so why should he cooperate, why should he agree t some thing in the future when he has no future.
      Now I just don’t know who or what to do without hurting him some more, without getting asked to leave or making someone else angry if I am the wife my husband wants. If I am not forth coming as his father and friends want, I will no longer have a home. My husband will put me out the door. I was told that I have till 9;30 this evening to make my decision of if I was going to be my husbands wife, or if tomorrow morning I find myself on a bus, His father says we cant let him get away with forcing a time table. but I think sitting here writing that is what is going to happen. I will succumb to my husbands defiance to his father and society. I see no other choice, But it makes me so mad that I have no say in anything now, its either I support his father and his friends who will try and do something stupid and get hurt again or I can support my husband and then by association be deprived of friends and society.
      This is what defiance has come down to in my life a husband that could care less about traditons, or me losing those traditions.


      Comment by Rebel | February 6, 2015 | Reply

      • It seems your husband suffers Ptsd and everyone is still going on putting the trauma in his face. Amazing.
        If you want to help him and make his life bearable yake him away from the people who abused him mentallly all these years ( his father and family)
        This is caused by people and I’m shocked. And amazed he did not commit suicide yet.
        And if yoy want to help yourself, get out of there.


        Comment by ireneuitdebocht | February 7, 2015

    • You have no soul may you rest in sh*t.


      Comment by Yo | May 22, 2016 | Reply

  3. “all in an effort to make sure you do not get anything you want”, is so the truth. It’s amazing how fast they can do this negative thing. Lightening fast. You say yes and they immediately say no. You say black, they say white.

    It’s like rolling a boulder uphill.

    Not worth it.


    Comment by tiptoe | January 13, 2009 | Reply

    • tiptoe..that’s exactly how i lived my life. I was afraid to wake him or move in bed.he never sees any positive.if things don’t go his way he blows up,or tries the guilt trip direction and its either …poor me or angry because somehow i screwed it up. are there other symptoms? he sometimes feels his skin is trying to get off,itchy/tingly {and no drugs period, are being used ) sleep seems to be an issue,sleeping during day swearing when wakes that he hasn’t slept all night( even though i hear him snoring) because of me. not looking for a job because it didn’t fit his plan…he cant think if you ask two questions together.paranoid behavior yet he is very good at what he is trained for but cant apply things he has learned to other things. a wiz at computers.loves animals,thinks he is gods gift to women, and the lying is bad .will talk to you like you are a dog then wonder why you react in a neg way.


      Comment by beth | March 8, 2013 | Reply

      • Wow – my experience with my man exactly! I think what you’re describing is both ADHD and ODD-type bad coping mechanisms. Getting past the opposition and hair-trigger fury can be nearly impossible – what can you say to someone who nearly always contradicts you? The only thing that seemed to work was fear – I told him to leave by the end of the month. You have to stick to your guns though – they basically think you don’t mean it, since they never seem to mean what they say (they don’t keep their word, lie, etc.)


        Comment by Janice | September 8, 2014

      • I have stayed married to this man for 28 years bc my religion taught me to be so forgiving. Now my daughter has been diagnosed at age 24 as ADHD. Life is hard for me, but reading these comments actually make me feel like I’m not crazy and not imagining what I’ve known for so many years. Thanks for what it’s worth. How to get out? I now know that he purposely sabotages everything that I do to succeed and what I’ve felt for years. Thanks


        Comment by Anne | February 6, 2015

      • I had a similar experience. Shortly getting married I saw something was very wrong with my husband. He was selfish, broke his promises when they were no longer convenient, spent all our money although we were living on one check (mine), constantly put his friends before me, showed no consideration for how I felt about things or how tired I was after working all day, had some kind of drama going on about something small every day, lived in extremes (if a woman looked at him and quickly looked away it means she was in love with him, he wanted to hang with his friends every night instead of once a week or biweekly, if someone isn’t available to do something they are jealous of him or hate him), kept large and insignificant secrets for himself, had displays of rage at least once a week, and was way too picky even with things that did not cincern him at all.

        Long story short, after a few months I strongly suggested that he talk to a professional. He had ADHD, ODD, and PTSD. I was dumbstruck. Whereas previously I thought that he would change or that I needed to show him more love, patience, and understanding, now I realized that he had mental illnesses that would affect him regardless of how I treated him. There was nothing I could do. Furthermore, the Scriptures say that the only grounds for divorce is adultery and that even marital separation should not be taken lightly. I was stuck.

        I was also angry. I found myself asking why no one in his family ever took the time to get him help. Frankly, I blame his mom the most. She allowed herself to be so wrapped up in her own life that she failed him miserably. She clearly feels the same way, for every time my husband tries to ask her about odd behavior he displayed as a kid, she will mention one thing, interrupt herseld to bring up excuses about why she missed the warning signs, and then she goes on and on about bad things that have happened to her throughout her life. Pointing the finger doesn’t help, but just about everyone’s finger points to her. Just asking herself why her son is so self-destructive from a young child on would have made her get him help, but it was much easier to turn a blind eye to him and allow him to be permissive.

        Anyway, thankfully I have a husband who really loves me and loves God, and that is what makes him keep trying to be a good person. He is on medication that makes a big difference in how he interprets and responds to life. He is learning to curb his impulses and is acting more like a husband than a college dorm roommate. I have also had to learn how to be a good non-mental disorder mate. Things are so much better now. I’ve gone from wishing to God that I did not marry this man to feeling like we can make this work.

        I go through all of this to say that I would not suggest that anyone marry someone that they know has ADHD or similar mental disorders. However, if the diagnosis comes after matrimony, it is possible to succeed, but that depends in how much work both of you, especially the one with the mental disorder, is willing to do. If he doesn’t want to admit that there is a problem or that his behavior is at least erratic, then things will continue as they always have. My husband’s eyes were opened when I printed an article from a reputable website listing symptoms of ADHD. He saw for the first time the way he felt inside on paper and learned that the way that he was used to operating for 40 years wasn’t ‘just how he was’ but was because of an untreated mental illness. The professional diagnoses came a few months after that which really brought everything home for him.

        Whether or not your husband seeks help and tries to change depends on him. Having ADHD means not having insight, so it is difficult for individuals to see themselves as the problem on their own. ODD is another mental blocker in that it makes the individual feel like they are the only sane problem-free person and the issue lies with everyone else on the planet. It also makes them not want to listen to advice or counsel. Those can be formidable barriers to break through but how successful you are depends on your hysband, and prepare yourself not to ever reach him. He really could be that far gone.

        I can’t tell you what to do, but just know that it is possible to have a happy successful marriage when a mate gets diagnosed with a mental disorder.


        Comment by Vanessa | February 6, 2015

    • Some excellent comments from those with ODD and those having to live with it on this site”

      “One thing I see is how easily an ODD person is controlled by their own automatic reactions. If you want them to go left, tell them to go right. The more subtle and alert will realize they are being controlled. But then they will tell even sympathetic persons the opposite of what they mean. They say they are fine when they are not and become enraged if you can’t tell they are NOT fine. It’s the confusion and automaticity of the strategy that keeps it from working better.”

      “In the end, the opposition and the defiance can either become exhausted disengagement or a thrashing desperation to escape the trap, to force someone else to take hold and resolve an intolerable and unjust torture. The best of all outcomes might be when the global situation shifts enough to open the jaws of the trap. That might mean a medical breakthrough, an economic reframing, or a social revolution. I have heard of schools or nursing homes where a team of concerned persons convene with the suffering “acting out” individual to evaluate and redesign terms. Isn’t that like a family? Sometimes they include family. “

      ““all in an effort to make sure you do not get anything you want”, is so the truth. It’s amazing how fast they can do this negative thing. Lightening fast. You say yes and they immediately say no. You say black, they say white.”

      You think that you have won a small victory, and then, your ODD spouse, parent, sibling, or adult child turns on you over nothing with a vicious and uncalled for verbal attack.

      My comments re being savaged by an ODDer for decades:

      I have been married to an ODD for over 50 years, it has been hell on earth for over 45 years. My Mother was an ODD bitch, and my sister makes our Mother and my wife look like beginners. Our oldest son in his late 40’s becomes more like his Mother and the other ODD’s in his family tree. His wife is either a late ODD bloomer or she hid it well for decades.

      “It’s like rolling a boulder uphill. It is just “not worth it.”

      Their ODD responses to normal questions or statements are not only bizarre but dangerous some times.

      You warn them while they are driving that some is running a stop sign and is heading to your vehicle. Often they will yell at you and ignore your advice. My wife and I had a new tandem kayak and she was in the yak, and I was standing on the left side of the yak in shallow water. I told her to lean to her right side as I would get in on the left side of the yak. She leaned left and the yak rolled over and both of us went in the water. As I was turning the yak right side up, she yelled and cussed at me. Until an adult woman, who saw and heard everything while standing on the shore a few feet away, told her to shut her foul mouth and to listen to me and follow my instructions. The woman stood up and said, “You cuss me one more time, I will drag you out of the water and kick your butt!” My wife shut up. We got back and launched the kayak without a problem. She wanted to get away from the woman on the beach, who would have kicked her butt.

      Another time, we were leaving our church and I was talking to few men/fellow church members, who were church members on the sidewalk by her car. She glared at me and started to walk right in front of a fast coming car. I yelled, “lookout!” She just glared at me. One of the guys yelled and she jumped back and the car missed her by inches. She didn’t say thank you to the guy, and she got in her car while still glaring at me. On the way home she was yelling that I yelled at her. She said nothing about the car that all most hit her and my friend who she listened to after he yelled.

      That was when I learned about ODD. A few days later, one of the men, who watched this episode, told me to Google and checkout ODD and to meet him for lunch or coffee. At lunch, I learned that his father, mother, oldest son and siblings had ODD and so did his first wife.

      This site, other ODD sites, and my friends personal insight to ODD awakened me to my wife, oldest son, Mother, Sister and DIL having ODD, and why those of us around them suffered from their outbreaks of verbal hostility over nothing or something not even related to their hostile outbreaks.

      My Mother was dead when I learned about ODD. My sister and I haven’t spoken since the death of my Mother due to her hostile and criminal actions after my Mother’s death. I minimize any discussions I have with my older son and his wife. I minimize any verbal discussions with my wife after 5 pm after she has had her first glass of wine. She usually goes to sleep on one of the couches by about 8 pm. The next morning she is often back to being nice and in particular after her first cup of coffee. The niceness starts to fade away a about an hour after lunch. Anything I say, from then until she goes to bed, will be challenged and can turn into WWIII.

      The ODDers that I have known, remind me of the GEICO ads where someone makes a statement, and to cut off the conversation, they say “Everyone knows that!”

      The reality with the ODDers in my life and that I have diagnosed, is their reality is often based on the false premise that they know everything that is important in life and we, the victims of their Oddity, know nothing of value. So they cut us off whenever we try to speak about anything. God help us if we dare to challenge and to expose their bs.

      It is amazing how little the medical profession and even good Shrinks know about ODD. My job for decades had me seeing shrinks on a business level a few times a week. One of the better ones and a good friend of one of my friends discussed my wife’s behavior, and he blamed it on alcohol abuse and maybe abuse from her parents, which didn’t happen besides her Dad telling her not to do something where she might get hurt. That was about a decade ago, and he never mentioned ODD.

      In my MHO, ODD is very prevalent. It seems to run in well educated families, who are above average in disposable income. I have seen it blossom and grow with our oldest son and his wife as they have done well financially in their lives.


      Comment by Dave | July 17, 2014 | Reply

    • I see that now. I am having such a tough time dealing with this, but it’s as if our whole relationship was a lie? Do they “act as if”? We were best budfies, I thought.


      Comment by Pat Kay | February 19, 2016 | Reply

  4. im only 21 and my ex bf of 4 years had ODD as a child and im sure he moved into some kind of personality disorder that led to him being extremely controlling, completely incapable of showing love and also emotionally abusive and sometimes physically. as well, he used threats to keep me with him. the FINAL break up was hard, because i knew i had to get out, but at the same time for about a month he hacked into my emails and he had a way of knowing everything i was doing. i eventually told him never to contact me again, that he was a bully and that he had ruined my life at the young age of 21. i am weird, and i empathize with his disorder but the healthiest thing is to have no contact.

    get out as soon as you can, and seek professional help. it gets better.


    Comment by karen | January 18, 2009 | Reply

    • While I feel for you, you must not deflect responsibility. First, at 21 your life is not ruined. Second, you should not blame somebody else. If your life is truly in ruin, you must look in the mirror. My brother has severe ODD, and while it has an affect on my life, I am responsible for my life. It is not right to blame somebody else for your choices.


      Comment by Jeff Moore | December 30, 2009 | Reply

    • Thank you Karen for sharing your experience. Persue knowledge on the subject and your hurt can become a stream of insight to protect against future like relationships. Shrug off opinions expressed that aren’t supportive. There’s no comparison between being the ODDs lover and sibling in the dynamics of the relationship. Keep your head up and your eyes on the road ahead.


      Comment by Jaszmine | December 7, 2014 | Reply

    • Thank you Karen for sharing. I wish that I had had your courage all those years ago!!


      Comment by Anne | February 6, 2015 | Reply

      • Wow! I read your last two posts and I am blown away! We’re we married to the same guy? I am going through a awful separation and I only gave up on my husband last week. He was diagnosed 6 months after we married with ADD ODD. I too have a niece. Diagnosed with the same things. Been married only 14 months. We should talk more!


        Comment by Carrie Villanueva | May 8, 2015

  5. My neice for a short time, suffered from (or WE suffered from her having) ODD. This COMPULSION and DRIVE to be opposite, contrary…vastly irritating from a child….Now I have a boss who does this. I have NEVER seen anything like it. For a year, all of her employees discuss at great length, story, after story, after story about her initial reaction to ANYTHING is to make it difficult or screw you over or tell you “no” to easily approved requests, etc. I have been INSISTENT to my co-workers that I have seen this before in my neice, but not an adult. I have described it to them and they said it makes sense. So I researched a bit, but could only come up with children having ODD. Until I saw your blogs here. Mehgan and Tiptoe NAILED IT!: “All in an effort to make sure you do not get anything you want.” Wow. This is dead on. Elaborate lengths and intentional disruption must be exhausting for these people. It is non-stop. Regarding the husband: I got out of a marriage with a man who loved me very much and I loved him dearly. He hated himself. He was Mr. Sweetheart to EVERYONE and me as well…until he began suffering from depression and REFUSED to get help. That is when he would only show his pain to the person he trusted and loved the most…me. He would be kind and loving and then out-of-the-blue, be cruel or mean or ignore me for days. It had nothing to do with me at all. In fact, the MORE he did that to me, the WORSE he felt about himnself and ’round we go. Bottom line is I felt that my vows included “in sickness and in health” and I considered him sick and needing my help. We loved each other. So I stuck it out, begging all the while for him to get help. He would agree, disagree, agree, disagree…for over a year. I took mental abuse in the form of him darling to me for days and then one morning, he would not speak to me for days on end. It would stop and the process would begin again. I was married for, just like you, 2.5 years and got out. Analogy is you have both been thrown overboard and could drown. He wants to swim for a boat that is driving away, with no chance of getting back on without sucking up and swimming for the shore. He wanted it to come back, climb up and be safe..I was wanted him to do some work, start swimming, and save ourselves, to swim for the saftey of shore that is visible and accessible. I try to take him with me, but he is swimming the other way, and intentionally sabotaging our saftey. I have to swim and leave him behind. My strongest urging and recommendation: Get out. No kids. HE WON’T CHANGE. This is not normal behavior. HE WON’T CHANGE. If you stay, you will live a life of misery and be left with yourself to blame for all of it. Your family and friends will lose a sliver of respect for you, which also makes it hard for them to keep feeling sorry for you and your stories of what he does to you. They will see it clearly from afar that YOU are the one who has to end it.


    Comment by michelle | January 25, 2009 | Reply

    • I work with a school psychologist who was once in foster care herself. She had an antagonistic relationship with her mother and still does. I am a diagnostic teacher and we have to do initial staffings on high school students who might have special education needs. There are laws and guidelines that must be followed to the letter. The school psychologist appears to go out of her way to sabotage deadlines, and is constantly “questioning” rules and regulations, or procedures that make our job easier. I never liked the word “team player,” but my colleagues behavior has made me see the terminology in a new light. Her behavior makes my job so much more difficult. Worse, her friends (my colleagues) appear to go the extra mile and enable her and take her seriously.


      Comment by mary tschannen | January 17, 2010 | Reply

  6. … ok, so what do you do if its too late, if you already have a toddler, and in your state, your spouse is almost certain to take him, and be his PRIMARY INFLUENCE. whats more is, im still very much in love, despite how my spouse tries to drive me away. but 3 therapists later, … i dont know what to say. are there any success stories out there? “heres what we did” type stuff?


    Comment by Mark | January 27, 2009 | Reply

    • this is my question as well…minus the “in love” part. we have a five yr old and a toddler. I will not leave because I will not leave them alone w/ him even if he only gets partial custody. most of the time, I am the only thing that stands in the way of him treating our children like crap. I would like some positive feedback as well. I don’t want complaints. I want solutions!


      Comment by tj | March 15, 2011 | Reply

      • p.s. my 5 yr old is showing signs of ADHD/ODD too


        Comment by tj | March 15, 2011

  7. OMG this is all surreal. I am 46 yrs. old and I dated my husband for 2-3 yrs. I knew something was up when I was dating him he literally wore me down, insisting I see him every day , calling all the time. I actually thought that he might be a Psycho of some sort. Anyhoo, long story short my life has been turned upside down and finally have told him he eithier gets medicated with counseling or I’m out of there.
    Does medication/counseling help? Or am I just wasting my time and energy?


    Comment by Laurie | February 10, 2009 | Reply

    • Lauie not to mention the money – ten thousdands of dollars and he is in a worst spot than ever.
      I have been looking for how to survive this ODD for 18 years, both positive and negative approches- counceling, 12 step, prayer, threats, fights so far it the OD keeps getting worse.
      I have 2 small children and I care about him…but right now it looks like leaving is the only option for sanity and in these times I feel too scared to do that.


      Comment by Mari Newton | July 26, 2009 | Reply

    • Hi Laurie,
      Wow, I’ve never heard of ODD until this past Saturday evening dinner with a 4th grade teacher friend….. she says surely my ex- didn’t have ODD, because it is a children’s disorder. I lived with him for 18 years! This relationship had ODD all over it. I loved him, he camped, hiked, hunted, spent time with me and my 2 young children. He loved to be with us. However; he convinced me regularly he was only doing what he was brought up to do. I would ask him why he was being rude, mean or angry even cruel and he would tell me I was taking things personally. He was yelling at the air or it was a bad day at work! We went to a psychologist and she said to me “and you are perfect”. I didn’t make clear that his outbursts were daily and scary, I guess. It took me several years and many people later to tell me “why do you think you deserve to be spoken to that way?” or “I wouldn’t put up with that”. He never raised his hand to me. But he would throw tools across the floor or a glass down the hall, furniture out the back door. He convinced me I was not able to budget my own money,or I didn’t make practical choices on my own. I worked full-time, raised, (financially) my two children by myself and paid half of everything, he would not share a joint checking account, we were married 13 years! I’ve Been divorced now for 1 and 1/2 years…….ahhhhh. My new boyfriend is beautiful, understanding, an equal, loving, gentle and kind. I could not handle letting my 2 children think that it was okay to let someone treat them that way, ever. I know it is hard to give up on someone. How will you feel in 15 years if you have to give up? You are already asking that question, doesn’t sound like a very good start.
      Good luck, in all sincerety, Shelley


      Comment by Shelley | November 16, 2009 | Reply

  8. It is my son. In school he was diagnosed as behavior disordered, trouble with authority and disruptive in classes. It seemed as if he was not that way when he was in a situation where there no expectations, i.e. outside playing with friends. He is now 31 and drinks too much, but maintains himself on a very humble income from unemployment…no car…no phone…everything is meager. He has very little desire to have the things that others have…and yet, he knows it all, argues about everything, shuts down when he wants and blows up frequently at anything and everything. This is a child that I supported through the calls from the school, the suspensions and the endless teachers conferences, going to jail, going to court and all thinking that one day it would be better..Well it is not better. He’s still obstinate, argumentative, contrary, explosive, oppositional, and defiant with a real short fuse….How can you end a relationship with your own child?? Did I mention he drinks too much and will not find a job??


    Comment by Glow | February 18, 2009 | Reply

    • My story mirrors yours. My son is 22, has been through IMPACT program in prison, is on parole and living with his step-father and me. I am trying to make sense of all of this. I don’t want to kick my son out but I also want to maintain peace in my home and marriage. Since he has been out of prison he has been arrested for DWI, ticketed for obstruction of a roadway, stolen prescription drugs from my husband and me, and just today, in my car, taken to jail for driving without seatbelt. What do I do? Please help…


      Comment by Beth | January 12, 2010 | Reply

      • Beth,

        I will start by saying everyone on these message boards handles things differently, and if you love someone then it is terrible to just write them off. I disagree with the way many speak of their husbands and the like.

        With that said, my advice is tough love. You cannot enable this behavior and he is 22, he needs to survive on his own. He will be angry and resent you, he will make you feel guilty. At first he will seem like he is sinking, but know that from my experience people with ODD are very smart and very resiliant, he will survive. The hope is that this will force him to deal with his issues. He may learn that he has to deal with the ODD or its effects, or he may learn to deal with substance abuse issues. It may make him hit rock bottom, but generally, people with ODD and addicts have to hit rock bottom before they seek help to deal with their issues.

        By showing tough love you and your husband will get the space you need. You can’t let him sink your ship, if he does that then you will not be able to provide the love and proper support he will need in the future. Life is short and you have to enjoys yours too, you can’t be constantly dealing with these issues and foregoing your own happiness. If you are happier and stronger you can help him in more constructive ways.

        Tough love, does not mean no love. Let him know you are their to support him in constructive ways, but you have boundries and he cannot cross them. You can provide emotional support but not be his means of support. Again, he will be very angry and try and make you feel guilty, be ready for it.

        I am the younger brother (now 41) of a man with ODD who is 46, has ODD, and is on SSI because of bi-polar disorder. My mother has dementia (I think because the stress he caused her – agian another reason you need to have your life and force him to live his own) I have tried to support my brother on several occasions and I have found that the only thing that happens is I get very angry and then my life teeters on the brink of disaster. I had the best housing deal in Seattle, $600 per month for an amazing apartment with a view that recently sold as a condo for almost a $1M. I lost it because I let my brother live in the building and he got caught dealing drugs, which he denied because they “didn’t acutally see him doing it”. We are supposed to ignore the fact that street rats are coming in and out at all hours of the morning and night, the apartment smelled bad and he had sores all over his body etc. etc. But that is the disorder, you can present all the facts but they oppose it and are defiant, they are right and you are wrong.

        You must let him know that he needs to make other arrangments, I know the parole thing is an issue, as he has to have a place to live and without such he is forced back into the facility. Give him a realistic timeline to get his own place and a job if he does not have one. Cheap rooms and apartments are available on Craiglist.

        In the end your husband with respect you for being strong and doing what is right. You will feel stronger and feel better about yourself for being strong and doing what is right and making a better life for yourself without the drama. Lastly, hopefully, your son will get the help he needs and he will be stronger for it. Know and be ready for the fact that his life may not have a happy ending, but that does not mean yours should not.

        As for my brother, he does better now then he did with me. He goes to NA meetings often, he has a room in an apartment, he collects his SSI and does odd jobs at a construction site under the table for extra money.(shhhh, lets keep that our secret).

        Good luck, I wish you nothing but the best. Be strong!


        Comment by Jeff Moore | January 12, 2010

      • Beth I disagree with Jeff. I stayed this long. My husband has caused me so much harm and I truly believe that after all these years that I’m entitled to be happy and find another who can love me and be kind. Do the same!!! You deserve happiness. Love him but from a distance


        Comment by Anne | February 6, 2015

    • i totally relate


      Comment by christiane | September 29, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Glow…
      Just read this post and wondered if u have had any resolve? Same exact school issues with my son. Now he is 22. He got his girlfriend pregnant, is now married and due somewhat to his wifes influence has turned on me. Very disrespectful. I am at a loss. I just wondered what has happened since you wrote this post.


      Comment by Alice | November 1, 2012 | Reply

  9. Glow: I so much appreciate your comments. You certainly have a handle on the problem. Good question: “How can you end a relationship with our own child?” I don’t believe a parent can do that, but they can refuse to be embroiled in all the issues. (Saying that is easy; doing it is tough!) As my wife so aptly says: “It all boils down to the fact that, when our children become adults, we should be careful about accepting responsibility for their failures, as well as their successes.” Life has a way of providing a pretty quick education, although it seems that some never learn.

    Here’s another question for you: “How can we help someone who refuses it?”

    Thank you so much for your (painful, unfortunately) insights.

    (Dr. Sutton)

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by docspeak | February 18, 2009 | Reply

    • Look I feel very much for you, just because you recognized your issues and try to seek help. You will get somewhere for sure. I know this is my simple opinion but I know my guts are usually right. Keep looking and asking for help. Only the ones that dont do anything will get nowhere. I’m just amazed for this particular issue call ODD, that you accepted to recognize it. Because that is usually the main problem from ODD not to accept it in other words to say ‘Yes I have ODD’ and I thought you need to be encouraged and congratulated for making the 1st most important step. I wish my husband will recognize it too like you. So good job to you.


      Comment by Agnes | September 7, 2010 | Reply

  10. I believe I have ODD. I began again to search for this diagnosis after a friend told me about a friend of hers who was diagnosed as a child. I was never officially diagnosed, but I definitely seem to display about every DSM-IV tendency and I feel for all of those people around me! I want to stop and I have tried countless therapists over the years and none have aided in my cause as of yet. I am tired of the cycle, tired of being so argumentative,but like what all of you say in your writing it is a pattern, and a tough one to stop. For me, it is like I start a conversation and before I know it I am being contradictory and argumentative. I try and try and now I am losing sleep and becoming depressed over the whole ordeal because I know that I want to stop becasue it is like my mouth is getting the best of me. For those of you who do not have this issue probably think it might be easy to just “try” to turn off this switch by awareness and perhaps it is the first step (??), but please be patient with us adults who are working to better ourselves in this very difficult battle with words that seem to want to speak for themselves.


    Comment by troubled | March 10, 2009 | Reply

    • I don’t know the treatment (I have anxiety and depression), but maybe I can pitch a few ideas and see what sticks:
      – meditation and relaxation exercises;
      – mindfulness – ask yourself several times a day “What am I feeling?”
      – check if any medication might help. I take Celexa, which works fine for me, but not necessarily other people.
      – assertiveness training – it might teach you more socially acceptable ways of expressing yourself.
      – writing – I once went through trauma that I had to describe in detail for a possible lawsuit. It didn’t cure me, but writing brought some relief: all that writing turned into a chore.
      – Train yourself to do something while conversing which might make it harder to argue. What do you do physically when you argue? Change it. I find it harder to talk to myself if I loosen my jaw. My husband finds it hard to talk if he can’t gesture with his hands.

      Read up about neuroplasticity – “The Brain That Changes Itself” was a tremendous inspiration for me when I was in therapy.

      Good luck!


      Comment by Viviane | June 19, 2013 | Reply

  11. OMG. I have an older sister who is married to a nut case. As I am reading and researching his behavior I think he may have had or had some type of ODD or other disorder. He has been married with my sister for 17 years and his anger has only gotten worse. He continues to have more and more control over her so much that we cant even see her anymore. Their last fight he asked her to ask her family to stop calling her. She refused he got so mad he went home broke frames made holes in walls. During his rage he cut himself on a glass and began to wipe his own blood on my sister. I am so scared he will kill her one day. But she still wont leave him. She is so brain washed. What can I do to help her????


    Comment by Diana | March 18, 2009 | Reply

    • Oh dear, I totally feel for your sister and can relate to the brain washing thing. My husband suffers from ODD and the past 9 years have been hell. He too isolated me from my family, took away my truck and forced me to stay home with a child that wasn’t even his (don’t ask!). He is a total control freak and fails to thrive in every work environment. I never had a diagnosis for him until my therapist mentioned ODD tonight at our session. I looked it up and he is a poster boy for the disorder, except for the fact that he’s 40 years old. My therapist has given me the tools to stop him in his tracks so my advice to anyone who lives with a person with ODD is go get therapy yourself. You will learn so much! I am now able to cope with the stress, will eventually get over my anger due to the way I’ve been treated all these years, and last but not least, get over the anxiety panic disorder that was triggered after 6 years of confinement. Empower yourselves girls, or you’re never going to make it with him! I’m now going back to college at 38 to become a psychiatric nurse, still dealing with the husband but at least I got him to agree to go to therapy and hopefully he’ll get on some medication too… Though my psychiatrist has already told me he’d refuse to treat him if ever he was given a referral. Oh the shame!


      Comment by Carrie | January 12, 2011 | Reply

    • Please read it may give insight:
      My boyfriend of 2 years has (subjective?) ODD. He is also a severe addict, the worst I’ve seen… Heroin, crack, meth, oxys u name it. Now when he sobers up his personality improves drastically. Different person altogether- loving, compromising, sensitive. On any one of these drugs, more than 3 drinks, or plain anxiety meds- ODD reappears. I know this must sound very common sense; but I say this because I am wondering for those of u who have spouses/children with ODD and (seemingly?) split personalities have u ever thought it may be DRUG related???
      I suggest all of u keep a VERY close eye on your loved ones. Those split personalities, obsession over petty issues, contrary, sarcastic/condescending remarks, the ultra ridiculous know it all behavior- ALL INDICITIVE OF DRUG ABUSE. ESPECIALLY IF IT IS ADULT/TEENAGE ONSET OR WORSENS WITH TIME!!
      Ive realized my boyfriend does drugs in order to spite me as sick as it is. I believe he had slight ODD initially as a child maybe which escalated into this little rebellious boy mindset he can’t shake. Wanting to be right at any expense. Trying to convince himself and others their lies are REAL and I swear he believes his own lies sometimes? Does that ring familiar with u guys? Like I’m talking delusional path liar x50.
      Also I find he will disregard my advice to take the exact same advice given of a stranger in front of my own eyes.
      As a child His father was a lazy alcoholic and mother a hardworking, strong woman who eventually became an alcoholic herself to cope with life I’m sure. He has respect for his mother and dislikes his father(still married) but yet I try to understand why he has this BAD MOMMY attitude towards me and apparently every relationship he’s been in…


      Comment by FML | August 7, 2016 | Reply

  12. I know how you are feeling..I am trapped…I am in college at the age of 41 and taking a psy course. I stumbled across this and OMG that what my husband has. I could not figure out all these years his behavior has gotton worse. I lost my job I think it was due to him 3 years ago. Now I return to college to better myself and my kids sake as well. I feel so trapped. I thought allt his time he had ADHD and a substance abuse prob and now the latest phase alcohol. I am so worn out and I feel that I am in my 50’s….There is no sunshine here and very depressive. He always kieeps track of me and knows where I am going all the time even the route to school. If I do not give him the info, he thinks I am sleeping around. These are not his kids, He saved me 11 years ago froma abusive husband. I thought I found my prince charming but, I also found out that he has divorced 2 others ones and ran with his kids to no where in sight. I wish I was able to talk to the other women. I am not judgemental person but like to get more history our of them and why they ran. I am reading so many of your responses to get out, I did 5 years ago thanks to my mother when she came into town. He went to another older women and stayed with her, very controlling and high on MEth and then we found him snooping around my home and got in the house without us noticing and email all my friends and wrote down all my numbers to friends that I just made and pooffff they are gone. They told me what happen years later and sask me if I was with him, they shook their head and said I was crazy but i feel that I nned to help him or he is going ot be burried sic feet under…..My health is going down the tubes and today we had it out with him to stop drinking, it is another phase but I said no. now he is not talking to me and threaten to burn the house down if I leave him. I am stuck the behavior seems to get worse every year and I have told many doctors but they are not listening. He is a manipulator big time…So for now….I am quite, go to school and tip toe around the house not saying a word. I feel I am a prisoner in my own home. My kids are old enought o realize this. but what can they do. They are wonderful kids and my husband does not attack them, he tries to get them on his side against me and say I provoke the fight. They know I do not but my kids do this to stop him from exploding and I go thru hell…..
    I grad next spring and then I am finally away from him for good….I will nto tell him where I am going because he is so stuck in his mind that we are not going anywhere but my house is falling apart. I probqably said to much but you can tell I need the help..


    Comment by dawn | March 20, 2009 | Reply

  13. I am 21 years old and was diagnosed with ODD when i was about 8. i have continued to have ODD my whole life, but reading all of these posts i’ve come to realize that mine disorder is no where near as bad as i thought it was. is it possibly to only have it at work or at home? i am only defiant and annoying at work, i manipulate everyone at work, and everyone ends up hating me with in a few months time. but apparently, i’ve been the best girl friend and best friend for the past 2 years. i’m in no way controlling or abusive mentally, emotional, or physicly to anyone at home. i only have these signs at work. is weird or is it just me?

    if anyone could shine some light on this subject for me it would be great, because i’m in the military, and i would hate to lose my job over something like ODD because i couldn’t follow the rules.


    Comment by Chelsi | March 26, 2009 | Reply

    • I’m 52 and can relate to you Chelsi. I recall wanting to join the military when I was young because I knew that I had no discipline and constantly challenged everything in life. I’ve just run across ODD and have never been diagnosed with anything, likely because I did so well at home. I was a great father-husband but that was because I did have a kind set of parents even if they were totally detached. Eventually I ruined two marriages and one after 20 years. I have constantly struggled with keeping a job and I find myself challenging everyone, all the time and finding any reason to justify my actions. Any reason is good enough except that I am the cause. My only advice is probably counter intuitive but a lot of good advice is; like if you are trying to lose weight, don’t eat less, eat MORE but of good things. That is counter intuitive to the concept of diet. My counter intuitive advice is to love yourself and define who you are, what you want and give yourself permission to ask for it. My guess is that you have been the best girl friend, potentially at the risk of your own well being. What I mean by that is that we put ourselves in situations that make it easy to blame others for our problems. Being a good girlfriend means you have done nothing wrong. Instead, makes some mistakes, ask for what you want and don’t be afraid that the world will fall apart when you do. When I gave myself permission to ask for what I wanted, there was no one else to blame but myself and everything changed for me. It took a lot to get me to where I’m at, including having my 14 year old son lock me out of the house and cast me out of his life. I was trying to control him at at time when he is likely at the height of ODD symptoms himself. Not a good combination. Good luck at work; I still struggle and always will but at least I am aware.


      Comment by Jerry | October 6, 2016 | Reply

  14. I have been diagnosed with adult adhd on 5 2007. I also wondered if I have odd.I was adopted as a baby, but I never really bonded with anyone. I tolerate being with people but I am happy to be alone. I don’t understand why anyone really loves someone. I never loved anyone, but I like certain people. I am divorced I have a daughter but I never bonded with her and I never will. She is now 18 and only lives about 10 miles from me.I was told I had postpartum depression about 3weeks after she was born. I have seen her about 15 times in 18 years. I used to feel bad but I don’t feel anything. The more people pushed for me to love her the more I pushed back. I also feel alot of anger,and if anyone says do something I will do the opposite. I have a terrible time learning anything new. I am passive agressive, also manipulative. I am now 41 I have been with someone for 15 years, I do not live with or will I marry this person. I will use people if you have nothing for me I have no reason to talk to you. I don’t like being me but thats the way I am. I don’t know what to do. I am happiest being at home with my cats reading a book or watching TV.I also can turn off all emotions. I want to know why I am the way I am. The problem is I will push everyone away who tries to help. I want help but I won’t accept any because I don’t know how. This is the first time in 41 years I can even admit to anything. I want help but I probably would not know how to accept it.


    Comment by Deb | March 28, 2009 | Reply

    • Deb – you need to read about reactive attachment disorder.


      Comment by John | April 16, 2010 | Reply

  15. Deb, I feel your pain and I truly urge you to seek a nutritional doctor such as ones found in Pennsylvania.

    I do not in any way work for them. I only know of individuals who have received relief from the emotional symptoms that you are speaking of. God be with you!


    Comment by Jen | April 5, 2009 | Reply

  16. I cannot think of a more illustrative example of ODD in an adult than Cindy Anthony.


    Comment by Connie | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  17. Wow. Many of you seem to have just completely given up on these people who you supposedly love. I have adult ODD and I struggle every day to live life normally, I have since before I can remember. It seems so unfair that there are all of these people constantly living life around you who have it so much easier. ODD makes everything so much more complicated. And I just hope the people that I love don’t read your harsh comments like, “Get out!” I would hate for my husband to just give up on me. You all may not understand how hard it is to not give up on ourselves everyday, maybe if we don’t have those around us to love us we will give up.


    Comment by Christine | April 27, 2009 | Reply

    • Please help me understand. I have been with my boyfriend off an on since i was 13 now i am 22. We have 2 kids together and he has been out of work for 6 months. I love him but do you no how hard it is to get along with someone when they are not happy they want to make you miserable. He has ODD and out of work and i can not even get him to help clean our house. He is not working now but he won’t help me because he says he don’t enjoy it. He says the only thing that keeps him sane is video games and watchind dvds. I want to be understand but how when he expects me to work and take care of the house. While he sits infornt of tv all day. Someone please advise me on what to do. He is going insane so he pisses me off on purpose because he is not happy.


      Comment by Laura | June 5, 2009 | Reply

    • I have only just found this site and totally agree with you Christine. I was diagnosed as a child and I am extremely hard to live with and have already had one husband “get out”! I certainly hope that my current (and hopefully forever) husband doesn’t give up on me.
      I found it extremely offensive to read the comments above. It is difficult enough to live every day without people like this saying that you are a nut case or that they feel trapped in a relationship with someone with the same disorder that I have.
      Read up on ODD and learn how to deal with it instead of just giving up on the person you love because they are difficult to live with… its not that hard to get help.


      Comment by Kylie | November 15, 2010 | Reply

      • i just found this site and saw your comment i’m going through a tough time with my wife right now. i’m involved with a court case where i was injured and the opposing lawyers brought up my medical history and i was never told i that they were diagnosing me with odd i have known i have ADHD but that was it. reading all of this crap about people giving up on the ones they say they love is sad it sounds like there is no hope for meand i just found out about this. and after reading everything by all of these people i have no hope to ever make my wife happy again unless i just go and eat a bullet to make everyone happy again. hopefully i can find some better answers then what i have on here cause i don’t want to lose my wife she is the most important in my life


        Comment by booboo2011 | February 4, 2012

      • My thoughts exactly! Not everyone with odd is as “horrible” as everyone is saying…..I’ve had it pretty much since the day I was born and I’m trying to find things to encourage Me and help me quit and possibly give me something to explain to my partner to help him understand so we can work together to overcome it because it’s hard to overcome if only one person is attempting to help (we argue and its both of us at fault so it can set Mr off worse) but this forum just left me hurt and frustrated.


        Comment by tians | May 10, 2014

    • hi my son has had o.d.d from he was a child he is now near 17 me and his dad has went throught hell with him but never ounced did we ever say we give up on him he still has it .people has even said to us how are you to still togeather with what you.v went throught but he,s are son and we will always be there for him i do really fell sorry for him as he.s no friend or life but he,s got us and thats the main thing


      Comment by agnes | June 10, 2012 | Reply

    • My son is tu’ rning 18 and the group home that he has been in has kicked him out starting next month. He has odd and adhd and depression.. medication 4 times a day. He also has anger outbursts. Hes coming back to live with me and we already are talking about rules and what we both need to work on for this to work. Any advice would be appreciated. I dont’ want to see him get into major trouble or in another home.


      Comment by Penny | June 14, 2016 | Reply

  18. Christine-

    What do you do to make life more bearable for your husband? Are you honest and open about having ODD? Do you go to therapy? Has time made your ODD better or worse?

    My husband has every symptom of ODD, as does my stepson who recently moved in with us. Neither of them seem to be aware of their contentiousness, in fact, they spend a great deal of time telling us that (the rest of us) are as contentious or difficult as they are. I am getting despressed and would rather be at work than home.

    Tell me how spouses are supposed to treat spouses with ODD. Good luck to you.


    Comment by Diane | April 27, 2009 | Reply

  19. I have been married to my husband for 7 years. Ive always believed that his behavior was kind of “off”. He becomes very abusive to people if they get in his way. For example, in the grocery store he will stand in the middle of the aisle so people have to wait until he moves instead of letting them go around him, gets very frustrated if he has to wait in a line, is very easily “stressed out”. In our 7 years of marraige he has left me 5 times. Always at tax time, takes off to Vegas. Goes until he calms down and comes home broke. I know that he had a very bad childhood and like I’ve seen others write, in “sickness and health” has always been my reasoning for letting him come back home. It is a very hurtful thing for people living with this type of person to have to deal with. I have tried to even make therapy the only way to allow him to come home, but as soon as he’s home “he’s ok” and claims to not need therapy. I love him very much, I believe in his outbursts of leaving he has had affairs, but I also know that he is sick, its a very hard road to travel with this type of person. Im about to give up!!


    Comment by Mary | May 3, 2009 | Reply

    • My husband has severe ODD. I know only a little about his troubled childhood because he is also a compulsive liar. He’s had affairs, been on crack, faked suicide attempts for attention three times, becomes seriously violent, has tried to run me down with his truck, destroyed thousands of dollars of property and that’s just to name a few. Now the verbal abuse has started on our son who is now 13. My son is NOTHING like his dad. Straight A’s and accepted into NWU while still in 7th grade. However, both of my husband’s children from his 1st marriage are just like my husband. My husband’s passive aggressive behavior is becoming unbearable. I don’t know how to deal with it anymore. I had a spinal cord accident and I am no longer able to care for myself independently. I feel trapped and ready to toss in the towel. The put downs and the lies hurt so much. But what I think hurts the most is that he seems to derive great pleasure from the hurt he inflicts. He was a master at hiding this behavior when we met and for the first year of our relationship. But everything changed when I got pregnant with our son. By the time the baby was born I felt like I didn’t even know him anymore. He makes a game out of it and plays it like a champ. And to see how he enjoys hurting others is becoming painfully impossible to live with.I don’t know what I’m going to do.


      Comment by April | June 21, 2009 | Reply

    • How are things now? My boyfriend of 10 and a half years sounds exactly like your husband, and I am hoping that today is the end. I could use some advice.


      Comment by Dafna | May 30, 2010 | Reply

  20. Wow, I was diagnosed with ODD at the age of 15 and had probably suffered from it from a very early age. I refused to comply with any treatments and have never completed any treatment to date. For a long time I thought the whole thing was suspicious – aren’t all teens oppositional and defiant? now that I am into adulthood(30’s) I am beginning to realize the troubles it has caused in my life especially with loved ones I am moody and while I have believed that my “free thought” was a good thing to be excepted I realize also how it bring down others emotionally. I have not really had issue with maintaining jobs, but close relationships are harder. What I deem as my unwavering need for dependence just doesn’t allow others “in”. I have been in a loving relationship with my current bf for a little over 3 years and sometimes when he exhaustedly explains why he can not talk to me right now because I will just say the opposite I pity him. Like some of the others with this disorder have explained, I really don’t try to negatively affect others with my behavior, it is nearly impossible for me to see coming until I am in the thick of it and others responses to my behavior just frustrate me more- especially because I do not know how to stop it? Seeing this post, I will seek help.
    *as a side not it’s interesting what someone posted about nutrition therapy. I had many problems with substance abuse and alcoholism when I was younger. I became clean and sober at the age of 26 and I have definitely adapted a much healthier lifestyle and diet (I have also been working in the health food industry for years)I have always felt this change as a turning point in my life things just got so much easier for me, of course I still have my obstacles, but easier than in the past that is for sure.


    Comment by me | May 5, 2009 | Reply

  21. I am an abused/battered mother – my son is 23 and still abusing me. He just broke my windshield with his fist the other day because I said NO to giving him money. What can we do??? He can’t hold a job and is starting to abuse alchohol now so it is getting worse… HELP!


    Comment by Dondanjo | May 7, 2009 | Reply

    • Not to seem insensitive…but are you kidding!!!!?????He is an adult…kick him to the curb and stop enabling bad behaviour…take your own life back.

      Best of luck!


      Comment by Diane | October 19, 2009 | Reply

    • I am also an abused mother. My son is 25 years old and has his own family. He has been a little off since he was around 12 years of age. Been to every Dr, psychiatrist and psychologist but they all say it is the drug use but I am sure there is something else. To his children, he only behaves the very best but to me he is very disrespectful and abusive and blames me for everything. He has assaulted me several times, cut my brake lines in the car and stole from my home. Now he has threatened my life. I have no feelings at all for my son – only for the children. He is an adult and needs to accept the consequences for his actions as he continually does things he should not be doing. One day hopefully he will learn a very hard lesson.


      Comment by Debbie | December 29, 2012 | Reply

  22. Diane
    I was in therapy from a very young age. After many doctors literally gave up on me I figured out that you can’t fix someone who can’t see that they’re broken. I have helped myself about as much as I think is possible. I believe that you need constant therapy to try to cope with this disorder. Unfortunately I can’t return to therapy because it would jeopardize my husband’s career. He understands this and is thus more forgiving of my issues, but he also had complete understanding of my disorder from the beginning of our relationship and accepts me with my flaws.

    The best thing that I think you can do is expose your loved ones to the information about ODD. For a long time I felt like I was wondering around in life not understanding why I was so angry and why everything was so difficult for me. When I was in my early teens I attended a seminar about ODD and I learned that this was what I had. After being officially diagnosed I felt like there was a reason and knowing why is the first step to trying to stop the behavior.

    Also, they will probably see any attempt to help them as an attack and they will think that you think something is “wrong” with them. But you have to deal with their anger if you want to help them. And the only thing you can do is constantly try to help them and reassure them that you love them no matter how they are and you just want them to be happier in life.

    I know that people with ODD often times don’t seem like they deserve help because they can be so cruel. But there must be some reason why you love them and you just have to remember that most of us are good, kind people who have a disorder and deserve help.


    Comment by Christine | May 14, 2009 | Reply

  23. I lived with my husband for 30 years and knew all those years that there was something terribly wrong with him. I, too, begged him to get help. We went to family counseling for a while off and on, but he always ended it after 3-4 sessions. He wasn’t the problem. I see now that has all the symptoms of ODD: defiant, mean, abusive, angry, paranoid, controlling, manipulative, self-centered, lacking compassion, irresponsible, moody…I lived in denial all those years, always telling myself that it would get better. He was diagnosed with ADD, at the age of 60. I believe he does have ADD, but I think he also has ODD. I loved my husband very much — still do — but I couldn’t live with him any more. I left with my youngest child (the others were grown) — and the peace in our new home has been so wonderful. My heart aches for my ex-husband. He is not happy and I don’t think he ever will be. He has no friends and his children don’t want anything to do with him. It’s as if he can’t control this demon inside his mind. I haven’t given up on him and he is still in my life. I invite him over to dinner every night, I offer him a place to go for comfort, to visit his daughter, to find solace, but because it is my place, I can ask him to leave when his behavior becomes abusive. I can see improvement in him. He IS trying, but he has such a long way to go. He is in counseling, but it isn’t really helping — because he truly believes the problem is not him.
    To those of you who are living with someone who has ODD, I would encourage you to get into therapy — both of you –individual therapy at first and if he makes progress, then together, but your therapist can guide you. I was in individual therapy for 4+ years after my husband and I separated, and it made all the difference in the world.
    I wish I could give you encouragement, but I don’t think a marriage to someone with ODD will be a happy, successful one. I want to shout at the top of lungs: GET OUT OF THE MARRIAGE NOW, but I also feel it important to honor the marriage vows. There are probably some success stories out there and hopefully someone will submit a comment to that effect.


    Comment by Stephanie | May 19, 2009 | Reply

  24. Recentlty I mentioned my GF bahavior to a friend. He said it sounds like ODD! After reviewing the symptoms this descibes her to a tee. She’s mad at the world, blaming other poeple for her short coming and out burst from the clear blue. We live in separate places and some days I literally walk out the front door to avoid further conflict. Even her family has noticed the same behavior and wonders where all the anger comes from. It is absolutely horrific to deal with the stress and pressure this person puts on me. Scarier yet she talks about getting married. From the comments I’ve read it sounds like I should cut my losses before it’s too late!


    Comment by Jim | June 2, 2009 | Reply

  25. All of the stories about having to leave a spouse with ODD would have been my story, too, if it had not been for Melatonin & 5HTP therapy for my husband. He suffered from chronic depression all his life with a host of other disorders attached including ODD, and near split-personality disorder. He was 50 years old before we realized he had depression and discovering the Melatonin 5HTP therapy that completely changed his life. Visits to the psychologist helped him work out some issues from the past, but going into the future, it’s the 5HTP and Melatonin that has made him a new man. It may not be the answer for everyone; still, I highly recommend it to anyone suffering from this disorder. Both are natural substances with no serious, if any, side affects.


    Comment by Made It | June 8, 2009 | Reply

    • Made It, what is this Melatonin & 5HTP therapy? I’ve never heard of it but am very interested in learning more about it.


      Comment by Stephanie | June 25, 2009 | Reply

    • They have to be willing to take it though….and they have to be willing to follow through. I like the idea though but I guess I’ve lost hope.


      Comment by Cathy | October 28, 2009 | Reply

    • I would really like to know what was the doseage that worked for your husband?


      Comment by Heather | March 16, 2010 | Reply

    • made it i hope everything is going well with your marriage. your story is the only one i have read so far that gives me some hope for my self i just found out i have odd apparently it was discovered a while back and i was never told i could never explain why i have ever reacted the way i have to certain things till i just started reading up on this topic i hope everything has worked out for you and your husband. if he is anything like me he may not ever say it enough but i’m sure he is so very thankful to have you in his life. i hope to find whatever help i can because i love my wife more than anything and don’t want to loose her. good luck and god bless


      Comment by booboo2011 | February 4, 2012 | Reply

  26. I was married to a man, I am now sure has ADD and ODD. My 9 year old daughter has been diagnosed with both disorders and I see all the same symptoms in him that I see in her. I was never quite sure what he had, but always knew something was off. He is very irritable, self centered, mean, a alcoholic, defiant, oppositional always ready to fight and be difficult. Although he maintains his position at work and has been a good provider, he has been a neglectful husband and father. He goes against everything I say not to do with kids, if I say no candy you better believe he will buy it by the ton, and so on… I finally left him 9 months ago and yes my life has improved, but there is still difficulty because we have 2 children 7 and 9 and he manages to do everything he can to annoy. Everything I try to do to help my daugther who has ADHD and ODD he will purposely go against me. Living with both of them at the same time was horrible. Now I am working on helping her so she can be a better person and enjoy her life. There is such a void of compassion and love in these people, it has been almost a year since we have separated and he has never yet discussed our marriage our children or what is next. He is unwilling to get help and you just can’t stay with someone if they are making your life and miserable with no hope of changing. If you are married to someone with this disorder don’t count on them changing because if they do not get professional help, it will be a long challenging road. Good Luck!


    Comment by Chris | June 8, 2009 | Reply

  27. I am thankful for finding this page. I heard about ODD only recently, but it perfectly describes my 53 year-old boyfriend of 4 years. I have never met someone who ALWAYS disagrees with every statement, is becoming more negative by the day, believes everything is a conspiracy, has disproportionate tantrums related to the situation and acts as a teenager would when they can’t get their way. In his teen years, he went into rehab 2x for alcoholism but his parents were unable to control his temper. I can’t believe that he was “so good” at hiding who he really is from me for so long. I think he has perfected his craft. My first clue should have been his lack of a relationship for 20 years. He blamed it on his alcoholism (he was sober when I met him) and continues to be sober; however, I believe that his drinking & raging was due to undiagnosed ODD. What do you think?


    Comment by Dee | June 12, 2009 | Reply

    • I know what you mean Dee. My husband is the master of his evil craft. He hid it perfectly for over a year until I was married and pregnant with his son. I thought someone had switched my husband with a stranger. Fourteen years later I am still fighting the fight and battling the battle. He’s on several psych meds but nothing has helped- and we’ve tried them all. I refuse to be with him in public because he is SO utterly embarrassing. And I live in a very small town and that makes it only more embarrassing. He will deliberatly put the grocery cart in the middle of the aisle and if someone bumps it he says something rude or he will pass gas right at them. Making a BIG production of it so that he’s sure that everyone is aware of what he did. I’ve tried Christianity. My father is a deacon and a Mason. He’s tried to help him. I’ve tried to get him to see a psychologist for therapy and he thinks they all conspire against him. I’ve begged him to switch psyciatrists to see if a different doctor might offer a new approach. As bad as I HATE to have to say this, it’s become painfully obvious that he enjoys tormenting family, friends, strangers, pets… There seems to be no answers.


      Comment by April | June 21, 2009 | Reply

    • I am currently in the same situation as you Dee. My partner of 5 years is showing all the signs of ODD. It has got progressively worse over the last 3 years and I am on the brink of leaving. He does not see or admit to any wrong doing. He is constantly argumentative, disagrees with nearly everything I say, is negative to any new ideas and knows everything about everything (even when I know for a fact he has no knowledge or experience).
      If I question him, he becomes angry and accuses me of not believing him, not trusting him and says I think he’s dumb. None of this is true. He becomes disproportionately irritated over VERY minor things and screams and yells when he is misunderstood. He can get out of control very quickly – throwing things, breaking things, hurting himself. If I ask him to do something for me, he will do anything else except that very thing. This could be as simple as asking him to move so I can get to a drawer, etc. he refuses to agree or to commit to any idea I have about the house or our relationship. I have tried (very calmly) talking to him on many occasions but he just turns it all back on to me. Apparently, it is all my fault. He’s been off work for over 2 years now due to a dispute with another staff member ( which he has refused to have mediation with). He is seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist for this problem at work but neither of them seem to be helping him.
      I am at my wits end. Part of the problem is that none of his friends or family see this behaviour (except his adult daughter who has moved back in with us and who is being treated as badly as me). And I feel I am dealing with him entirely on my own. And it exhausts me.
      The fact is, I have seen the beautiful, generous and calm side to him. That is the man I fell in love with. I have some understanding of mental illness and I think I am a compassionate woman. But I just cannot make him see what he is doing, the damage he is causing. It is always someone else’s fault.
      I don’t know what to do.


      Comment by Denise | July 6, 2015 | Reply

  28. My daughter just turned 23. She still lives at home, and has had obvious symptoms of ODD her entire life, as well as ADD. She also has Poly-cystic ovary syndrome. Sha loan for her. e dropped out of college, and is running around every nite, stayig out very late, sometimes until dawn. She smokes pot, drinks, smokes cigarettes, and does nothing to take care of her health concerns. She has been fighting with me for 20 years, defying everything I say and do. I always thought she was put on this planet to torment me for the rest of my life. I want her to move out, she refuses, her father flatly refuses to take her in, and no one wants her. She has no money, and I refuse to co-sign a loan for her. HELP! I don’t know where to turn and what to do.


    Comment by Shari | June 16, 2009 | Reply

    • Stop enabling her!…period!


      Comment by Diane | October 19, 2009 | Reply

  29. Havin had a friend who is pretty certainly ODD, it was very harrowing to receive friendship one minute and then get the cold shoulder because of something that displeased him. Arguments, verbal abuse, lack of empathy all of that. Thank goodness it stayed a friendship and never went further. One thing I found that helped me retain my cool was stepping right back when he got angry and oppositional – the upset and heart racing are there, but by an almost superhuman effort, I just go and try to focus on something else. It is easier as I don’t have to live with the guy . I understand now that he is ‘driven’ by something he probably does not understand himself and it has cost him many friends. The hardest thing is he sees no problem – it is always someone else’s fault – a person, the government or the country’s fault. I have found that doing something and succeeding in something, no matter how small, is a great buffer against these types of people. Also having friends who are nice and making sure that one is in regular contact with them is another great buffer.
    Trouble is, a lot of these people end up alone, without jobs, and still blame the world. The only way to begin to deal with these people is to have some distnace, at least internally – a radical re-think. For those caught in relationships with them, if one can’t get away, a radical reorganisation of life, and a supporitve network [even if mostly in secret] is absolutely essential.


    Comment by Alice | June 18, 2009 | Reply

    • I left my x husband with ODD, and I was terrified of him stalking me, or finding me and doing harm to me or my family. He did stalk me, driving by often and leaving me notes where I was living. They were always notes apologizing and saying that he would change if I came back. He never did me any harm, and I never saw him again after I left him.
      Don’t let fear cripple you from finding freedom! You deserve to be happy, and your kids too> Think of the damage this man has done to all of you! The sooner you get out, the better, and healing your lives can begin.Their threats are a way of manipulating you for their benefit, and alot of what they threaten is alot of hot air.(Not in every case though)
      My prayers are with you! God bless!


      Comment by Shelley | June 23, 2009 | Reply

  30. Does anyone know the statistical liklihood of being physically hurt, stalked etc. when leaving a man with odd?
    I have waited because I had children and always feared he’d go over the deep end. He mutters hateful things in the shower, beleives I am the source of all family troubleand was scary (hitting the wall etc) while drinking. I am thinking of filing for separation but am afraid even though the kids are over 16, that we will be at risk physically. Does anyone out there know, or is this hate just a big show?


    Comment by rose | June 19, 2009 | Reply

    • ooops… I responded to the wrong reply. My reply is above yours.


      Comment by Shelley | June 23, 2009 | Reply

    • I left my x husband with ODD, and I was terrified of him stalking me, or finding me and doing harm to me or my family. He did stalk me, driving by often and leaving me notes where I was living. They were always notes apologizing and saying that he would change if I came back. He never did me any harm, and I never saw him again after I left him.
      Don’t let fear cripple you from finding freedom! You deserve to be happy, and your kids too> Think of the damage this man has done to all of you! The sooner you get out, the better, and healing your lives can begin.Their threats are a way of manipulating you for their benefit, and alot of what they threaten is alot of hot air.(Not in every case though)
      My prayers are with you! God bless!


      Comment by Shelley | June 23, 2009 | Reply

  31. My first husband had all the symptoms of ODD, he was possessive, controlling, abusive,argumentative, faultfinding, and he was never wrong, but everyone else was to blame for everything.We were married only 6 months, and I had to get out because the stress was making me physically sick, and he resorted to threatening to kill me several times.After I left him, within a few weeks I found out I was pregnant with his child. My child never was diagnosed with ADHD, but I always assumed Terrie had it, and tried cutting out perservatives and treating it with natural methods.She is 22 now, and has always been defiant, never feels remorse for doing wrong, is vengeful, spiteful, and hateful.She is narcisstic, and talks non stop about herself, but when we talk she’ll say:”Shut the f- up! I don’t care about what you have to say!” She never appreciates anything we do for her, all she does is use and abuse us (Not physically yet….but it is getting where I worry about it more and more) She can’t keep friends, she has no motivation for doing any better in life, and she blames us for everything that did not go right in her life. She is a high school drop out, and abuses both drugs and alcohol. She is exactly like her father who I left for the same reasons! I am reliving my nightmare all over again! I can’t divorce her like I did her father, she’s my child, and I do love her and want to help her, but she refuses my advice!


    Comment by Shelley | June 23, 2009 | Reply

  32. My son has all the symptoms of ODD. He was identified in the service with a personality disorder. He had a breakdown in 2000, but with no insurance received only minimal care. He took Risparadol and another drug for about 2 years and seemed to have a better life with his family during that time. Alcohol is a big part of his life. He took drugs as a teenager, but when he went into the service he got off them and avoids them now. He was married for many years to the same woman who seemed to understand and take care of him regardless. Now they are getting a divorce. For the first time, he is allienated from his whole family. We have tried everything we know. He has been a cutter, he burns everything in the house that he thinks means something to someone–gifts, things handed down from grandmothers–even things that have meant something to himself. He tries to extort those who love him by threatening to destroy (and destroying) these things. He threatens to “leave forever and change his name.” We know he loves us, but we are exhausted trying to be there for him. I have talked to the police, mobile crisis people, a counselor where he occasionally visits a psychiatrist. He has no income except for a few bucks he earns by working for people who understand or can tolerate his behavior. We have tried to get him on disability twice, but he has been rejected. He has no insurance. All of his family has backed off as we only seemed to inflame his anger. Is there anything we can do? There doesn’t seem to be any agency interested in helping.


    Comment by June | June 27, 2009 | Reply

  33. I need to share with others to what I’m going through. I now believe my brother who is 54 yrs. has had ODD since a young kid. You just never know what will enrage him and he has become violent or threaten one with violence. And oh Lord I can’t believe the defiance. I won’t/can’t bother with him anymore after the recent incident after my father was laid to rest. Am I right by saying that those with ODD seem to think the world resolves around them?

    To make thing worse I believe my mother is effected by this as well. She starts arguments with me over everything and anything. I could go on and on with story after story. Bottom line is after one of her hissy fits she doesn’t speak to me for weeks to a month. Is this what they do?

    When she does speak she does it as though she’s in control and asks like the entire thing was my fault! Please tell me do these people enjoy arguing, belittling and threatening others? She hasn’t gotten physical just verbal. It might be good to mention that she is 82 years old.

    Can someone help me to understand and direct me on how to handle this behavior?
    Thank you


    Comment by Linda | July 9, 2009 | Reply

  34. someone please help me understand.


    Comment by Linda | July 9, 2009 | Reply

  35. Wow, after reading ever post here cowered and cried in a corner. I think I had ODD as a child and it never got treated. As much as I would like to call myself a strong willed person, I can’t seem to overcome this disorder on my own. I can tell now that I have a problem. I have been taken steps to make things better. Ever time I turn a corner or overcome something I do something that puts me 2 steps back before I even notice what I did.

    To make things worse my girl and I are on edge because of the way I act. I really hope I can get help. I want a family, I want to be normal! I feel defective. Can an unstructured childhood really produce such profound disorders? I’m really scared because I want normality and love, but I push it away every time I get it.

    I wish all of you dealing with ODD spouses the best of luck. As much as you would like to help I really think your spouse has to do the changing for themselves. Try to let them know how they hurt you in a loving way.


    Comment by MIke | July 14, 2009 | Reply

    • I wish you the very best Mike and I think you just took the first step by recognizing you may have a problem. If I may ask you or someone who wishes to answer.

      Do people inflicted with ODD get mad over anything and if so do they often not speak for very long periods of time to the person whoes involved? Thanks


      Comment by Linda | July 14, 2009 | Reply

      • I would have to say yes. I have had complications in the past with people. Somehow I seem to block them from my mind, if they don’t contact me I wont call them. Also I will not answer their calls. I don’t know why.


        Comment by MIke | July 15, 2009

      • Mike: I usually don’t respond to comments to posts on this blog since folks know how to get in touch with me directly from the blogsite. Your willingness, however, to be open and honest in your own search for answers has touched a lot of folks. I commend you for it.

        We communicated briefly by email and, in responding to your concerns, the only thing I knew about you in addition to what was on these comments was that you grew up in a home severely affected by alcohol. That’s when I wrote to you what follows. You graciously gave me permission to print it here, in hopes that perhaps both of us could help folks in similar circumstances and, just perhaps, better understand difficult behaviors in loved ones. I would welcome any additional comments you might have.

        Thanks, Mike, and all the best.
        Mike: The issues of which you speak have been accumulating for a lifetime. They won’t go away quickly. Yet arriving at the conclusion that much of the difficulty lies within you, and not everyone else, is a major step in the right direction.

        As you are the child of an alcoholic, I’m almost certain that your father’s whole lifestyle had an impact on you and your family. They call this codepenency. You father depended on alcohol to cope but, in the process, his behaviors toward you were insensitive, demeaning, demanding, overcontrolling, etc. My guess is you resented it tremendously, but you couldn’t do much about it except choke on it.

        My guess is you struggled in school with some teachers, not always directly, but in not doing what you were supposed to do. Yet, there were a few teachers you connected with and, for them, you would walk through fire. My guess also is that you took this into the workplace, too. You wouldn’t get into a boss’ face, but you would drag your feet in a lot of irritating ways.

        (There is another scenario, the “perfect” child, who tries to make up for the dysfunction in the family by being an overachiever. Roles include Hero, Lost Child, Scapegoat and Clown, and all of them pay a price for the dysfunctionality in the family. It’s likely your father went through the same things growing up.)

        All of this has led you where you are today, and it can be fixed. There’s a national group of folks called Codependents Anonymous or CoDA, for short (Google it). When you go to their website, you’ll see a list of symptoms answering the question, “Am I a codependent?” See if they fit, and if you can somehow get active with that group and their meetings. They would know you better than you know yourself, and they have no other motive than to help you work through this.

        I can be way off base on these observations, but I doubt it. I do wish you the best, and encourge you to stay in touch with me. –JDS


        Comment by docspeak | July 15, 2009

      • Getting angry at everything or just many little things is very common I will agree. But I wouldn’t say that ‘the silent treatment’ is a symptom. I think that everyone deals with anger differently. I personally will scream, cry, and talk about something until it’s almost painful to even think about anymore. It all depends.

        I feel like there are a few people leaving comments here whose family members have problems that may or may not be ODD. And just ‘knowing’ what someone has doesn’t make it much better. It’s actually getting the help and fixing yourself from the inside out that makes the difference.

        Just don’t jump to conclusions. Symptoms are not always conclusive. Always encourage a diagnosis from a behavioral health professional.


        Comment by Christine | August 20, 2009

    • Mike,
      I commend you for the courage to admit this. I hope you find the help you need for the sake of those that love you.


      Comment by Cathy | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  36. Help. My daughter, who had ODD, has turned out to be a very successful professional. But, she is married to a man who has at the very least a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He’s lost over 30 jobs, and now only works occasionally, while she works from 6 am to 6 pm to support the family. She is savagely defensive about him, so God forbid we should make a comment. He is also a pathological liar, seems to have no impulse control and is frighteningly passive aggressive. He seems to have no friends, and no one can understand why our daughter married him, including his own family. He has no friends, and spends most of his day plugged into his Ipod. He is obsessed with food, and although he has a fast metabolism our daughter and grand daughter do not. While saying what healthy food he prepares, the fridge has mostly full-fat cheese, red meat, starchy vegs (only peas and corn), and mostly sweet treats for our granddaughter.

    Their only child is my major concern. She very very smart, and has lots of artistic talent, but has been encouraged by her father to be very, very picky about food. She seems to have developed a carbohydrate addiction, and is seriously overweight. While he proclaims that he’s totally committed to providing a healthy diet, all that’s available for our granddaughter is unhealthy food. While there are no green leafy vegs in the house, I noticed that he had 50 potatoes scattered around the kitchen–for 3 people???

    Is there anything I can except worry?


    Comment by Sis | July 18, 2009 | Reply

  37. I’ve read all of these comments and have been wondering if my 23 year old son has not had this condition all of his life. He’s extremely intelligent and argues every point and interrupts most conversations. The frustrating thing is that it seems his anger is directly only at me, his mother. I do do not see him treat others like this. Is this common? It can be so disappointing and hurtful to me.


    Comment by lydia | July 28, 2009 | Reply

    • Sounds to me like an Autism Spectrum disorder, along with ODD…not an expert, just live with it…Google it, see what you think.


      Comment by Diane | October 19, 2009 | Reply

  38. I think of some of the comments above are referring to things other that ODD – but then people often have more than one Personality disorder.
    I know this is an issue in my family – some members have it others do not – I took to calling Pathological Independence until I had one encounter that finally made me be quiet in my own mind and think this behavior through. The person who said ” It’s amazing how fast they can do this negative thing. Lightening fast. You say yes and they immediately say no. You say black, they say white.” has got it – they seem to be genetically programed to oppose anyting coming from another person, does not matter what it is – an invitation to dinner or a suggestion to begin planning for the holidays – but to make an a request or a demand is an invitation for WAR… It has been a relief to figure out that it is ODD. So disruptive and destructive to the family. No collaboration or cooperation in a familial sense. – only opposition and defience to everything.. it is hateful
    How do you handle these family members? Any hints welcome please.


    Comment by Lee | August 9, 2009 | Reply

  39. I’ve read a great deal about this but the only thing I saw about dealing with it was teaching the ODD person to collaborate – therein lies the problem – how do you teach someone to collaborate when they are genetically programed to oppose anything you say?


    Comment by Lee | August 9, 2009 | Reply

  40. Sounds to me like nothing more than the medicalization of dissent. Refuse to accommodate the outrageous behaviors of your so-called superiors? Annoy people by constantly demanding justifications for nonsensical rules? You must have a mental disorder. Here are some pills that will make you more compliant.


    Comment by arkham618 | August 20, 2009 | Reply

    • I know your comment is almost 6 years old but please… tell me you have grown into that pretty vocabulary of yours.

      Maybe take a quick gander at the different personality disorders and tell me which medications we are presumably taking? PD’s are very usually unaffected by any type of medication… but don’t let that keep you from commenting on a topic you know nothing of, please.

      Sometimes I wonder if those who skim through an article just so they can express their extraordinary intellect in the comment section may not be the inflicted ones themselves.


      Comment by Magsy | January 14, 2015 | Reply

  41. My son who is almost 30 and still living at home has “ODD”. He’s never been diagnosed with this but I’ve read up on it enough to recognize the situation. Things between us have been pretty difficult throughout the years obviously and still are, but I am starting to see a little improvement. Over the years we’ve gone through horrid fights and his moving back and forth between my home and his fathers. I don’t know if my son will ever be able to hold a real job, most of the jobs he’s had were hustled up by his dad and were only short term. I also don’t know that he will ever have a relationship, he hasn’t yet and his social skills are terrible. But that’s enough about being completely negative. As I said I’ve seen a little improvement, but alot of that has to do with me and my attitude. I’ve tried to be more accepting of his having a disability and that he can’t control himself the same as I am able to. So I do my best to not react in a negative way to some of his behavior. I try to keep myself in check by asking myself how much of my response is just my ego getting upset because I’m not getting my way. If my son hasn’t picked up after himself or done the dishes or taken out the trash is it really worth getting into a fight over? I’m not saying these things shouldn’t be taken care of, because they should, but just maybe not exactly when I say so. Yes it’s frustrating when things are a mess and he’s sat around all day or night playing games on the computer instead of taking care of business, but its really not worth getting into a fight about, nobody really wins, we just end up with hurt feelings. It’s taken me a long time to learn to be more patient and to accept my sons situation, but I’ve certainly noticed we don’t fight as much and he’s not quite
    as angry and hurt. He is my son and I love him and I miss being able to have fun with him and laugh with him som it’s worth the extra effort.


    Comment by Penny | August 31, 2009 | Reply

    • Again, is this just ODD, or is there a co-existing missed dx like an autism spectrum disorder?
      I see you love him…do him (and You!) a favor, and do some more research about what ELSE he may have.
      Best to you both,


      Comment by Diane | October 19, 2009 | Reply

    • Geez, Where is he now? Six years later. My son acts identical and is 24. I feel like I am going to have a heart attack though. Every day I come home and he is on the computer looking sad and I remember he was the captain of the football team and basketball team. It is breaking my heart. It is not my ego, it is like i cannot take the pain he is experiencing.


      Comment by Catherine (@helenoftroy2) | June 20, 2015 | Reply

  42. Our 30-year old daughter was diagnosed with ODD as an adolescent, but has had ODD behavior all her life. At the time of her diagnosis, we were told there were no effective therapies, that my wife and I needed to take care of ourselves and “get [our daughter] out of the house as soon as possible” (that helped us, but has not helped her). Are there now any effective therapies for adults with ODD? What can we recommend for our daughter?


    Comment by Gary | September 11, 2009 | Reply

  43. Finally. An answer to my question. I had no idea this was a real disorder. I just assumed that my husband was completely negative and self-centered.

    I am not alone. This is comforting and so sad at the same time.

    Stay positive.


    Comment by positivemommy | September 22, 2009 | Reply

  44. Prior to reading the comments I researched mental disorders because five of my family members(3 sisters, 2 brothers)all have similar or same traits. I believe that we all have ODD. I have never seen such dsyfunctional behaviors. I was under the stress of dealing with five personalities. Anything I said or did was opposed by them including protecting my mom from them. They displayed such anger and hate towards me. The lies and dedcitfulness; no intergrity, backbone or character. They try to appear like the loving family. I have been stalked and followed. Adults are obligated and willingly look after aging parents providing them what parents gave us. They tried to make my life a nightmare. You would not believe the things done. I was the scapegoat.

    One sister never could hold a job and/or quit if she did not get what she wanted. It is not a bad decsion when you own a home and car and decide I am not going to work because my will not forgive my loan. Of course, move back in with elderly parent. As other family member also live there. Provided no financial support. Other family(sisters/brother) rallied about her because they had an axe to grind with me. They divert attention to me to deflect the blame my way. They are so abusive and manipulative to others.

    I have learned to avoid them like the plague, stay away. They don’t think anything is wrong with them. My mom is now safe.

    If you tell them the sky is blue, they say it black. I realized my frustration of dealing with them was that they could count to 4 but keep repeating the same behavior. I did not always see this in them but know – there is personality conflicts. After reading the posts, they should seek help, but unfortunately, have not seen any progress, no apology and they act the same. One of the sisters truly should seek medical help asap because -not sure she knows reality.

    I don’t have to deal with them anymore. Yes, they are family, but why would we subject ourselves to undue stress and harm.

    Unforeseen occurences befalls us all. Remember don’t worry about today’s anxieties because tomorrow will have it’s own. We are responsible to maintain a healthy mental attitude. We were given the intelligence do so.

    Of course, J God instituted the marriage bond and other information for our benefit. He does not want us to be constantly beat or hurt for the sake of … some point we have to use our god-given ability to reason and do what is right. Remeber, children live by example.

    I will keep you all in prayer…


    Comment by rebecca | October 3, 2009 | Reply

  45. I am so glad I found this website. My husband and I have been together for almost 9 years. I had (until a year and a half ago) blamed his erratic behavior on alchoholizm and his severely messed up upbringing. He was raised by abusive alcoholics, neglected, belittled, punched, kicked and forced to raise his brother (3 years his junior), keep the house clean, feed and clean-up meals for the two of them, as his parents were truck drivers and weren’t home a lot. He was forced to act the adult role at the ripe age of 7. Things did get a little easier by the time he was 11 and CPS was called. Neighbors had noticed the boys alone for over 5 days without seeing any sign of their parents. The boys were briefly put into an orphanage of sorts.
    He said shortly after that he started smoking pot and not caring about much. He still had a rougher life after that than most people, me anyway, but most of that was because of his bad decisions. He finally quit the pot when he was 35, I met him when he was 38. I knew he drank socially when we met, and I knew he would freak out on inanimate objects, such as machinery at work. (We worked at a sheet metal fabrication company) For a few years I thought he had tourettes syndrome ??? He would just go nuts, cussing, screaming and trowing things, but within 15 minutes he was fine and seemed to care about people around him.
    Since it was never directed at me or any other person I didn’t see it as a warning. When we were together, he was a caring person and seemed to want to enjoy life, accept when he drank, then the demon would surface, so I naturally blamed the beer. I had 3 children prior to meeting him. At the time they were 15, 9, and 4, two older girls and my youngest son. I grew to hate the beer, I’d never seen anyone get drunk off of 2 beers before, but he does, but now it only takes 1 to get his mouth running.
    Being a Libra, I always try to avoid confrontation, but that man would push and push until I reacted. He verbally attacked my children, my pets, and my parenting ( which I am ashamed to admit are my buttons )forcing me to scream back at him. The next day when he was normal again we could talk about everything, but nothing seemed to ever change. Unfortunately my kids have witnessed everything and hate him and can’t respect him. They think he’s a blow hard idiot who doesn’t know anything, but thinks he knows everything. They don’t understand why I don’t kick him out and be done with it. Honestly I think he’d see me dead before he left. I’ve tried to get him to leave, but of course everything is my fault and he did remodel my home about 6 years ago so he says he built that house and he’s not leaving it. I paid it off 7 years ago and it’s all I have. My oldest has moved out, married and had children, my second daughter will be going off to college after this year and that only leaves me, him and my son who’s almost 13. He actually seems to relate a little with my son, because of the video games and football, but he had nothing in common with my girls so he doesn’t understand them and their just typical teens, unworthy of trust, respect or approval. I think they prefer it that way, no contact is better in their eyes.
    Anyway the reason I’m writing is because a year and a half ago my grandson, who is now almost 6 was diagnosed with bipolar mania. I know he’s very young for this diagnosis and his phsychiatrist said he was very reluctant to put that label on him that young, but he did anyway. My daughter went out and bought a stack of books on the topic and we started reading. We learned, through behavior modification, how to deal with him in a more effective way. Because trust me, traditional child rearing wasn’t cutting it. My 4 year old grandson was physically and verbally abusive, only slept 3 or 4 hours a night, indifferent to everyting, depressed one minute and a super hero the next. I was being beaten up everyday.( I watch the grandchildren and am paid well.) Anyway, as I was learning about my grandson, I was also learning about my husband. So many things fit, it was crazy. So I started practicing some of the techniques on my husband and things have improved a lot. My grandson was also diagnosed with ODD and ADHD, he is now medicated and sees his phychiatrist monthly. They are constantly adjusting is meds, which we were told would continue throughout his life. When I read some of your stories I am afraid for his future. We want him to be happy and have the same chances for happiness as everyone else, but his happiness only lasts minutes or hours, so I don’t think it’s true happiness. Does he even realize that he isn’t happy? We don’t know.
    Back to the husband, he is anti-social and has no friends. Ocasionally his brother will come over and his mood improves for a day or two, “everything wrong with his life is caused by dumb-butts who can’t do anything right (like he does) and it keeps the entire world screwed up. If everyone saw things the way he does, nothing would be wrong and he would be happy.” The problem with those statements are that my husband is soooo far into left field with his thinking that if the rest of the world was like him I would have ended it long age. He is OCD about everything and suffers from anxiety, constantly worried about impressing others, but saying what they think doesn’t make a **** to him, because they’re all messed up anyway. I don’t take him to grocery stores so I don’t have that worry, but he does embarrass me to no end regularly at home. My kids insist on bring friends over, in spite of my husbands behavior, and he has to make an ass of himself with his tantrums, lectures that rarely have a point and degrade everyone but him, the neighbors get an earful regularly. We’ve had 3 dogs poisoned in the past 6 years. It seemed like everytime he pissed off the neighborhood, we lost a dog. He’d have a bad day at work, get a beer on the way home and be out of control by the time he got home.
    Where he would proceed to work on something in the garage that would make him mad and heaven help anyone who happened to drive by or walk by or just be outside. He’s gotten into fights outside out fence, gotten into accidents and totalled 1 truck and dented another and of course he still cusses the people who hit him because the whole world is out to make his life miserable. Nothing is ever his fault.
    Anyway forgive my ADD, it gets in the way sometimes. When he starts blowing, I just sit quietly and let him go. Eventually he will stop and I ask him if he’s finished because he won’t let me get a word in unless he’s finished.
    He finally lets me talk and I ask him questions that will make him think, and it also sounds to him like I’m actually interested and on his side. If he thinks I’m judging him or looking down on him it makes me the enemy, so I have to act understanding. I never raise my voice to him anymore, if I can help it, because it prolongs his fit and I just want it overwith. It seems to have helped and it makes him try to come up with his own solutions. I may give him a suggestion on a problem from time to time if I can put it to him in a way that doesn’t sound like I’m challenging him or attacking him. I also bring up past situations, in a quiet manner, so he can reflect of that and it keeps his brain busy instead of his mouth.
    The thing with him is that I don’t even know if I love him anymore, he’s put me and the kids through so much crap, but I guess from dealing with my grandson everyday I have made it a way of life for me. I tell everyone that the only thing that will get me out of this marriage is death, his or mine. I am a christian woman and I rely of God for everything. He knows that God is the ONLY reason I’m still with him. He doesn’t know where he stands with God, one day he’s cursed and doomed to burn, and the next day he wants to live a better life and ask God to help him too.
    He says that I am the longest relationship that he’s ever had and when things are good I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to him, when things are bad I’m a hater and am going to throw him away like everyone else has. I honestly don’t think he knows what love is or is even capable of it, but he can be caring and he doesn’t hit me, so I’m still here. Please research behavior modification and see if you can come up with some ways to make your lives easier, or if you just want out, do it, no one would blame you. I will have to ask God someday why he put this stupid need to fix people in most females, cause He knows how many fixer-uppers I’ve had in my life, unfortunately He also knows that some people can’t be fixed. Thanks for listening.


    Comment by kimberly | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  46. Wow! I feel a sense of relief after hearing all of your stories.


    Comment by Robby | October 8, 2009 | Reply

  47. For the last 6 years my husband and I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with my step-son. There are 4 children between us (1 ours and 3 his). 3 of the 4 are wonderful. Our middle (age 19) is unbelievable. He is the complete package of several of the behaviors listed above. He intentionally defies us, has minor legal issues, smokes, uses drugs and lies about the most ridiculous things. We are very caring middle class parents that love all of our children very much. We tried the counseling avenue with his mother included in the earlier years. He moved in with us 4 years ago after he could not get along with his step-father causing physical altercations and stealing. Getting him through high school was a very daunting task. His mother became a friend after he moved in here so we became the heavies. I was repeatidly in contact with teachers and principals concerning behavior and academic issues. After graduation he enrolled in community school and failed miserably. He sat around doing nothing and even refused to claim unemployment benefits that he was entitled to through his seasonal job as a dishwasher. I mean he just defiantely refused. We gave him a few choices at this point and again he refused to comply. At this, he left the house with no remorse. In 3 weeks time, his car was impounded (he never made any attempt to get it out) and he had 2 minor arrests. Because we are responsible for him until he is 21, we began getting leagal bills. We brought him back, got the car (we held the title and he had to pay us back before he was allowd to have it back) paid the lawyer bill, he had to pay us back and still nothing has changed. In fact it is worse than ever. My husband and I are so tired of the frustration and aggrevations. He is rude and disrespectfull to everyone except his mom. This blows my mind. He has seen her twice since January. It’s worth noting that she totally refused to allow him to move into her house when he left ours and in fact told him he had to go back to our house. In the recent weeks, his car was impounded again because he was pulled over and they found pot in his car. There has been 2 physical altercations 1 with me, 1 with his father. He has cursed us out. In fact right now at 1:53 am, as I am writing this, he just walked in the house like nothing was wrong, looked right at me, said nothing and went to his room. My husband threw him out of the house today because he f-ed him up and down after my husband asked him if he completed his community service from a previous arrest??? It is amazing. This situation has caused so much stress on our marriage and within the family unit. He has no compassion, never says thank you for the things we help with and he has never apologized for any of his wrong doings. It is always everyone elses fault. He somehow has managed to get a nice girlfriend, but it is only a matter of time before that implodes. It is just crazy in our house. I don’t know what made me start googling info tonight. I am so glad I found this. At least we have a new avenue to explore considering everything else has failed. Thanks for letting me vent!!!


    Comment by Robby | October 8, 2009 | Reply

  48. I am a little in shock. I had recently heard about ODD and read the symptoms and thought “this sounds like my husband”. However, I had thought it sounds like a lot of people. Then, I got on here and read some of the “real life” symptoms in all the situations posted and screamed at me to pay attention.

    Can someone help me to understand the disease a little better. Does it feel subtle? I am so confused.

    My husband does argue over everything and cannot take any criticisim but he turns it all around on me. He refuses to stick with any one set of rules when disciplining our children. He lashes out at me calling me a “bitch” b/c I dont want him to lay on me when I am sleeping. It feels like emotional bullying b/c it wears you down. However, he always manages to make me feel that it is my fault or that it is b/c of what I contribute to the situation that causes it to go so awry.

    I too thought he had a “passive aggressive personality”. My husband also had a messed up childhood that included sexual abuse, drug overuse in teens, getting a girl pregnant and ending it in abortion, a previous divorce, affairs on me and two job firings. He believes he is unscathed from all the things in his childhood and has said that if I could just let the other stuff go it would not be a big deal. At one point, I just thought he was immature. I cannot figure out what is my part in this and what is his. He is a very loving father and I know he loves me. That makes this even harder. I am at the end of my rope though feeling like my life is in constant turmoil. It is always a struggle.

    Am I looking at a person with ODD or am I confused? How do you know? What do you do if the person does not think they do anything wrong or will call you crazy if you suggest this to them? Even if I read him all of your stories he would say he is different b/c… or he would say that it is not this bad and that I am being dramatic. HELP!


    Comment by Samantha | October 15, 2009 | Reply

    • omg when i read your blog it sounded like i wrote it myself!!!! Ive been married 13 years and my marriage has been atrain wreck. One ctastrophy after another. I was 7 months pregnant when we got married, after i begged him to marry me, cause he took off and couldnt face the situation. I thought he was just imature. He wont pay our bills on time only after things get shut off he wont open the mail, he argues with me over everything. If i have a rule for our son, my husband completely ignores it and will do the complete opposite. If he thinks someone is driving to close to him in the parking lot he wont dare move over!!! even with our son in the car. Its the constant opposition to EVERYTHING!!! Hes been fired from 2 jobs inthe last two years, but its everyone elses fault. Hes left jobs on very bad terms about to be fired. I will come home with a lead on a job and hell just say no i dont want to work there, no its too far blah blah blah. If i suggest it im screwed!!!!!Meanwhile, we cant pay our bills and have no groceries or insurance,to make sure oyr son with add is able to get his meds. its just not normal!!!!! I would leave if i could but we only have one car cause our credit is so bad we cant get another loan. My credit was perfectwhen i met him. My bills were ALWAYS pai. He has slowly unraveled my life. He has outbursts of anger, but its always my fault.Ive told hom alot that hes emotionally abusive to me, he thinks im dramatic. I think this isthe answer. im not crazy.the worst part is i cant even suggest this to him, even in a gentle loving way, or ill be punished. He will withdrawl from me for days!!! He wont speak to me or help me with chores, nothing. In a way its more peaceful.


      Comment by jenifer | October 22, 2009 | Reply

  49. Gosh, I don’t even know where to start, except that I’m very glad I found this site. I came online to look up info on ODD, hoping to help our daughter whose almost 30 with 2 kids. She was diagnosed at 14 with ODD after I was woken up at 2am by a policeman standing in my bedroom. Seriously! Unknown to us, she has made friends with the worst girl in her class, according to her teacher.

    I called my husband at work (he worked nights then) and he came home. We took her right over to the ER, thinking she was on drugs. She was neg. for drugs but they kept her for a week & she was diagnosed with ODD. The doctor called me & I’ll never forget what he said. He told me she was downright spoiled & had way too much control in our home. And he was right.

    She had been an only child for 11 years before our son came along & she was the center of our world, especially mine, as my husband worked long, rotating hours as a teamster driver. He was usually home on week-ends. Things calmed down for a few years after that, when we put her back into private Christian school.

    But at 16, after my husband let her go back to public school, it started all over again right away. She was out of control and she hated my guts. This is a child who was almost catered to, I’m ashamed to admit. Never laid a hand on her, rarely ever yelled at her.

    Yet, as soon as she got back into public school, she started getting in trouble at school for fighting, refused to do her school work, even though she was A’s & B’s in private school, and started running away. I would spend nights, with our baby son in the car, riding around half the night looking for her. One time, she stayed hidden at a friend’s house for a month. I nearly went crazy with fright.

    Then she met “John” – the biggest loser we ever saw. We did everything we could to keep them apart. She became pregnant at 17 and, unfortunately, she married the jerk. We later found out he was diagnosed as Bi-polar but I’m sure he has ODD as well. Well, that was 12 years ago and they have lived with us most of that time.

    They just moved in one day to our garage apartment. He rarely worked, as he usually got fired from his jobs. He sat around playing video games & being emotionally abusive to me, her, and the kids, constantly refusing to let me see our G-daughters every time he got mad at me. He ran around on our daughter constantly.

    Our daughter actually later calmed down for most of that time & turned out to be a very good mother. She got a job & also put her self through enough schooling to get a better job & has been there part time for about 5 years now.

    A couple years ago, he took up with his latest mistress & walked out 3 days before Thanksgiving. Our daughter & the kids were hysterical. He called on Thanksgiving Day to tell his kids, “Daddy’s not coming home anymore.”

    Needless to say, our daughter completely fell apart, became profoundly depressed and has reverted back again to hating my guts. These two have cost us so much money, wiped out our savings, due to having to basically support another whole family all those years.

    Since he left, she talked her Dad into co-signing an expensive apt. lease & then refused to get a full time job to pay for it. I begged him not to do it but she was always Daddy’s girl. He never said no to her in her life. In the last two years, she’s managed to totally screw up her credit, never pays her bills. We got stuck with her apt. rent. & she has gotten numerous speeding tickets, & now in trouble with law after getting caught with dead tags, speeding, etc. her Atty suggested she agree to some jail time to avoid all the points.

    I’m at the end of my rope. I’ve tried to talk her into counseling & medication but she refuses. I can’t force them out because of the kids and she knows this. She treats her Dad like gold & me like dirt. She screams horrible things at me in front of the kids. She refuses to clean her place or make the kids pick up. It’s a pig sti. She won’t pay rent or even help with utilities. She couldn’t get a place now if she wanted to. She hardly spends any time with her kids anymore & has become downright neglectful. They spend much of their time down with us & we make sure they’re taken care of but they’re doing poorly in school because she won’t pay any attention.

    It’s like watching your child on a runaway freight train & not being able to do anything about it. It’s the worst feeling in the world to love your child so much & know she hates you so much and nothing will ever change. It’s also heartbreaking to watch the pain our G-daughters feel.

    They’ve become very angry, sullen little girls. I’m so scared what will happen with them in a couple years. And now my husband has a bad heart & is on permanent disability. I don’t know what to do. I sit up at night worrying about everyone, like I’m doing now at 1 am.


    Comment by Melanie | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  50. Our 24-year old son has some un-diagnosed but troubling emotional problems. Didn’t graduate w/his high school class, and blamed the faculty and us for not graduating on time. Has had 2 arrests; trouble holding down a job-doesn’t comply with the employer’s rules. No job, no car, and yet expects to get treated like royalty at home. He spends nites in a friend of our’s basement, but still causes problems when at our house either with his father or his twin brother. Cusses at us and blows up when things don’t go his way. We’ve made it clear he can NOT come home and live with us, and wonder what the future holds for him. Suggestions for how we can go about getting help for him? Took him to psychiatrist one year ago, and simply diagnosed hime with depression- not much help. Any suggestions?


    Comment by Catherine Harris | October 29, 2009 | Reply

  51. I am just floored by all this new-found information. I have been married for 20 years to an abusive husband who I could never figure out what the problem was. This ODD describes his behavior to a “t”. I could never get over the fact that he could react oppositly to everything, everything I tried to do. We have 3 kids and “raising” them has been a nightmare-they asked to do something, I say no, he would immediately say yes. My middle one wanted her nose pierced (she was only 15 so I knew she couldn’t without parental persmiision)and I said no-NO NO. She goes to my husband who not only allows it—HE takes her to have it done! this is a very short version of the story of my life. I thought it was he was just a narsassist, but ODD explains the constant wearing down, and opposition, and being annoying just for the sake of being those things. And don’t even get me started on arguing-he loves to start arguements. If I refuse to get sucked into an arguement he starts up with one of the kids.He has always thrown away our things-things that are of value to us-without ever asking-or breaking things of ours that have meaning to us. It has been living in Hell on earth. No one gets it from the outside. No one has a clue as to the horrible exsistence this has been for myself and my children. He is able to mask a lot of the behavior around others and has somehow kept a steady job…which has always proven to me that he can in some way control the bad behavior-there is no way he would still have a job if he treated co-workers/bosses in the manner in which he treats his family. He abuses alcohol (daily) but says he has no problem because it is just wine.(never responsible for his actions either) He gets particulaly ugly after he drinks a certain number of glasses-we can all tell when he’s at that point. What a relief to know there is a disorder/syndrom/name for the insanity-doesn’t change anything but does offer an explaination to the behavior. How does one get away? How do I get out?


    Comment by ann | November 20, 2009 | Reply

    • This sounds like my story. You have lasted 20 years? I have been married 7. Just like you, my husband maintains a job and can control himself in front of others very well. It is just in front of the children and me that is he is angry and has the outbursts-over the silliest things. He will throw things, has bent/broke things over such minor events. When upset he will give me the silent treatment. It is always my fault. I can’t get angry at anything because he turns everything around. I don’t have any friends because he makes me feel guilty for leaving home. I don’t have any hobbies. He has accused me of cheating. He needs to know everywhere I am going. He lso says he NEEDS sex. He actually has come in the room in the early morning, rolled me over on my side, pulled my pj’s down, and has sex with me after I said no. He let me lay there uncovered, with my pj’s at my ankles, still uncovered in a mess. I think it is time.


      Comment by noel | December 4, 2009 | Reply

  52. I just got out of a relationship with a woman who I believe has ODD. She grew up with a mother who abused her growing up and was very controlling. Because of this she is very bitter and always has to be in control of every situation. I can see why she loves teaching (violin) because she is in total control. This woman is very stubborn and has built walls to push people out. I could not stand to be abused any further so I got out. She goes from relationship to relationship and wonders why she can not settle down.


    Comment by Bob | November 25, 2009 | Reply

  53. My son was diagnosed ODD at 12yrs. old. I thought about turning him over to a boys home when he was 12 but I couldn’t. We went to therapy for 4-years. We tried meds nothing worked. He is 22 yrs. old and not much has changed. I can’t stand the arguing, bulling and damages to our home. I have suffered too many losses I’m done. Presently I want to detach and have nothing to do with him(for my own sanity). My fear is that he would feel unloved and become self distructive. I would forever feel guilty for his demise. He thinks his life sucks but he doesn’t see it’s his negitive thinking,behavior,choices that are responsible for his failures. I can’t give advice because he’ll blow up. I am being emotionally held hostage and victomized.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Darlene | November 28, 2009 | Reply

    • wished id seeked help years ago never heard of this disorder till a year ago son 18 constant arguments battles disrespectful behaviour turns it round to our fault all the time had loads of jobs but is very clever iv nearly had a breakdown because of his behaviour.have not had a normal family life since he was 8 or 9 other son has adhd im at despair they cannot see what distruction they are causing ti their lives help


      Comment by | May 18, 2011 | Reply

      • how did my email get on here


        Comment by | May 18, 2011

  54. Has anyone found something that helps adult with ODD? The only thing I saw mentioned is melatonin and 5HTP therapy. Has anyone else tried it? This is just a heartbreaking disorder for all loved ones affected.


    Comment by Lisa | December 2, 2009 | Reply

  55. My grand-daughter was diagnosed with ODD in her teens. She is now 19 years old and a single mother (with a child 5 months old). She will leave the baby with everyone in the family, using any and all excuses from “I have to go to the store”, to “I just can’t take the crying and need to get away for a while”. But SHE


    Comment by Marie | January 10, 2010 | Reply

  56. My grand-daughter was diagnosed with ODD in her teens. She is now 19 years old and a single mother (with a child 5 months old). She will leave the baby with everyone in the family, using any and all excuses like “I have to go to the doctor”, I need to get groceries, “I don’t feel good”, and even “I just can’t take the crying and need to get away for a while”. But SHE only takes care of the baby herself about 2-3 hours a day. Yes she manages to have someone in the household take the poor little guy the rest of the day and night. After she lets him scream for an hour, she will bring him to me and at times he has immediately fallen asleep in my arms. I don’t know if she may also have Postpartum Depression… She only seems to care about herself, does not want to take advice or listen about the care of the baby, and is showing all MAJOR ODD behavior. T My daughter is out of the picture and no help.


    Comment by Marie | January 10, 2010 | Reply

  57. My grand-daughter was diagnosed with ODD in her teens. She is now 19 years old and a single mother (with a child 5 months old). She will leave the baby with everyone in the family, using any and all excuses like “I have to go to the doctor”, I need to get groceries, “I don’t feel good”, and even “I just can’t take the crying and need to get away for a while”. But SHE only takes care of the baby herself about 2-3 hours a day. Yes she manages to have someone in the household take the poor little guy the rest of the day and night. After she lets him scream for an hour, she will bring him to me and at times he has immediately fallen asleep in my arms. I don’t know if she may also have Postpartum Depression… She only seems to care about herself, does not want to take advice or listen about the care of the baby, and is showing all MAJOR ODD behavior. The one positive thing is she is not violent with the child (that I am aware of). She is on medication, but I don’t believe they are correct at this time, or if she is even taking them as she should. My daughter is out of the picture and no help. How should I approach the problem? Is there any intervention group? Can I call her Doctor? She needs help and I do too…


    Comment by Marie | January 10, 2010 | Reply

  58. Wow, after reading all your comments I’ve realised I can’t subject my husband, kids and family to this behaviour anymore. There is no cure to ODD, just ways to help. If you’re saying my husbamd should leave me and my family should disown me then what have I left-nothing.
    The only thing to do then is leave this life and hope that where I go next there is better understanding.
    I never meant to hurt anyone, I tried to stop myself. I have never hurt my husband or kids but find I can’t do anything right with my family and the smallest thing turns into a big arguement with my sister breaking contact with me.
    Thank you for making me see that the world is better off without people with ODD


    Comment by Monie | January 30, 2010 | Reply

    • The world isn’t better off without us!!!! I have just realized I may be ODD after reading these posts, I was dx with major depression at age 17 then later with bipolar, OCD, and anxiety at age 20. And finally with AADD at age 21 or 22, anyways here goes my story!! I am a 27 yr old mother of 2 wonderful babys my 6 yr old son and my 2 yr old daughter with my fiancé whom I’ve been with for the past eight years. I was raised in a very disfunctional home with an alcoholic mother who abused me from about age 5 on up, and unfortunatly she passed away in Jan 2005 and left me here with innumerous emotional issues and feelings of not being good enough that are more and more debilitating as time passes. I find myself completly isolated from the world and the hardest thing of all is feeling and watching myself slip away from reality and not being able to control or change my actions!!! I feel like the stigma placed on us for mental disorders is so scary that we try our best tohide it or just fix it on our own, and this is not exceptable!
      Would we put the same stereotype on someone who has a physicall illness they were born with? Of course not, we just need resources that we can reach out to for help. I see so many posts asking for help, but the problem is if you don’t have top notch health INS you are left out in the cold to make do!!
      We don’t want to have mental illness and a lot of us want help, we just have nowhere to turn to for help!!! It is time for our government and health care industry to step up to the plate and stop leaving us hanging!!!!
      If you need someone to talk to I am here, sincerly, Shawn


      Comment by Shawn | February 9, 2010 | Reply

  59. My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years now. His mom and I had a conversation the other day about him and I found out that he was diagnosed with ODD as a child. She says it was a battle getting him to treatment and even then he would hide his pills and not follow through.

    My bf and I have talking about him going to the doctor but he refuses to go – he doesn’t think that it will help “because it didn’t help when he was a child”. I just found out that it didn’t work because he wouldn’t follow through.

    Does anyone have any tips on how to help him agree to try again?


    Comment by Jessica | February 1, 2010 | Reply

  60. I have just found out my 15 yr old son has ODD, however he has also been tested and told that he has an IQ of over 150 and have labeled him a genius. He lives with his father who refuses to believe there is anything wrong with his son and dismisses “mental illness” as a real issue. His school is struggling to deal with him and his unique situation of having 2 different issues going on. The doctor who tested him has never seen anyone like him before. Does anyone else have a similar situation? I live 4 hours from my son, but talk to him daily, but I am struggling with what to do and do not want to lose my son to this, he obviously has great potential. Now that I have a name to his symptoms, it is all making sense, his whole childhood makes sense now. I appreciate any and all help and am so glad I am not alone with this.


    Comment by Coleen | February 25, 2010 | Reply

    • Go to my homepage ( and subscribe to the free monthly publication, The ODD Management Digest. Also, send me an email to my email address and communicate with me directly.

      Thanks. James D. Sutton, EdD, CSP

      Consulting Psychologist/Certified Speaking Professional PO Box 672, Pleasanton, TX 78064 (800) 659-6628 Email: Website: Blog:


      Comment by docspeak | February 25, 2010 | Reply

  61. My bf of 3 years I believe has ODD, I am so happy to have a helpful blog.


    Comment by Linda | March 25, 2010 | Reply

  62. Glad I found this site. I have tried to break up with a boyfriend (7 years my junior) I believe he has ODD. I have to obtain a no-contact order tomorrow as he does not understand nor want it to be “over” between us.

    Signs of his behavior were:
    – Defiant, does not understand the word NO.
    – Does the exact opposite
    – Manipulative and annoying
    – Threw tantrums and was an emotional basketcase during fights.

    I realize I deserve better and he needs treatment.
    This is going to be hard, but the right thing for the long haul Good Luck to those that are seeking to leave.


    Comment by dmarie33 | March 28, 2010 | Reply

  63. I have stopped all contact with siblings who act this very same way. I always thought we were a close family but a few years ago got nothing but hate. Was not able to even say hello without hate. They have always been difficult people to deal with. They treat others this way also. They cut everyone out of their lives except children or husbands. But they are verbally abusive to them and the mood swings are angry and diffiant. I am much happier since they have cut us out of their lives. I don’t have to dread seeing them and walk on eggshells to try to make them happy, because you can’t ever make them happy !


    Comment by me | April 14, 2010 | Reply

  64. After reading through all of the above and the symptoms listed at the beginning, I am convinced my son has ODD….

    From as early as nursery school – his first parents evening the teacher informed me that if my son didn’t want to do something they couldn’t get him to do it. Story time at the end of the day if he didn’t pick the story he would interrupt throughout so no one got to enjoy the story. In his later school years he would always be referred to as the class clown, lacked concentration and had an active imagination. Constantly made things up and would never abide by any rules set by his peers.
    Throughout High school my son would throw is weight about in class pushing people out of the way and at times very unruly especially if he didn’t like the teacher.

    Home life has always been very stressful, he was never happy if all was quiet and calm – never had any regard for his dad, me, his brother or sister. He would eat everything use everything never move things and did everything you asked him not to!!! No regard for any of us. He has never respected anything that has been bought for him or what he has bought himself. Nothing has any sentimental value. Told lies and loved to be caught out so that he could argue he wasn’t lying even when the proof was starring him in the face.

    From a young age and up to the present day he his manageable on a one to one if his mood is good, as soon as anyone else comes in to the room he then starts to perform. It’s like having a whirlwind going thorough the home.

    From the age of fourteen it has gone down hill starting with him smoking dope, drinking then at seventeen he got a loan from a loan shark which he couldn’t pay off. This resulted in the loan shark visiting our home, demanding the money my son owned. This was paid off. My son promised he would not get involved with this person again – he did and we managed to negotiate he dropped the extortionate interest that was being added to this loan. During this time he was stealing for the home to feed his dope and cocaine habit and being a champagne Charlie. Trying to get loans against our property committed fraud using my details to gain a mobile phone contract that he didn’t pay.
    We removed him from the electoral roll which resulted in a huge row and him leaving home at 18 years old. He has had a couple of houses that he didn’t look after came back home which didn’t work out and now lives with a friend sleeping in the dining room. He has never been out of debt in one way or another since leaving home and he is now 24. Is always trying to get rich fast and getting in to all kinds of bother. Lies that he his doing better than he actually is. He has nothing to show for working all these years no car, home, decent clothes or a relationship. My son thinks violence is the answer if there is a problem that needs sorting out!!!!

    When my son comes to our home he has to be centre of attention playing each other off against each other and winds his dad up constantly. Speaks down to you and thinks his way of thinking is the correct way of thinking.
    We all tell him how much we love him and ask him to sort his life out. This week I have found out he owes the same loan shark a large amount of money again. I have told him to stay away from me that I am very disappointed and not to get back in touch until he sorts himself out once and for all.
    Then I googled behaviour disorder and found ODD and not sure what to do now as I feel sort of to blame because I never picked up on this disorder when he was a child.
    He refers to himself as the practice kid because his brother and sister are normal!!!!!


    Comment by Denise | May 8, 2010 | Reply

  65. First, I am so glad to have found someone in the medical field who’s willing to acknowledge the void in the DSM-IV created by a lack of an “adult” diagnosis for ODD. It wasn’t so long ago that ADHD was considered a childhood disorder, and I feel like ODD is in the same boat right now. Second, I see many people posting symptoms that their loved ones (or themselves) experience that are WAY beyond the scope of ODD. If there is physical violence, lack of remorse, cruelty to animals, illegal activity etc. going on, then you should look into Antisocial Personality Disorder and more severe personality disturbances.

    Having said that, I think it’s absurd for the psychiatric community to assume that the social, occupation & personal issues that plague children with ODD evaporate at age 18 and cannot be classified in adults unless they display more “severe” symptoms.

    My husband is almost 40 years old and his symptoms are almost exclusively ODD. For adults, I would add to the criteria that have difficulty seeing how their actions, decisions or words impact anyone but themselves and a profound inability to see things from other people’s perspectives. The tendency to “blame others” seems to stem from being unable to get past their own emotions and perspective. Since they would never hurt or upset themselves, if they are hurt, angry, frustrated or things don’t go their way it clearly must be everyone else’s fault.

    The result is a staggeringly self-centered personality with a nearly complete lack of insight into their own actions and feelings. My husband is so ego-centric that he literally seems to think other people can read his minds. He assumes everyone thinks the way he does and is shocked when others don’t go right along with him.

    He rebels against me sometimes as if he’s a surly teenager and I’m the parent. His first instinct is to contradict whatever I say, even when he KNOWS it’s incorrect. In the moment it’s happening, not heaven or hell will sway his opinion. But later, once he’s forgotten all about the discussion he’ll make a statement that completely agrees with mine. When I confront him on it, he has absolutely no explanation for his prior behavior. HE doesn’t even know why he said what he said and will admit that it makes no sense to him.

    Unfortunately, we have a daughter who is now 8 with the same mannerisms and behaviors. She will pick fights for no reason and become overly emotional about “winning” the battle. She will follow us all over the house if we refuse to argue back and will continue attempts to instigate a conflict. He has done the same thing in the past. He’s gotten a lot better since I’ve put my foot down and refused to tolerate the behavior. It took him finding out I was serious about a separation in order for that small change to happen. But just like the doc said in his video, the minute I back down for even a second and he thinks things are going back to “normal” the change stops. Don’t be fooled for a second.

    Additionally, he has had some counseling with a counselor who specializes in PTSD and marriage. However, I feel that the issue is beyond what the counselor can handle. The frightening part of all of this is that statistically, 50-70% of kids with ADHD also have ODD… but as they become adults they can continue to get help & treatment for their ADHD but they are just considered “selfish jerks” who won’t grow up.

    My advice to anyone dealing with a significant other with ODD and who is considering leaving is this:
    1. Do you love them? Do they love you? Do you want to make the relationship work? If the answer to any of those questions is no, then ODD or not you shouldn’t be in the relationship.
    2. Are they abusing you? If the answer is yes, then you have no business continuing a relationship with them.
    3. If you love your significant other and are convinced they do love you and they are NOT being physically (or verbally) abusive to you, then you must stop tolerating the behavior. The only proven remedy for childhood ODD is behavioral management… so your marriage/relationship ends up becoming a behavioral management program for adults.
    4. They need counseling and if they refuse to get help you should leave until they actually GET help (not just say they will… listen to the doc’s video… as soon as you come back or make them feel like everything is “ok” they will stop getting help.)
    5. Do not come back until they have successfully completed therapy. If you do, and they stop therapy, you will have to leave again. How many times do you want to play the “I’m leaving” game? It builds resentment, hurt and it’s just plain exhausting. Trust me… I know.

    When you tell them you won’t tolerate the behavior any longer, and they continue to behave that way (because they will push your boundaries, just like a child would to see if you mean it) you will have to make good on your statement and remove yourself (and possibly children) from the situation. You should make sure you communicate that you love them, and that you’re leaving because it’s the ONLY way to help them. That you are not giving up, you will not see other people (and you should MEAN it if you say it) and you would ask them to do the same.

    Stress to them that it’s time for them to take responsibility for themselves and that you can’t do this FOR them. You being there will only hamper their progress and make the process more difficult and take even longer.

    I am personally at this point: I’ve been married for going on 9 years. My spouse’s behavior became intolerable less than 2 years into the marriage. For the next 5 years I told him he was killing the love between us & hurting me. Several times I threatened to leave. He always became contrite and said just the right things to make me stay. He’d change just enough for just long enough to convince me it would stick.

    For the last 2 years I have made sure there were consequences to his actions. I stopped doing things for him, stopped fixing relationships with others he was damaging, started pointed out with brutal honesty the way he was making me (and others) feel. Forcing him to look at other people’s side of things and refusing to feed into his pessimism & self pity. I have refused to let him focus on his own feelings when he hurts me. I have refused to let him promise to go to a counselor and not follow through. 6 months ago I told him (on our anniversary) I told him I wanted a separation. I let him talk me out of it. 3 months ago I actually left… I let him talk me into coming home after a week. Yesterday I told him his choice was separation or divorce. I will not discuss trying to rebuild our marriage until he seeks professional psychiatric care and can demonstrate long-term, lasting change for 1 month. I will not consider any romantic involvement with him until he can demonstrate long-term, lasting change for 6 consecutive months. And, I will not consider living with him until he can demonstrate that commitment change for 1 year.

    Please understand, we have 3 children. We are not in a financial position to separate, let alone divorce. This is going to be as hard (or harder) on me as it is on him. I love him very, VERY much. He loves me beyond words, and his “stubborn” attitude extends to refusing to give up on our marriage no matter what.

    If I don’t do this, he’ll move on to another relationship and he’ll repeat the same mistakes without learning from them (just like he does now.) Me taking the “tough love” approach with him is the loving, responsible thing to do and the ONLY way to save my marriage. I can’t take the heartache any more. I am his 2nd wife… he hasn’t yet been fired from a job because he’s a mechanic, so it’s “manly” for him to be opinionated, argumentative and always think he knows better than anyone else. I guess it’s also not a firing offence at the jobs he’s had for him to throw wrenches across the shop when he loses his temper. I’ve been shocked at the things he says to his bosses and supervisors. They haven’t fired him… but I would have!

    I pray that the psychiatric community wakes up and sees the damage that is being done by letting people like my husband fall through the cracks. Loving, intelligent, wonderful people with a condition that obviously impairs them in childhood but who no one cares about when they hit their 18th birthday. They are truly the forgotten casualties of the DSM-IV who don’t fit neatly into Passive-Aggressive Disorder (even though it’s gone now), Antisocial Personality Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder.

    Just like adults with ADHD (such as myself) who for so many years thought we were just irresponsible, worthless screw-ups who live in secret shame, so do adults with ODD. They suffer from low self-esteem, damaged relationships, lost jobs and THEIR OWN CHILDREN suffer the most. Imagine having a parent who is profoundly impulsive, forgetful, short-tempered and self-centered. It’s not pretty… and the cycle gets worse. Dr. Sutton, if you have any influence in the medical community at all, please use it to help families like mine? We end up having to beg for help, beg for a diagnosis and work hard at getting someone to listen that these problems are REAL.

    My husband shouldn’t have to be committing crimes or lying and deceiving people for profit in order to be diagnosed with a personality disorder. ODD fits just like it is, and it is destroying every major aspect of his life. I just hope it isn’t too late to fix the damage it’s done to our marriage… and our kids.


    Comment by MidnightSun | June 7, 2010 | Reply

  66. By the way… there ARE things that do seem to help. Exercise helps his attitude immensely! Enough sleep, losing weight, being active. There are frequently other issues going on with ODD such as anxiety, depression etc. that can be treated with medication in order to get some relief. Psychotherapy CAN help, but the person with ODD must decide they want to do something about it first.

    The only way I would consider truly leaving someone with ODD and “giving up” on them, is if they refuse to help themselves. No one is a lost cause if they are at least perceptive enough to see the damage they’re doing to their life and the people they love and to want to do something about it. But then they actually have to DO something…


    Comment by MidnightSun | June 7, 2010 | Reply

  67. My son has been difficult since birth. He is now 19 1/2 and living at home with no job. I know the economy is poor, but he doesn’t seem to attempt to look for work. Most application processes are online, but he refuses to fil them out. His statement is that people should meet you in person and hire you. This is no longer the way the world works.
    He has been a great deal more trouble since 8th grade, and it seems to be getting worse. I have taken him to numerous counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc. The last counselor told us, after a few sessions, that he had done all he could and didn’t want to waste our money. You can’t help a kid who won’t talk.
    Recently, he graduated from high school, although not with his class. He received many monetary gifts in the mail and I have asked him on several occasions to write thank you notes. He has refused to do it, though he continues to tell me he will if I stop bugging him. I know from experience that if I stop, he will do nothing. We take things away and use the carrot and stick approach constantly. Often without succcess. He too is quite intelligent but seems to lack ambition. He too, has had many negative encounters with teachers, but has connected with some and done well with them.
    He too, has been in and out of court for minor attrocities. I fear they will continue to worsen until there is no hope left. I am a teaher and it finally dawned on me tonight that my son must have ODD. duh!
    Everything I have read about this disorder is that it stems from poor parenting. I don’t know what I have done wrong. I spent time with my son, took him on outings, vacations, talked to him, helped him with homework, played board games with him, watched who his friends were, disciplined when needed, took him to counselors, got him medication (which he spit out at the bus stop and eventually he discontinued). We tried food therapy. Though this is difficult with teenagers. I beat myself up everyday wondering what I did wrong and how I could have done better.
    Dr. Sutton, what is there out there that will help my son and this relationship. It is one thing to know that there is a problem, but quite another to figure out what to DO about it. Does the melatonin and 5HTP work? Where does one get it? How does one know the dosage? What is the cost? I know that melatonin is also related to sleep disorders. My son won’t go to bed. He keeps vampire hours, which makes me insane! Couldn’t this melatonin help this as well?
    The thing is none of these people seem to want to admit that they have a problem and refuse to help themselves.
    What can we do? I am at my Wits end. All these postings seems to have similar stories and similar behaviors with similar outcomes.
    I am so thankful that I only had one child. I could not deal with another child with this.


    Comment by Fredrika | June 18, 2010 | Reply

    • From what you wrote – there was more I than we in your letter. You seem to care very much for your one and only
      child. I can relate in that respect – I have one son. I think you have a problem with anger. Use it or you will
      lose it (your sanity). People freak out about anger.
      You’re not the Bully. Of course you don’t want to hurt
      your son. Everytime he hurts you – he feels safe. He knows you think he doesn’t mean it. He shouldn’t do it.
      Not to you or anyone. Don’t beat yourself up, if you have
      the urge STOP. He is a grown man. What about your needs, wants — time. If he doesn’t say Thank you for the gifts he recieved he is ungrateful – not you. He sounds boring.


      Comment by Dora Miller Jackson Michigan | June 23, 2010 | Reply

  68. I am happy and a bit relieved to have read what everyone has had to say. Happy and relieved to know that I am not the crazy one thinking that my husand and daughter have these problems. It is a bit disturbing though that there does not seem to be very much that one can do about it. Let me share my story in the hopes that it will help someone like what I just read helped me. Long story short I met my husband when I was 19 and married him when I was 21. To the greater disappointment and confusion (and resistence)of my family and friends, no one could understand (as someone above stated) why I was marrying him (even his own family)! Needless to say we were married for nearly 10 years and had one child when I divorced him. I knew that something was “wrong” with him all along. I also knew that something was “different” with my daughter since she was months old. But I had never found out what was wrong with my husband and it was not until my daughter was 5 that she was diagnosed with ADHD (off the charts)! I say that because there seems to be such a spectrum when it comes to any disorders…maybe that is why it is so hard to diagnose them?! Anyway, I was so frustrated that doctors had told me nothing was wrong with her for 5 years when she was driving me insane becasuse she was not napping, sleeping at nights, getting into things constantly and relentlessly and almost seemed to enjoy it. An example: I took her to Disneyland when she was two and she walked the entire day (morning to night with no nap or stroller…and I mean 7 am to midnight). And this was a regular occurance. She never sat in a stroller, a high chair, and HATED the car! She has now been medicated since age 5 and is now age 9. She still struggles because (as mentioned by a lot of you) she does not like to take her meds. She is a totally different person on them and it helps her so much but she does not have much of a conscience awareness about it. In the mean time, in the three years that I was divorced, I learned (like many of you also) that the issues that I had with my husband were so similar to my daughter and that ADD must also be his problem. So, having realized this, I reconciled with him (this was not a pre-planned thing) and we had another child. I am now 36 and the reason I found this blog is because like many of you who posted I was researching about ODD. I knew about it a little bit but not nearly like I do now having read this! So thank you. I did not know that it is related at all to ADD or ADHD. And even though I did know that it is possible to have other disorders with ADD/ADHD I did not know it was likely. I have always thought that my husbands upbringing had to do with his mental state of mind and his trouble with school and keepting jobs. Even legal problems. But I always thought that he was just difficult, stubborn, and broken from having been raised wrong. But I do get some relief on knowing what it could be now and some clarity. I wish I could say that I feel better about there being a treatment but until it is recognized more (like some have mentioned) I also do not think there is a lot of hope then. In the meantime, after having read all the examples here, I am a bit worried about my daughter because even though she does well on her meds I see as she enters puberty that her moods are changing more and the opposition is continueing or getting worse. It does not help in a lot of ways that we are back with her dad becuase she sees those same behaviors. Although I do not think that it reinforces them because for the three years that we were apart we had no contact and she was the same way. That is part of the way that I knew something was wrong too. I used to be a huge believer in “learned behavior” versus biological but having experienced how my daughter can have literally the same brain as my husband and not have even had any contact with him (only being with me who is NOTHING like them) convinced me otherwise. As well as the research I have done and the confirmation (FINALLY) from the doctors after all that time. How frustrating! But at least the meds do help and now I just need to see what can be done with my husband. I do wonder after having read all the posts though if it is possible to have ODD and not be arguementative? My husband and daughter seem to have most the signs and symptoms (my daughter more than him) but he does not ever argue?! He just does the actions that are opposite to what is needed, etc. Here’s to hoping there is hope for dealing with this!


    Comment by Los Angeles | August 14, 2010 | Reply

  69. I have read most of the entries and I wonder now if my es-husband had more wives than myself. I, like so many others, knew something was wrong early on in our relationship…I was just too niave and passive to recognize what was really going on. He controlled me from day one, realizing that I was passive and compassionate and quickly set about his task of ‘finding a girl that would put up with his crap’. I feel so stupid now…after nearly 20 years of marriage, 2 children, daily emotional and mental abuse and numerous episodes of physical abuse. The physical abuse became worse as time went on and was what lead to the divorce that I now refer to as the beginning of me living-not just existing. He was the most angry person I had ever seen and anything that ever went wrong with him was never his fault. Me and my children were on eggshells every time he walked in until we saw what kind of mood he was in and even then we always darted our eyes toward him to see what his reaction was going to be. He was constantly calling to see where I was and what I was doing. He was insanely jealous and accused me of every male that we knew and a lot that we didn’t! He accused me of our preacher, family doctor and the owner of the gym where I had a membership. He questioned everyone I talked to and slowly isolated me from my family. He convinced me that every couple had the ‘same problems’ that we did and that ‘all wives are pushed around sometimes by their husbands’. He also convinced me that he was the best that I could ever do because no other man would put up with me because I was so stupid and ugly. I am a Registered Nurse-not the sharpest tool in the shed but no dumb bunny. My only stupidity was being with him. We lived that way for years. We separated in 2000, for a few months, after which I allowed him to move back in and his behavior was much better…for about 10 months. It all came back…only worse, which lead to me finally telling him he had to get help or move out-for good. He went to our family doctor who prescribed him a medication for depression, which helped. Things were better until his best friend, who was also on the same medication(coincidence?..not sure..they were almost identical in nature & behavior) told him that he should stop taking the pills because he wasn’t the problem-he convinced him that I was the problem. My ex then started to take half a tablet in the morning on the days he worked and that took him safely through his work day and was right back to ‘the demon’ by the time he got home. I had a serious medical condition several years ago and still have effects from several strokes. This condition prevents me from driving and working. He was a little better after that but soon realized that I would not be driving and I truly think this made him deliriously happy because I could not be independent and had to rely on someone else to leave my house. The physical abuse got worse…even with my medical condition and neck problems. He would turn furniture over on me and say, “I didn’t even touch you!” Nothing was ever his fault….everything bad that happened to him, regardless of whether he was at home, work, convenience store, church(which he rarely went to) or anywhere…I paid for..he came home and blew off his steam on me. We tried marriage counseling but the counseling is useless if the person with ‘ODD’ isn’t honest about his/her actions and behavior. He was as sweet as sugar to the counselor and denied everything! Alcohol made everything much worse…I would almost get physically sick from fear when I saw him drink so much as a beer. The daily threats, the guns in my face, every firm grasp on my arm when we were with friends, kicking me off my feet, throwing things at me…I was worn down physically and mentally. I could go on forever about the things that happened. I finally kicked him out after a particularly abusive night and have since divorced him. Since the night of our separation I have had to call the police many times because of his stalking and harassment. I can’t even begin to count the phone calls with screaming, cursing, accusations, and threats he made in his attempt to ‘win me back’. He thought we would be separated a couple of weeks and then be back together and all would be perfect. Seriously??!!! He can no longer come anywhere near my home but I still keep my eyes open because he is so unpredictable. My 12 year old son now refuses to be anywhere near him out of fear as a result of his behavior and a weekend visit when his dad grabbed his arm and shoved him. I am still very cautious but I don’t live like I did before. The point I would like to make to anyone caught in a relationship with someone with these problems..get help or get out!!!!! No excuses like…we need to stay together for the children-HELLO-you are making it worse for them! Don’t have anywhere to go? No money? Tell anyone what is going on and get help. Someone will help you!!! Your family, preacher, public agencies…someone!!! You have to get away!! It will be rough at first but once they realize you are not backing down and are will get better. My line at the time was…I’m not pushing up daisies for anybody!!! (Not gonna be in the grave serving as a flower bed) My heart bleeds for people caught up in this dangerous kind of relationship! I am so passionate about domestic violence that I cannot watch a movie with domestic violence in it without getting emotional…it’s still too fresh. But I am getting better. After several years of being single, I have met a wonderful man who is nothing like my ex and so completely loving that it has taken me a while to get accustomed to how a loving relationship really is supposed to be! To paraphrase verses from the Bible…LOVE is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not selfseeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves, Love never fails!!!!


    Comment by D | August 26, 2010 | Reply

  70. I have survived over 20 years with the most miserable tyrant who has only adapted over the years because I have become the parent he never had. I am more like his mother than his wife. He is a child who never grew up. Although he can function in the outside world effectively because he is a boss, as soon as the door closes or he is around family he becomes a seething, moody monster. I have suffered greatly in the last 6 months greatly because I have said no more. I’m preparing for the day when I will be able to leave. It won’t be pretty but I’ve lived in hell and I won’t live there any more.


    Comment by Pain And Suffering | August 27, 2010 | Reply

  71. PS – it has taken me three degrees to figure out how to deal with him.


    Comment by Pain And Suffering | August 27, 2010 | Reply

  72. Pain And Suffering….my heart goes out to you. I hope that you can find peace and happiness-soon! You have a life out there that is waiting for you. You will be amazed at how wonderful this world is…once you can enjoy it. It took a medical mishap and life-changing health issues to make me change my perspective on life. Even still I would rather be where I am now in my life-even with disabilities and limitations-than living like I did before. I can deal with my physical changes now that my mental health is so much better. There’s something to be said for peace of mind. You are correct-it won’t be pretty, but stay committed to yourself and your health and happiness-it may take months or years but it will get better once he realizes that you are no longer giving in and making his life easier. The sooner you get started the sooner you will breathe like you truly need to. My prayers are with you…God Bless You!!!


    Comment by D | August 27, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you D. I need so much encouragement after all I’ve been through. I know that your right; that I can have a peaceful happy life, because I will make it so. He had my mind so twisted and deceived; it is hard to keep up with his constant mental games and attacks but I have learned how to twist his mind back around to the truth. I just don’t want to do it any more. I’m tired and I have decided that I can only be around healthy people who love me; faults and all. He deceives so many people from the truth while those who do see the truth don’t hold him accountable, while some think he’s just so funny.


      Comment by Pain And Suffering | August 27, 2010 | Reply

  73. OKAY LOOK HERE EVERYONE!!!, I am at story number 50 and I’m ‘exaustingly deprest’ to know what happened to everyone or what could happen to me with a husband of ODD and hopefully not his son…
    So instead, what I propose, because that’s way enough stories, don’t you all think that you are reading the same thing over and over even if some outcome are different??
    I could go with mine but really it’s the same thing that you have read already. The symptoms are the same, so I was saying instead what I think we should all write and focus on now is the solutions. I know everyone wants to share their misery but does it really help after so many already?
    So how about focusing on the solution??
    So far I read that When the ODD person blows, just sit quietly and let him be. Eventually, he’ll stop.
    Options: Ask him questions that will make him think, and it also sounds to him like Im actually interested and on his side. Now here be careful because if he thinks Im judging him or looking down on him it makes me the enemy, so I have to act understanding.
    Not to raise my voice to him otherwise it will only prolongs his fit.
    Kimberly wrote that it seems to have helped and it makes him try to come up with his own solution.
    I may give him a suggestion on a problem from time to time if I can put it to him in a way that doesnt sound like Im challenging him or attacking him. Also can bring up past situations, in a quiet manner, so he can reflect of that and it keeps his brain busy instead of his mouth.
    If anyone has any other suggestions that worked for them, please share.
    Thank you so much to make this heavy issue better


    Comment by Agnes | September 8, 2010 | Reply

  74. Good point. But people coming into this conversation for the first time need to share their story and feel validated before they can even think of coming up with solutions. I have so many solutions that have worked together to come to a place where there is no longer verbal abuse in my home. Peace has finally come but peace isn’t love. As much as I have to remain calm and get him to think rationally and logically, I also have to stand up consistently and say “No!” (firmly not angrily) as soon as he starts emotionally and emotionally abusing anyone; and not back down. I warned the kids that it would get ugly but that I knew what I was doing and to pray for Dad. After the battles he always tries to honey up to me immediately afterword, to which I finally refused, then he tells me I’m mean. I don’t fall for that guilt trip any longer; we all know who is mean now. I tell him that it will take alot longer than 5 minutes or even a day sometimes before I will be intimate and happy again. And that is based on his behavior. He has to work for it now, and he knows it. If he treats me disrespectfully, he doesn’t get the reward of even a smile for quite some time. It took a month and a half of this for it to finally sink in. And alot of prayer and fasting! We’re finally getting somewhere. I have to be ever vigilant though, because habits are hard to break. I understand that. And if he tells me “well you got mad or did the same thing the other day”, I remind him that there is a difference between someone who gets angry 10% of the time (me) and another person (him) who gets angry 99% of the time. I just have to remember to allow him in when he deserves it. As long as you remember that you don’t have to let anyone in unless you want to; you can tough it out. If you do any of this and he gets physically abusive, leave the house, immediately. The reason I have this knowledge is because of a book that you should all read called, “How to Hug a Porcupine” by Dr. John Lund. A brilliant book that helped me to know what to do and why with ODD and other toxic people. It will change your life.


    Comment by Pain And Suffering | September 8, 2010 | Reply

  75. Another good book for dealing with toxic children is “No More Misbehavin'” by Michele Borba. It has helped tremendously with my son who was also showing signs until I explained to him what was happening. You don’t have to read the whole book, just look up your section and it gives some brief problem solving techniques that work!


    Comment by Pain And Suffering | September 8, 2010 | Reply

  76. I have read most of these articles and feel a lot better about my relationship. I have been married for 6 years and been with my wife for over 10 years. We have recently found after relocating for college and several low standardize test results, her attempting to go back to college that she has some mental health issues like ADHD, depression, and after reading about the symptoms ODD. I love her deeply and have always been a great guy too her. But I always notice certain issues that wasn’t right. I just made excuses for her in the beginning and now for a whole different reason. I was her 1st boyfriend that took time to show her how a female is suppose to be treated, so when there were problems in our relationship I saw it as I needed to be more patience with her but her attitude would be awful it seem like she would do things to test my patience and even when I take my time too explain my feelings I would get this disconcern for my feelings, but she would say that she love me but only when I say it to her 1st. My entire relationship has been on my shoulders. If she tell me something that needs changing on my part I make a notable effort to not let it happen again and if it does I apologize before she says too show I respect her feelings. But lately I have become TIRED of giving her the Mental Illness Pass. I don’t feel expressing my feeling means anything cause nothing fases her. She just look at me or pays me no attention. I don’t feel comfortable talking to her about any mutual decisions cause it leads to arguments but I believe relationships are equal between male and female. We have a 5yr old son and I love him just as she does, but its hard too not just walk away some days and say I deserve better but I love her and I believe in her but just disappointed that my prayers aren’t being answered. She doesn’t take her medicine regularly and when I mention something about it I get the silent treatment or argument starts or she tries to get me angry. She always has to be on the go and constantly comparing herself to other college students. She feel she has to be a part of every organization and student government at school. And she don’t tell me anything until the last minute but she can talk with her mother which is long distance everyday about things I hear over the phone for the 1st time. Then she will tell me that she told me but didn’t some info I get is by over hearing the conversation. She has no accountablility for her actions. I regret so much in this relationship but now Im just trying to keep my vows true: In Sickness and Health- Till Death Do Us Part. I feel like this is making me crazy and confuse. Please words of encouragement and pray for me.


    Comment by In Love But Disappointed | October 29, 2010 | Reply

  77. To ‘In Love But Disappointed’….You are in my prayers. It sounds to me like your wife has taken your unconditional love for granted and is not taking any responsibility for her vows or the relationship. She most definitely needs counselling. As far as medications…My ex would only take his (1/2 dose) on the days he worked and sometimes not even then. The meds don’t work if they are not taken. This tells me that she feels that she does not have to take it if she doesn’t fell like ‘she’ needs it. This is typical for ODD behavior. You both would probably benefit from therapy…she will never she how her behavior is wrong if you try to tell her. She may not even believe it from a professional. You are going to have to get tough and ‘make’ her accept responsibility for the behavior that is ruining your marriage. Her mind-set does not allow for her to recognize that she is wrong. Hopefully therapy and medication compliance will change that, and if not, you have to decide what you want in your life….being happy and having a productive life or withering away at someone else’s expense. You will eventually come to the ‘I can’t take it anymore stage’. Then you will be emotionally and physically drained. I do not promote divorce because I don’t accept it as a mere ‘way out’, but when you and the marriage have been emotionally and spiritually abandoned-then it is evident-if you want to truly live and not just ‘exist’. I don’t believe that the God that I worship wanted me to live like I did for years. The physical abuse was definitely a deal-breaker for me. You don’t mention physical abuse and I hope that is not a facet of your situation. Please know that physical abuse does sometime extend to the children, especially if the person with ODD can’t lash out on you. Also, abuse is not physical…mental, emotional and physical abuse are ALL ‘abuse’ and are unacceptable in a marriage. The vows are Til Death Do Us Part-but that doesn’t mean for your partner to be the death of your marriage and you! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


    Comment by D | November 4, 2010 | Reply

    • To “D” thank you for your reply. I will take your words and advice into consideration. But how do I go about making her accept more responsiblity without creating more problems?


      Comment by In Love But Disappointed | November 13, 2010 | Reply

  78. I was reviewing my situation this morning and journaling when I did some research and found this site. I believe my husband has many ODD tendacies. I love him and am committed to him and to us and our marriage. I decided to post parts of my journaling from this morning:

    I have to learn to accept that Gary does not have the ability to put other’s needs before his own. He never had the opportunity to learn that, as he was a person with special talents and personality traits and was catered to all of his life. He never had children, and he never learned to put another’s interests first, but then neither does he take care of himself. How could I ever expect him to really take care of me, when he doesn’t even take care of himself? (It really is not fair for me to say that, because he really tries, in his way to take care of me).

    Gary did not learn any discipline in taking care of himself. He does not even consider his own well being in making decisions. Decisions are made based on the fact that it is what he wants. His diet is a result of that. He will eat what he wants when he wants, without consideration for his own well being or looking into the consequences of his actions. His diet and eating habits are horrible. He has a Jock mentality. He just must be tough. He still does not understand that just being tough will not solve many of the problems that he incurs as he gets older. The fact is this attitude is very damaging to him as he does not take the action necessary to improve his physical situation and continues to do things that are damaging to his well being.

    I find it interesting that he will not take care of himself. He does not listen to others or follow the advice of the professionals that he deals with; he asks for their opinion, but will not follow their advice. He makes the decision and feels he does not need to do what they recommend, because he feels he does not need it. He bases his decisions on what he feels, not on facts. He seems to avoid knowing the facts and seems to think that his ideas are better. This may just be his justification to do what he wants.

    However, I think the bigger problem, is that he does not have self esteem. He has a lot of fear. He is so afraid that is someone might see that he is not perfect. Everything he does is to avoid looking at anything that is less than perfect.

    I do observe many oppositional tendencies. To me his behavior is baffling. We seem to have power struggles over everything, great and small. I ask for something and he says no. I say black and he says white. It appears that he has a compulsion and drive to be opposite, contrary. He seems to sabotage deadlines, constantly questioning rules and regulations. If he doesn’t feel like it, he doesn’t do it. I am sure I have a part in our interactions, and I need to take responsibility for the way I re-act to things, but he has a way of making conflict my fault. I do not think he even knows what he is doing.

    I feel very sorry for him. I do not believe that he can enjoy life fully. He does not know how to live life in the moment and live it completely and fully. He is compelled to say no. I think it is a very sad place to be. I really believe that he is suffering from depression, but could not admit it or do anything about it. I do observe that when he is well, the conflict is much less. I feel that dealing with the anxiety and depression could make a big difference for him and for us.

    Something inside him tells him that he does not need to do deal with it. Or perhaps it really is that he cannot accept that he has a problem. His self esteem will not allow for him to admit there is a problem. The only way he keeps himself going is to deny both to him and to others that he has a problem. If he acknowledged the problem, it would be devastating to him. He has no black or white in his own world. He is good or bad, right or wrong, so acknowledging any fault would be devastating to him. There is no gray area. I wish he could understand that no one is perfect and it is OK not to be perfect. Trying to be perfect must be a hard burden to carry every day of your life.

    He is a wonderful man with wonderful qualities, and so much that I love about him. I think he has a need for control, because without it then he looses everything in his eyes. He is so afraid. He feels that if he is not in control, then he does not belong. I think that being in control of his environment is how he judges whether or not he belongs.

    It must be a hard place to live. I love him. He needs me. I do not really know how to help him or support him. God will show me how. We will continue to work and we will have a wonderful and fulfilling marriage. We already have so much; we will just make it better. It is my job to understand and to help him through it all. It is his job to try and stay committed even when it is hard and he feels de-valued.


    Comment by Carlen | November 6, 2010 | Reply

  79. I would like to hear some advice on a positive way to talk with and deal with an ODD adult… What are strategies we can use in talking to someone with ODD that are positive?


    Comment by Donna Baier Stein | November 18, 2010 | Reply

  80. My suggestion is religious counseling and prayer….hopefully that will help. That is provided the person with ODD has the ability to be objective and truthful about their problems, if they are not willing to be truthful and accept responsibility for their actions then nothing will help, in my opinion. At least you will have tried. Prayer always helps….


    Comment by D | November 18, 2010 | Reply

  81. Well, I guess this is as bad as saying that someone with O.D.D doesn’t deserve to be in a relationship. That’s so unfair, and maybe the person afflicted needs someone more understanding. I can say this because I have O.D.D. This has been a serious battle all my life. I don’t WANT to say the smart-ass defiant things I say/do. It’s very hard to keep a job, let alone keep my raging emotions in check, but I am trying my damn’dest to do it. I am a woman (if it matters) I have a wonderful, loving husband and two beautiful children. I know it’s hard, but maybe God saw fit to give you a challenge. Maybe it’s a test. I don’t know if you believe in God, but this is my opinion.


    Comment by Jennifer W. | November 26, 2010 | Reply

    • Then you are also saying that someone who has been raped, beaten, and tortured needed that challenge and needs to be more understanding. You are blaming the victim. This is no place for perpetrators.


      Comment by Pain And Suffering | November 30, 2010 | Reply

    • She is not saying that someone who has been raped, beaten, tortured needed to go through that challenge. People who do those things make those decisions to do those actions. ODD is not a decision that we made up to have. I was diagnosed with ODD when I was a child. I have kept it hidden until recently. I have “get mad and get even” tendencies, in which I have learned many lessons from and work very hard every day to get under control. We are not nut cases without a cause. When I get mad or upset or angry or whatever word you would like to use, I try to separate myself from the situation so that I can recap and then discuss more calmly later. Now, if the other person refuses to leave the situation alone at that moment of course it leads to arguments. My Fiance and I go through challenges almost daily but he still loves me and I still love him. God only puts on you the things he is going to bring you through. You can’t let God do all the work b/c then you will definately fall. I try my best and do the best I can. But my point is, I, as a person with ODD, do not look for pitty or to be looked at as a victim. I ask for a little more patients and tolerance b/c this is something i did not chose to be and am working hard to over come things that only I can! Someone with ODD should receive more patients and tolerance I believe!!


      Comment by Happily Loved | January 12, 2011 | Reply

  82. I can’t believe I have found this site! I have been married to a man with ODD for 35 years and whilst I always knew there was something not quite right he usually convinced me that I was the problem. I understand those who say have compassion but I have finally realised that I need my own life back. Accepting this has made me feel better about me. I haven’t left yet however I do plan to. I still worry that he will not be able to cope on his own but I am determined to make the break. I had never heard about ODD until I worked with a woman who basically did the opposite of everything and anything anyone asked of her. Someone at work said that they thought she had ODD but it was only recently I made the connection between my husband’s behaviour and this woman at work. To those who suffer from ODD I truly appreciate that you never asked for this disorder and that it is indeed a challenge. It is also a challenge to those who love you. I still love my husband but I long for a relationship which is not based on opposites. That is constantly getting the opposite of what we need or want. I have exhausted myself trying to ‘help’ now I just want my life back and I am gradually getting stonger and more able to accept that change must happen. My heart goes out to all who either have ODD or love someone with ODD and I hope you all find what you need. Realising that I am not alone in trying to love someone with ODD has also helped. I can fully empathise with those still debating on what to do, i.e. leave/don’t leave and I can appreciate that opinions differ but at the end of the day you have to be true to yourself. I hope whatever your choice is that you find peace. Personally I have chosen to get off the roller coaster and it feels right. My thoughts are with all those who are trying to deal with ODD in their lives.


    Comment by Ann | December 31, 2010 | Reply

  83. […] Adults with ODD? September 2008 118 comments 3 […]


    Pingback by 2010 in review « It’s About Them | January 2, 2011 | Reply

  84. I just spent a lot of time reading all your stories, thanks for sharing your experiences. My ex also had the devastating habit of doing on purpose all the things to me, that I asked him not to do, because I felt hurt, annoyed, embarrassed in public and disturbed. I was trapped. If I said nothing, he hurt and embarrassed my by ignorance, did I say something, he did it on purpose.

    According to my own experience, I suspect, that ODD is correlated with prolonged immaturity and that it has something to do with a power struggle.

    My ex had, at the age or nearly 60, still the maturity of a 12 year old boy, strong narcissism and all the behaviors, that are described as ODD. He had never been diagnosed of any of this, but that is what I have figuered out as an explanation after the disaster. Narcissism and ODD have some behaviors in common, so his rages, his intimidations, his lack of empathy and so on could be explained with both.

    He expected from me the unconditional love of a mother, but he treated me like the master treats his pet dog. If he had had ODD already as a child when dealing with his mother, then in his confounding me as having a similar role, he seems to have just switched the target of his defiance to me.

    He felt entitled to dominate, but I resisted and refused to accept the depreciation and ascribed inferiority, therefore one year of being together all the time was enough to get me so stressed and burned-out, that I gave him an ultimatum to radically change his behavior, or the intented marriage was off. Of course, my ultimatum included the offer of communication. He just left.

    By not being married, he had no real power over me, except the power to leave. But he had a need to feel power, so he jumped at every chance to have power over my emotions by doing hurtful things to me. Lacking enough empathy to know, what I experienced as hurting, he waited, until I told him, what was hurtful, naively believing, that a loving partner would refrain from doing it. He instead did just that on purpose for the ego boost of experiencing the power to succeed in hurting me.

    I feel with all of you, who are still struggling to leave. I do not know, how hard it would have been for me to decide myself to end the relationship, but he made it easy for me by dumping me. Now, over a year later, I can call it good riddance.


    Comment by Corry | January 3, 2011 | Reply

  85. I think I am adult ODD or passive-aggresive. I lived my earlier chilhood as a defiant kid, not really listening to my parents or anyone else for that matter, everyone always said that I had to learn the hard way on everything. In my later teens I became a rebel and just wanted to stand out and be different from everyone else, I was not a well liked individual, I lied about almost everything, and had no friends to show for it, I was a know it all and had to argue with everyone about everything. I had done it all, also, there was just this glich though, I wanted to be accepted by everyone so bad that I was accepted by no one. I spent most of my time alone thinking of fantasy after fantasy of how to get even or how to be better than who I was thinking of. It got worse thru college and I flunked out do to alcoholism so I joined the navy and failed there too do to the same problem. I also suffer from sex addiction and am ADHD, this I think has been the major problems that I seem to be dealing with at this time, oh bi-polar also. I am taking meds for the bi-polar and ADD but have been fighting tghe sex addiction thing for over 10 yrs with periods of abstinance always followed by a relapse and lies to cover it up, knowing full well I will be caught by my girlfriend of 8 yrs. I always seem to be on the defensive about things and constantly tell her the opposite of what she thinks, and end up fighting or discussing it for hours at a time which leaves her totally drained. This tsime I didn’t tell her the truth about what I had done and she had to find out on her own and I am not sure if it is the last straw in the relationship. she says she no longer has any compassion for me and sees me as an abuser,can’t blame her there, I need help with this, can it be changed or am I doomed to a life of misery and being alone due to my own actions? I am willing to do or try anything to change, I have said this before and when things cooled down gone back to life as usual, but I am so tired of living like this that I really don’t have the words to discribe it, I can’t keep hurting her, it kills me. At times I seem to have 2 me’s, the one that is defensive and agurmentative and the one who loves her and would do whatever it takes to keep her. All these things add up to make me a very dislikable individual, who would really like to be what I view myself as yet fall very short of being. I am not real insightful when it comes to me, so at times I really don’t know why I do what I do and it frustrates her and me, sometimes she will take the time to sit with me and we break it down to the basics and I end up feeling better and she wants to commit suicide. She says that I do things to provoke an arguement or just start one, so that I can feed on the energy that she puts out. I don’t know if that is true, I hope not, and I am trying any avenue that I can find to get help to see what I can do about fixing me so that I can be a better person. I was seeing a therapist earlier in the year, and lied to him about acting out, he wanted to work on the depression issue and said the rest would fall into place, and I had to leave due to financial reasons. I really can’t afford it right now because this is the slow season for my business right now, but I want to get help to change my behavior and am not quite sure where to turn to for it. I have started taking notes and keeping a journal and doing some reading, but have only begun to scratch the surface on what I have got to do. I forgot to mention that I don’t do really well dealing with all the down time in my business, I have no motivation to deliver fliers, which I do to build the business, because it leaves me way to much time with the mind that can contort and twist things to my advantage or view and leave me feeling like I need to lash out at her for something that she hasn’t done or that she has said and I have twisted around to see myself as justified when I confront her about it. I need suggestions as to where to start and how to go about finding a plan for change. Any help would be greatly appreciated


    Comment by Blane | January 15, 2011 | Reply

    • God Bless You Blane! For realizing that you need help and being willing to seek it. It is unfortunate that you are not able to benefit from counselling now. I hope you are able to soon. You must be truthful with yourself-and your therapist…they can only help you if you are objective and truthful about your behavior and yout thoughts. I pray that you will get the help that you need but admitting that you need help and searching for it is a great start. Good luck!


      Comment by D | January 22, 2011 | Reply

  86. mom sold me for 500 dollars when I was born. the deal was worked out with some assholes wearing ties I am sure. The nurse not realizing the situation gave me to my mother. I remember breast feeding. How could this be? fast forward 30 years mom hires uncle jim the PI to find me. I tell her about these memories and she starts crying and confirms that had happened. Well I grow up angry long hair rebel I am 45 now don’t care about much of anything wasn’t planning on living to be 18 so all these years and drama are all freebies. I am a mess have a great job making tons of cash I don’t even want to go to work. I want to go to sleep and never wake up. no more arguing and wondering what is right wrong who cares? what am i rebebling against? what do you got? My misery is so embedded in me I frighten and intimidate people when asking directions to the gas station. always hassled by cops. singled out in school. lot of fighting to defend my integrity. I am a mean old man now and I have become bitter and I never smile except when I watch someone f them selves up. hahahah. I am a bad person should have never been born. So now what? read the first couple pages of this post. nut case, crazy, asshole, what was wrong with that guy/girl? so this is me no friends no one I trust no where to turn when you are broken and can’t drag your own ass to the doctor. suicide an answer? if it were not for weed I am pretty certain I would be in jail for doing something reprehensible to someone else I felt deserved it. problem is when you are alone and successful you get attacked by groups of losers who are well adjusted because their mommies love them. me “the crazy guy” has little recourse except to be defiant and more on point than you. I am so smart I can watch me cause all my own problems and know I shouldn’t because the outcome will be bad. I have gotten better over the years but I am bitter and disturbed. my mother has more relationship with my kids now than I do. I have two giant families I am not a part of either one. I am truly on my own with this. glad I have a name for it now. I just used to call it evil.


    Comment by mr none | February 20, 2011 | Reply

  87. Yeah. So if one is ODD pre-18, then maybe we can call it ASS (always starting sh*t) post-18? No offense to the one’s who have this, but y’all really do make life miserable (although, I DO understand that it’s probably because you’re in pain).

    I married a “wonderful” man 10 years ago and blah blah blah. Here I am. Stunned, looking around, going “what now?” EXHAUSTED.

    EVERYTHING that I ever dreamed of, that I ever worked for, that I ever even remotely desired is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I get that now. Alteast not so long as we’re together.

    I’ve been reading so much here lately and believe I came across the correct terminology for what is going on: “I married a sadistic 3 year old.” Kudo’s to whoever you are for putting your finger on it, because I believe that’s exactly what I’m dealing with…although, I can’t quite decide if his pay-off is in torturing me, or if his pay-off is in me freaking out (LOSING IT) on him. Could be both, I guess. Either way, it’s SICK.

    Currently, we’re separated, living in the same house since I can’t do anything until I file bankruptcy (he’s a compulive gambler too and everything’s in my name). I think that’s why I’ve stayed–I put his name on the house that we bought on MY credit and MY income at the time. They said “Do you want to put his name on the house too?” and I was like “Sure!” After all, we had just been recently married and we were going to live happily ever after…so I have EVERYTHING invested in this and it’s HARD to just walk away. I’m giving it until Christmas. I’ve made my decision, this will either be healed or over. The end. It kills me to think of giving up MY home, but it has actually become my hell, so why not? The kids are scattered, the place is falling apart, and I’m ashamed to look at the neighbors…
    nothing short of a MIRACLE will keep me here after the end of the year.

    What I have to decide right now is if I want to continue to fix up the place (it got destroyed after a hurricane) just in case there’s a miracle and I stay, or should I just not bother? That’s the thing, always living in limbo, never knowing what to do because it’s always quiet chaos, never knowing if the house payment has been made because he controls the finances and will never let me in on what’s going on (because I want to know so bad, security)… actually, I think the best thing to do is go ahead and keep working on it, and even if I go, atleast I’ll know I left the place better than I found it, take the high road out…

    So, solutions: So far, I have started to attend CoDA (codependent’s annonymous) meetings. Actually, I think this disorder they have is a SEVERE case of codependency, but the meetings are helping me a lot, too. It’s a 12 step program and the first step is to ADMIT I AM POWERLESS OVER OTHERS. The literature and meetings are helping me to quit looking at him and trying to get him to change and start looking at only my self and what I CAN change about me. I STRONGLY recommend that anyone who has been living with someone like this get into a support group. Celebrate Recovery is a another group I’m checking into, it’s Christian- based, while CoDA is more generic “higher power” based…

    I also listen to a radio show called “New Life Live.” They are AWESOME. 3 therapists/docs who take phone calls from people and sort of tag team in helping them. Just listening to all the people who have different problems but the same can teach you a lot. You can check it out online, Steve Arterburn, I think his name is. Also Christian-based, but they don’t cram it, just their perspective.

    There are also a few books I’ve read so far but need to go back and re-read slowly since I burn through them so fast in my thirst for help: How We Love, by Milan Yerkovich. It’s based on “attachment theory” which looks at how we learned how to deal with life when we were young and that some of us as adults keep trying to deal with people the same way. VERY ENLIGHTENING. Totally explains the sadistic 3 year old thing. Also, they explain “triggers.” How things people do as adults sort of reminds us of some bad thing from our childhood and we start reacting as if we were still back there.

    I’m working on MY anger management problems since I definately have lost my cool a few times over the years. 😉

    Mostly, right now, I focus on my God, and remember what HE said about me and not believe the BS my husband says to/about me…I’m trying to find a church, but it’s hard for me since I really don’t like organized religion, but I really feel I need to get a support system as my family lives on the other side of the country and are quite detached.

    Also, I will strive to look at my husband and see him as God sees him: a scared little orphan who is hidden so far in there that I’m sure I’ve NEVER really met him before. I’m sure the man I know, the good one and the bad one are both the fake ones.

    There’s lots more, too much for here, so if anyone wants to start some support group, a place to help search for solutions, I’d love to join…


    Comment by mrs done? | February 22, 2011 | Reply

    • you should get out of his life. he needs someone understanding. not you. you staying is not helping. get out. poor guy. I feel no pity for you. you chose to stay with this guy and all you do is complain about poor you. I feel terrible for this guy, he knows you don’t love him. I bet just looking at you makes his stomach hurt. those of you not affected by this will ever know. take your concerns and hit the bricks with them we won’t miss you it is not in our make up. you can’t fix us. you not happy makes us not happy. get out leave us alone and shut the f up about all your feelings. you know you are not with an average person why do you expect average results? I can stand up for us all and tell you straight away we would all be better off if the rest of you would just shut up and get out of the way. it is our problem but all of you make it our MISERABLE problem. we don’t expect blind people to see or deaf people to hear, why do we expect people with no feelings to feel? STARE INTO THE MESS LONG ENOUGH YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO IMAGINE SOMETHING THAT SEEMS REAL. I KNOW YOU CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE ALL YOUR NEW DISCOVERIES WITH US.


      Comment by mr none | February 22, 2011 | Reply

      • hee hee. Unbelievable, mr sunshine! I will not take the bait. I’ve learned so much over the years, and the number one thing I’ve learned is DON’T TAKE THE BAIT. I will not let your CRAP make me angry or even hurt. *Applause* for pretty much summing up (in your colorful and graphic way) what I’ve already come to ACCEPT while adding in all your own assumptions and making it seem like I’m actually some horrible person and he’s the victom. Classic. I KNOW THE TRUTH.

        The big lie: “he needs someone understanding.” IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO HE/YOU GETS, IT WILL BE THE SAME AND YOU KNOW IT. HE/YOU WOULD DESTROY THEM TOO (you said so yourself).

        Thanks for illustrating for all the ones trying to figure out if “somewhere deep down inside is there love?” But guess what? No matter how much you try to “show” everyone there is NOTHING there, it is quite obvious that there is! All the crazy crap you pull is designed to keep from feeling it BUT IT IS THERE.

        I SEE YOU! Your hurt little self, rejected, feeling worthless because of what your mama did, can’t bear the pain so bury it and bury it and bury it and if anyone gets even remotely close to you you RIP THEM A NEW ONE so you don’t have to feel the pain of rejection again. SOOOOOO SAD. Really, so sad. 😦

        You’re not fooling anyone. If you were evil, you wouldn’t give a crap AT ALL. And you do, so why don’t you just quit with the charade. Face it: we were all born into a war and just about everyone’s parents were screwed up in one way or another and in turn screwed us up. Can you blame yourself? No. Can you blame them. No. How about their parents? There is no one to blame because how can you blame someone for doing exactly what they learned as a child. You CAN take responsibility, though. You can recognize that it doesn’t have to be this way and look at YOURSELF. What worked when you were 3 does NOT work now. It’s time to grow up.

        If you can manage to get the book I suggest “How we Love” by Milan Yerkovich, I’m sure you’re in there somewhere. Maybe “The Avoider?” I don’t know.

        Also, drag your A*S self to a CoDA meeting (or Celebrate Recovery?)…just sit there and listen, you don’t have to talk. They have this rule about “no cross talk” so you’re not allowed to even comment on what others are saying and neither is anyone else allowed to comment or even gesture when you do choose to share. It’s free, except maybe $1 per meeting, donation. I’m telling you, one lady I go with used to be JUST LIKE YOU. I tell her about my husband and she always says “that’s exactly what I used to do.”

        SO THERE IS HOPE (although, in my situation, I don’t know if I can hang on much longer because the ONLY hope is if HE/YOU choose(s) to change).

        Also know this: Even though your kind are hurtful and mean and downright sadistic, God still loves you. There is NOTHING you can do to make him stop. NOTHING. And if you choose, He WILL forgive you, and you can basically get covered by The Blood of The Lamb (His Son, Jesus) so when you go stand before Him you WILL be as innocent as a newborn baby (who never hurt anyone). You will look just like His Son to Him, and He will adopt you. He will be your Mother and your Father. He will never let you go (or sell you, as a matter of fact he PAID for you with His own Life). And by the sheer fact that you feel bad about this means you belong to Him (if YOU choose). I saw in your post below you’re into guitars and such. Why don’t you google the ex korn guy, Brian Welch? I can’t remember his name, but check out “I am second.” Follow him, He’s following Jesus so you know you’ll be ok…

        So good luck, mr sunshine. I really will add you to my prayers because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, the only way we’re going to win this battle is on our knees. I hope to see you someday when we go Home.

        And no, I’m not trying to fix anyone, only God can do that. I know that now. 😉


        Comment by mrs done? | February 22, 2011

    • I was just thinking about all this (surprise) and it occured to me: Could this be some form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

      In the case of my husband, he was severely abused as a child (trauma) by his mother and his father totally “checked out” and didn’t help him. It seems like somehow, just being in a relationship with him, he viewed me as an “authority figure,” trying to control (and abuse) him and he responded as if he were still there, even though that’s not what was going on anymore.

      It’s sort of like he kept “switching the channel” between me and his mom. I asked him about this and he said that his mom would start asking him questions and NO MATTER WHAT the answer, he would get nailed. He’d get interrogated just so she could find something wrong (and when I start asking questions he has a flashback and his defenses and offenses would start)? Also, he said he did start to do whatever he wanted and disobey because no matter what, he’d get busted anyway and he learned to “deal” with all the pain. So he would almost provoke her (like the ODD symptoms, to gain some sort of control over her or the situation).

      Like what he does (did) to me now, only we’re not back there anymore and I’m not his mother.

      Ironically (yet predicably, I suppose) I DID start acting like his mother (getting controlling and abusive) in RESPONSE to him acting as if I was that person. I spent years trying to prove to/convince him I was not like that then BAM! I WAS acting like that. Almost humerous if it wasn’t so sad.

      So anyways, I’m just thinking out loud and this helps me organize my thoughts. Although, I don’t know how this insight can help except that it helps me see even more that I have got to work on ME and my responses to all this. And to not take it so personal.

      I may have found something that will help today (thank God, because I really think HE is the one that thought of this).

      We have agreed that our marriage is REALLY OVER. We are now officilly broke up (divorced but not on paper, as opposed to being merely separated) and have re-named ourselves by our middle names (our inner/true selves). The people who were married are pretty much dead along with that marriage (atleast until they’re healed) and we refer to those people by our first names. We have also named our bodies by our last names. (soul/spirt/body)?

      So, as nuts as this sounds, it seems to have been a MAJOR breakthough in diffusing the whole situation and allowed us to discuss this like adults without getting defensive or offensive!

      Heres an example, using fake names, of course:

      His full name: Brian Scott Cunningham/MrC.

      My full name: Mary Sue Cunningham/MrsC.

      We NOW call ourselves Scott and Sue (our TRUE inner selves, who we REALLY are, who we’ve been protecting this whole time).

      We NOW refer to Brian and Mary (our first names, who we were up until now) when we’re talking about what happened in THAT marriage as if they are someone other than us. Like “Mary did that to protect Sue, I know it wasn’t the best thing SHE could’ve done but SHE did mean well. Even though it was unhealthy the way SHE handled it, SHE really was just trying to do what was right.” And “SHE really didn’t mean to hurt HIM.” And “I know that HE just did those things to protect HIMSELF.” We referred to it all in the 3rd person and detached from it all. We were successful in talking about it all without fighting! It’s like it took away the urge to defend ourselves or attack because it’s not US we’re discussing, it’s SOMEONE ELSE! lol

      Whatever it is, it seems to have worked. We have agreed we are “divorced” and that we NEVER want another marriage like THAT one. We agreed that THEY may have acted nuts and mean and hateful but it’s because THEY were trying to do the right thing in a VERY unhealthy way. We agreed we will live in this house together (but separate, like roomates/friends) for the next ten months as our NEW selves, our TRUE selves and that THEY (our old selves) are pretty much dead and gone (atleast for now, while they heal). We agreed to keep wearing our rings, but they are now called “promise rings” because we promised to not see other people (so we can heal) and to keep maintaining and working on the house until the end of the year (this eliminates fear of losing it all so we can concentrate on healing). We agreed that we will work on our OWN NEW selves and not even TRY to work on the the other’s NEW self! We agreed that at the end of the year, after we have worked on getting healed, we can see if either their has been a miracle and our NEW selves will get married (a NEW marriage NOT the old one) or we will choose to go our separate ways and whoever hooks up with someone else will move out and leave the house for the other. We agreed that our bodies, Mr and Mrs C should have a say so in all this, too. 😉

      Will this work? I have NO idea. Does it sound nuts? Definately. Will we be able to atleast get through the next 10 months while we REALLY work on getting healed AND still function? I PRAY so.

      So, thanks for letting me organize my thoughts in this comment, sorry for “using” it, but it really helps.

      Any insight or feedback would be appreciated (and I’m ready for hateful people, but know this: I WILL just let it roll off). 😉


      Comment by mrs done? | February 24, 2011 | Reply

      • One more thing: By using our middle names and “becoming” our true/inner selves, we can now look at eachother as if the other is almost a child (become vulnerable as opposed to threatening) and it’s like we can just be friends and possibly explore ourselves and “grow up” together. We can leave the past and pain behind…and again, I do believe this sounds nuts, but who can blame us?! We have a choice in this situation–we can go MAD, or SAD or BAD or we can go GLAD…I choose to GO GLAD! lol 😀


        Comment by mrs done? | February 24, 2011

  88. contacted a therapist specializing in this. 350 to talk to her for 50 minutes. So what I guess I need to know is if being the victim of extortion good for this condition?(1) the follow up visits were very pricey as well. I cannot help but picture her snickering when I leave her office. giving her crackhead boyfiend the high five and having sex on the money I gave them while they watch the video of me crying about my bad parents dead puppies and mean ex girlfriends. I can think of a lot of things to do with my 350 dollars that need to be done, however my sanity is priceless. It looks like about 10,000 dollars for a year of “treatment” that is exactly how much I paid for my Harley-Davidson electraglide. Be it that it may be all endorphins, my Harley made me feel really good still does. hard to give a shit about mom, dad, or anything else when you are slicing lanes on a big badass bagger through rush hour traffic in Los Angeles. In this economy right now 10 grand will buy you a lot of distractions. Are distractions good for us?(2) Do they keep me from being better?(2a) Do they make me better?(2b) I feel fairly accomplished when I finish a project that started out pretty ratty and turn it into a real prize. cars bikes guitars etc. does this delay my healing?(3) sure keeps my mind off of it. This problem is a trip how you worry about what people think at the same time you’re thinking f everyone. I want to be a better person. I want to be “balanced” I do not want to live in my car to be able to afford this balance. thanx in advance for any help you can shed on this subject.


    Comment by mr none | February 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Hey, Mr. Sunshine…I was just thinking about your mean/loveable self. If you check out New Life Ministries/New Life Live (like I had in my earlier comment), they have something called a “New Life Weekend.” It’s an intensive 3 day seminar with lots of help and they pretty much guarantee you’ll come out of there a different person. If you were willing to pay $350 for ONE hour and make all that money maybe you could afford to go…I think it’s like &700 for the whole weekend, but not sure. Check it out, who knows. I REALLY trust those guys. Again, good luck, Mr. Sunshine! 🙂


      Comment by mrs done? | February 24, 2011 | Reply

  89. I just came to this website after my husband bringing up this mental disease the other day after having a long talk with him. We have been fighting more lately and he thinks I have this but at the same time I almost feel he has this as well. He was actually diagnosed as a child with ADD or ADHD. I think he has that and more now and I am doing my best to help him deal with the issues at hand. He has a short temper for the most part. He has a hard time cooling down from a situation. He used to drink a lot but I have managed to slow that down to where he hardly ever drinks now and he loves to gamble but that has also slowed down because he never knew when to quit. I on the other hand had a dad growing up, who spent more time drinking and blaming me for his problems that I spent most of my teenage years in my room reading, mostly keeping to myself. Now I find myself being affected by the outcome of his is issues. My husband says I always have to go the opposite of what the other person has to say. Like I am trying to start an argument with someone. I am not a violent or even a mean person. I enjoy doing things for others and I care for my friends and family but I can’t seem to figure out why I do what I do. I don’t even realize I am doing it to be honest. I feel as though I want my voice to be heard and someone to final hear what I have to say for once. We both agreed to sit down with someone and figure out whats going on with the both of us. I know that I personally have a lot of built up anger from how my dad never treated me most of my life. I just hope it is not too late to fix it because sometimes when I think I have finally resolved all my issues with it, they come back in my life with a vengance.


    Comment by Confused | March 15, 2011 | Reply

  90. how can i stop my husband bad adduitude it really sucks all he wants to do is have control of things and it really bothers me alot how can i cope with him


    Comment by christina | March 31, 2011 | Reply

  91. I’m a 52 year old male who was severely mentally, emotionally, physically & sexually abused as a child by my stepmother. (My parents divorced when I was 6 years old) My father received custody of the 3 children and remarried a few years later. I’ve struggled to live a “normal” life for as long as I can remember. I’ve struggled with depression, low self-esteem, overeating, etc. My struggles with pornography addiction resulted in my first wife leaving me after 22 years.

    I’m remarried now for 8 years. I have overcome my addiction to pornography and have even written a book about it. (I facilitate a 12 Step Recovery Program) I’m making progress on the food addiction but I think that I might have ODD or whatever the adult manifestation is called.

    I hate my full-time job. I hate my boss. My unwillingness to work for him has put me and my wife in a precarious financial position. I’ve been on probation for the last 45 days and I’ve done nothing to change my boss’s mind about firing me. I don’t care. I don’t want to work for him. I don’t have another job to go to but I can’t seem to make myself work for this man. I’d rather be out of work.

    I think I need help. I see a therapist regularly for my addictive behaviors. Maybe this another form of addictive behavior? I don’t know. This ODD thing is brand new to me. I want to understand it so that I can understand myself. I want to change but I don’t know how. I’m hurting my wife and causing her to feel insecure about our financial future. I feel abnormal. I feel like I’m letting her down.

    I’m so impatient. I have an opportunity to go to work in a field that I really want to break into. (I’ve hated my field of work for 30 years now. It’s not what I studied for but I had to make a living.) I know that I’m purposely sabotaging my relationship with my boss right now in hopes that he will fire me or lay me off. That way I don’t have to quit and I can blame it on him. It’s just a way to get what I want when I want it. This can’t be normal behavior.

    I’m going to seek help. Please pray for me and for my poor wife. I’m putting her thru hell right now.

    I know that the ODD is playing a part in my work situation but I’m sure it’s affecting other areas of my life that I’m not even aware of. I definitely have a strong, selfish tendency. I’ve been having a tough time truly loving my wife. She feels it and it hurts her so much. I have to always be right about everything. Help! I don’t know how to stop this crazy cycle I’m on.


    Comment by Brent McNamara | April 12, 2011 | Reply

  92. i think my husband has this kind of disorder based on my readings and analysis on him. how ca i confirm if this is true with him? are there any tests? is the psychological exam would help in the confirmation? is this still can be treated or are there any ways to just modify his behavior?


    Comment by Nancy Albiso | April 29, 2011 | Reply

  93. My brothers girlfriend told me that she was diagnosed with ODD when she was 16 due to the fact that she dropped out of school and couldn’t stop running away. She hasn’t been able to keep a job at all. She got fired from her last job around January or February its now June almost July. Her and my brother have been together for 6 years now and they have one daughter together unfortunately he is not on the birth certificate (don’t ask) they fight ALL THE TIME! It’s always over the most retarded things ever he tends to talk to her like she’s a child until she understands. As for her and my niece she is constantly yelling at her and never stops. I hate the way she treats my niece but I can’t do anything about it at one point she went a little crazy and the cops got called(again don’t ask) more than once. She uses their daughter against him a lot including when they were separated he never got to see my niece unless the mom wanted to go out and drink and smoke. They are back together but she can’t seem to handle my niece and is always stuck in her phone, computer, or tv. She tends to just yell until my niece listens or when my niece cries she get annoyed and tells her to shut up (my niece is 3). I want to help but Idk how much I can take of her anymore


    Comment by Becca | June 26, 2011 | Reply

  94. After reading the comments, I’m also seeing Narcissism. My boyfriend of 12 (long) years has behavior alot like those listed. At first, I thought Narcissism… or sociopath. He CANNOT (not WILL NOT) initiate a conversation. I see him sigh and struggle to say something simple like “how was your day”.. a twice a decade occurance. He has a disconnection between heart and mind, cannot feel for others, not even on his radar. If I am coughing, he will be mad that the noise is annoying, not that I need a doctor. Mention “responsibility” and the rage is off the charts.

    As for ODD… if I say black, he says white. Every time. And there isn’t any thought, it is almost a knee jerk reaction. If I want a “career”, then he sabotages it, even if it means reversing the spark plug wires on the car to keep me from getting to a class. Then, the threats… he dismantled my finances, all the while I thought “we” were working “together”. I lent him money, He was to pay it back… NOT. It was tuition. Then without training to get income to leave? He knows I have no place to go, no way to get there, no money/skills for an income to stay there.. so, if it’s not his way, the temper tantrum is the threat of being thrown on the street… with nothing.

    So, he is a habitual arguer, manipulative, HATES authority figures- ALL authority figures. Hates being asked to do anything. Example- If he was going to wash the car, and I say “Could you wash the car?” Then he doesn’t want to.
    The rages are unbelievable. Nothing is ever his fault. “YOU made me…. not feel like doing it”.

    Many times I would say “I’m hungry, no food, what would you like to eat?” And, he would go to sleep, or, pretend. And, remember, he dismantled my finances. Later, I would find the remnants of a fast food bag in his car.

    He cannot see me. He cannot see anyone… other than the authority figures he hates.

    When this started, I unknowingly gave him the game plan… I told him my standards, goals, dreams… and for him, the game was on to make sure we did the opposite.

    He cannot even have a conversation.. more accurately, answer a question. I’ll ask a simple question, that requires a yes/no answer. He’ll go around and around and not answer, and inevitably, I’ll say “so the answer is ‘yes’.” He’ll rage with “YES TEACHER!” (Did I mention that he was thrown out of kindergarten for behavior?)

    So, all of the pieces are there… angry, argumentative, manipulative, hates authority figures, rages, ALWAYS does the opposite, mother was in and out of mental institutions (shock treatment), 2 brothers (of 5 siblings) are on psychotropic drugs, the others are alcoholics/ coke addicts.

    Where does this leave me? All of my energy is staying one step ahead of me, not to be yelled at, again. Sneaking around to hide/save money for my escape. I don’t recognize myself. I’m an empty shell. No conversation, human interaction. (Oh, but I get yelled at for being on the computer “Your little internet friends”.) When I say how hard it is to be isolated, and he goes to work and has human interaction, he said that I have “human interaction” with the internet…. and he is serious.

    It is a very long nightmare. As one of my girlfriends (internet, of course) says, “You can’t rationalize with the irrational”.


    Comment by triciajoelle | July 7, 2011 | Reply

    • The stories that I am reading here ring true to what I have struggled with my husband…..On the one hand he is a respected teacher, but all my friends find him manipulative and narcissistic. We go through good spells and bad.

      Just a week ago I asked him nicely to clean out a closet during the commercials of a 3 hour TV sporting event. He went berserk, hit me with a newspaper, screamed obscenities and told me to call my lawyer (straight to divorce), then 3 hours later, denied hitting me. His look was murderous.
      Later that night I tried to talk to him, but her brought up divorce, and said he’d get the house because he’d paid more than I had. When I said That’s for the courts to decide, he said he’d kill me if I got the house, and noone could prove he’d said that!

      My blood ran cold, and since I was on vacation that week I took off out of state to visit my parents, which he saw as a terrible disservice to him. I am back now and he is acting like we will just go on and forget, but I can’t unless her apologises, admits what he did and get psychiatric help……Fat chance.

      He doesn’t act like this always, but is always hard to deal with compared to other husbands. I have been married 28 years and am so discouraged. I told my 22 year old son what happened and he was supportive, but I feel awful. My friends are supportive.


      Comment by Gaylegee | July 30, 2011 | Reply

  95. I got on here to see how to help my sister who has a 24 year old son who was diagnosed with ODD as a young teenager and has struggled ever since.

    Something that may help many of the posters here is to attend Alanon which is an organization that helps family and friends of alcoholics and drug abusers deal with their loved ones. It teaches you how to take care of yourself in spite of what the loved one does instead of riding the ups and downs of their life with them. I know that not all ODD suffers have addiction problems but many do and you can substitute the word Alcoholism with ODD or destructive behavior in the 12 steps for Alanon. My nephew has a gambling problem and a food addiction. My ex-husband had a drug problem and Alanon made me sane. The stronger I got attending meetings, the more I could say no to outrageous demands, set bounderies, allow the negative consequences that they caused (I used to just bail them out), and do good things for me that kept me sane if not truly happy.

    My sister is resistant to this kind of help so she just keeps bailing him out of his jams and enables the arguing and bad behavior. She thinks her only two choices are to keep supporting him and allowing it all to continue or to throw him out and see him dead in the street. There has to be a better way and I truly believe that living at home and getting family to help him out of jams again and again is preventing him from facing his disorder and doing something about it.

    Until a suffer of ODD realizes it and seeks help, nothing will change for them. As loved ones of suffers, that doesn’t mean leaving them, kicking them out, or abandoning them. It may come to that if things are physically dangerous or if, as in my nephew’s situation, could truly help them. It means taking care of yourself, encouraging them to get help, and determining the best solution to prevent or at least minimize the negative results of ODD behavior.


    Comment by Renee Titus | July 26, 2011 | Reply

    • “Until a suffer of ODD realizes it and seeks help, nothing will change for them.”

      Seeks help? What help is there for us with personality disorders? Even the best docs in the world will tell you that personality disorders are extremely difficult to attack, basically this is wired into the way we think. Could you imagine living life not being able to think the way “normal” people do? I have LITERALLY had doctors tell me that my disorder was “basically incurable”. I’m sure Alanon will work for those who are suffering with dealing with someone with a PD, but don’t write those of us with them off so easily as just people who decided not to “get help”.

      I do appreciate how you aren’t advising people to just get rid of their loved ones with these problems. You are much more tolerant than 80% of people on this page. But unfortunately I highly doubt most of us with PD’s have any access to the professionals who can actually offer anything resembling “help”.


      Comment by Magsy | January 14, 2015 | Reply

  96. I have just barely skimmed some of these comments. I have to say most of you should be ashamed of yourselves. ODD, CD, And other personality conditions are much simular to any other disease. (If your loved one had Cancer would you leave them?) These are chemical imbalances. Even though these people have done soo many wrong things. They CANT control it. I can understand that most comments on here are made from hurt, stress, sadness etc.. But just think how they feel when they don’t realize that a disease is egging them on to hurt the people they love the most.

    The reasoning for me to read this site is because I had ODD as a child. I had alot of hard times, mainly me making it hard on myself. There are alot of things Ive missed out on. And alot of things others miss out on because of me. I am 28 now. I am having alot of trouble coping with things in life, My job, my home life, going out with friends, any and everything. I came on here to do research and get myself some help. But who the hell wants to get help, after reading all of this negative shit that you people are posting. Why not just put myself out of misery.


    Comment by Jennifer | September 12, 2011 | Reply

    • Totally agree Jennifer and I posted a comment last year saying much the same thing. I was diagnosed as a 15 yr old and am now 33. I have had numerous relationships and a marriage fail because of this and now it looks like my daughter is the same.
      I couldn’t believe the comments on here when I read them! We know we are hard to live with.. we don’t need people to point that out to us constantly. And to tell our partners to leave us is just wrong. No-one has the right to interfere in anothers relationship. If you had that many problems with your own relationships and you got out, then great. But don’t presume to tell my husband to leave me just because I have a disorder. Every person with this disorder is different and behaves differently and reacts differently to different things.
      Get over yourselves people! I bet you aren’t perfect either.
      Jennifer, I hope you get the help that you need and can ignore all the shit on here.


      Comment by Kylie | September 14, 2011 | Reply

      • I am appalled at how people are on a site about a DISORDER, use this DISORDER to justify their relationship issues, and then advise people in their situations to “get out!”. Do they even understand that this is an uncontrollable issue (hence the word disorder)?! Every one keeps saying their husband/wife/blah blah has ODD. If you actually read up on ODD you’ll see it’s an adolescent disorder, once you become an adult you are usually classified as having CD or with a personality disorder. Everyone seems to have skimmed through the article and then in turn commented “yep my life is shit because so-and-so has ODD and they are terrible people”. I myself have Borderline Personality Disorder, which started as ODD, ADD and depression. Could you imagine what my life would be like if everyone I loved was advised to “get out”. I WOULDN’T BE ALIVE… is that what you want for your significant others/family members? I can’t help who I am and I’m sorry for those who have to deal with us, but we didn’t choose to be this way.


        Comment by Magsy | January 14, 2015

    • This is the exact same reason why I ended up on this site. To see if there was hope for me as a 29 year old who has suffered with ODD/BPD since age 3. I can vividly remember being on the playground in 2nd grade and wondering why I wasn’t like the other kids, and maybe I should just die. AT AGE 7! Unfortunately I’m not seeing much in the way of hope, but I am seeing a ton of people who don’t understand that we didn’t choose to be this way. If I was surrounded by these miserable, uneducated people in my personal life I would have successfully killed myself years ago.

      I hope you’re doing “ok”, Jennifer. Unfortunately I know that for those in our position “ok” is pretty much the best it gets.



      Comment by Magsy | January 14, 2015 | Reply

  97. Jennifer, I hope you get the help that you need and can ignore all the shit on here.


    Comment by mr none | September 14, 2011 | Reply

  98. My 18 yr old was diaggnosed at 8 yrs old with extrem anxity and odd. She was put on meds saw mental health many times, with no real help. Now that she is 18 She can’t do anything answer the phone, call someone, go into any place by herself. she is also over 300 lbs. I am trying to get her help, I can’t take the fighting over nothing. Now she told me she has thoughts of hurting herself, and at times hurting her brothers for no reason. I don’t know what to do, no one seems to be able to help, I can’t kick her out cause I know she will never make it. Oh and she has no friends. I just can’t take it.


    Comment by leanne | October 22, 2011 | Reply

  99. I have a daughter who was as a child well adjusted at home and at school despite being Mildly MR that developed undiferentiated schizoprenia when she was 13 she now exibits all the symptoms and charachteristics of ODD she is defiant angry throws fits allways argumentative easily irritated blames others for her actions and is at times violent she recently threw a fit and kicked the curbside trash recepticle and broke 2 toes. Does anyone know if ODD can develope in young adults. Im at my wits end trying to deal with her negative behavior and it seems that she is out of control. If anyone has information please let me know.


    Comment by Jodie | November 2, 2011 | Reply

  100. On forehand, excuses for my English. I’m not English.

    Hi, reading all the posts here, is a big eye-opener for me.
    More than that, after reading really everything, last night, I felt as if I was about to faint.

    I would very much like to share my story with you.

    Most of you are parents, or partner.
    I am a daughter (45 years) of an ODD-er, and can say it has influenced my life very much.
    And not in a positive way.

    I have never been sure what the problem with my father was/is.
    To people I described it as some sort of borderline behavior.
    But my father can behave pretty ok, with others. It will not show unless
    you “push” a very little bit (meaning, don’t agree with him on whatever) , or he has to be with people longer than say 2 hours, before it shows.
    For me, when there are no other people around, as his daughter, he feels clearly no need to pretend to be any different then he is.

    For all you partners, I have the deepest respect, yet I would leave. ASAP.
    And I would make sure, if you still have the chance, you never have children with a person who has ODD.
    Not because it will be hard on you. Sorry. I’ve seen my poor mother’s life being destroyed by my father. But for the sake of the children.
    I cannot leave or divorce my father. Even if I don’t see him, he is my father.
    That meant I have grown up, since I was a baby, in stress. Depending on someone I could not trust.
    What do you think that does to a person and how are they supposed to live and grow up happy? Well you can’t.

    In my wrecked mind and disturbed emotional life, I had partners with behavior similar to ODD. Strange enough I needed to fall in love with men who treated me the same as my father did. It was the only way I knew.
    Men who were trustworthy, reliable, supportive used to seem boring?? to me.
    But it was something else, I just felt very uncomfortable with all these things, because I was completely not used to it.
    I was used to not getting any respect for who I am, used to always feeling anxiety for whatever, are we going to get discussions? the silent treat? rage? is he going to embarrass me?
    Happiness was an emotion I did not know, and I’m still having to do my very best, everyday (!) to realize that I, like others, have a “right” to feel happy.
    That’s what a parent with ODD does.

    I’m 45 years now. And it’s still hard with my father. He has no-one.
    He has been working as a teacher, the perfect job for someone like that.
    Being “in charge over 25 14-year olds”. The authority over these kids, to mis-use whenever.

    My parents divorced ehen I was young, and it was the happiest day of my life when he moved out.
    I have one brother who is one of the worst schizophrenics in this country in the sense of aggression and danger (is that coincidence?)
    Friends my father cannot keep, he either’s suffers them with attention, or complety ignores them if that have the slightest critic.
    Me my, partner died, am alone with my daughter.
    My daughter has a severe case of Dyscalculia.
    He helps her with school for that and because of that she’s able to do her school..
    I’m depending on him, again.
    And he abuses that by coming by whenever he wants. He does not see the abuse in that, as he never sees anything outside or besides himself
    Letting him know I do not appreciate that, means I have a fight with him. And no help for my daughter.
    I know the answer, I have to have someone else for helping my daughter, but is a specific problem that you cannot find people for.
    Also I choose to have contact with my father, because besides my hate, I feel deeply sorry for him to live such a pathetic live and feel somehow responsible since I’m the only one. That’s what a parent like that does make you feel.

    For me as a child of my father, it meant I never had a father. He prides himself never have grown up. How awful is that!?
    As a child you wish and need a parent. Instead I always had to be smarter and wiser and could never rely on him. I had to be the parent of my father. That’s not ok.

    In short don’t think that the burden is on you only, being in a relationship with an ODD-er, it’s the children who suffer, forever.
    My mother sometimes says that she regrets so much giving me a “father” like him. She thought that as long as she could cope and protect me it would be ok. But you can never be protected as a child for the terror of that.

    I’m very happy to have found this forum. And sad at the same time


    Comment by Alejandra | November 2, 2011 | Reply

  101. I myself am 19 and still suffer largely with the effects of O.D.D in my life, i have ended up in a large amount of situations that have had a large impact on my life, both personal,mental and physically. The reason i beleive their is not so much information about the condition in adults is that it is still a relatively newly found emntal health disorder from what im aware, I’ve been tested for multiple personality disorders due to teh condition and have yet to develope into anything else, but i have been told it could happen at anytime, as one of my parents suffer from borderline schizophrenia. Hope this answers anything anybody wanted to know like


    Comment by Jason Billingham | November 8, 2011 | Reply

  102. I didn’t know there was ODD for adults until the other day after reading and researching. I should have known the tell tale signs of it from when my child had it many years ago. He went through therapy and is now awesome!
    The adult i am now talking about is my BF. We’ve been together 10 years and his attitude is that of a person having ODD. I always thought maybe it was just the alcohol and being self-centered, but now that i step back and really look i am convinced that he has ODD! He does have medical conditions which could be a part factor. But he behaved as does now before he was diagnosed with those conditions. I’m right, you’re wrong, destructive at times, can’t keep a marriage (been married 3 times and i won’t be #4), hateful, spiteful, says one thing and denies it was said, everything is always about him as if the world revolves around him and the list goes on and on and on. In the past he would stand behind my car so i couldn’t drive off. When we lived seperate he would call numerous times and keep arguing. I’d finally just shut off my phone. He’s even gone as far as sending me an open note to my family’s house for everyone to read while i was visiting with them. I’ve been there down that road before and remember going through all that with my child. not a nice thing in life for anyone and not a great thing to have to re-live any of it. I’m 49 years old and should be enjoying life. He is 58 years old. It’s a shame to see this and not do anything about it. One should be able to enjoy life, especially at the age he’s come to.
    Telling him he has a problem and needs help goes unheard. We have gone to counseling before but he would turn that around as well and say the doctor said you are totally wrong and you said this and that. I highly doubt that.
    Before his moms passed away we use to always talk. ODD never came into the discussion, probably because i never really thought about it for an adult (maybe she knew, maybe she didn’t??). But she would always ask me why i put up with his selfishness and attitudes. There is love there on my part for him, but i am not in love with him and the way he acts.
    I didn’t abandon my child when he needed help and seeing him through all that has turned out to be a great reward for everyone, especially me and his father (my ex-husband). But, I am now at the end of my rope with my BF and ready to leave. He will never go for help and he will never change…..all on his part. That is totally my decision when the time comes. Not to abandon him, but to leave the situation here to what is suppose to be called home. I’ll still be there for him when the time comes because of his medical conditions and if he needed my help anyother time. But that does not mean i have to live with it.
    I’m not telling anyone to leave, abandon or just high tail it away from your other half. But what my plans are is for some peace in my life for me. Everyone has to make their own minds up as to what and how they want to live the rest of their lives. For me this will work, it might not for others.
    I just want to say to those going through this also. . . . . . .”Stay strong”. You have to be able to take care of yourself before helping someone else fully. . . . . .


    Comment by shari d | November 13, 2011 | Reply

  103. I am so happy to have found this blog. Just to know there are others who know what im going through is some comfort. My husband of five years was diagnosed at 13 and again at 22 both court ordered evaluations. I wish i knew about it before we married but while we dated and first married he was sweet and kind and wonderful. Which makes me think he could control it. As soon as i got pregnant 3 years ago it was like a switch flipped. He became angry, manipulative,spiteful,and mean. I had a complicated pregnancy and on more than one occasion i was screamed at in the ER for faking it. He left me in the hospital alone to take care of myself. I have been screamed at and told i was stupid and a baby and basically useless at least once a week for our entire marriage. I have had enough and I want to leave but i am fearful about what he will do. What he will do to my son when i wont be there. What he will tell him about his mommy. I feel like my friends dont understand, they think its so easy to just leave. If anyone has any advice that would be appreciated.


    Comment by sadinpa | November 15, 2011 | Reply

  104. Hi there, I am 40 and have been married for the past 9 years. I have been doing a lot of research trying to understand why my wife is like what she is. After much research, I suspect she had ODD as a child and now I believe the problem has progressed into adulthood. But I am not too sure. I struggled for a long time to understand why she was such a difficult person to be with. She is extremely negative, she can’t seem to show love. I have slip disc from a car accident and every time i am in pain she is pissed off with me and treats me badly. I wont forget one time i slipped on water in the house and fell flat and hurt my back. Instead of helping me she walked right past me. She said i was too careless and she was pissed off.

    Every little thing I do seems to infuriate her so, so much! Once we were having a conversation about the prices of house in our neighbourhood and i commented that the orices are so and so? Immediately she told me to shut up if i didnt know what i was talking about. Many many more of such incidences where she will just call me stupid and shut up.

    One more thing is that She is always in a bad mood. When she is tired she needs to scold someone or shout at someone. When she is stressed she needs to take it out on someone. I have spoken to her about it and she blames on me, her mother or the children. She doesn’t seem to take responsibility for her own life. Everything is someone else’s fault for what she is! She seems to have a uncanny ability to protect herself from all fault or blame. She somehow thinks the world is so unfair to her. She thinks she is the only person in this world who works really hard and the rest of the world has it easy.

    One more thing, her relationship with her mother is still so so bad. She is extremely rude to her mother! I can’t believe how someone at 40 still behaves like that. She is also extremely immature for her age. The reason wht I said that is because she can’t seem to knw what is right to say or wrong to say. Eg, she told my son grandma talks nonsense so don’t listen to her! But my mother in law takes care of our children so how can she tell them not to listen to her? True enough, my son got into trouble bcos he refused to listen to my mom in law.

    What broke my heart was when my daughter asked my servant if her mommy was kind. My helper asked her why she asked such a question and my daughter said because my mommy is not kind! She is always angry and shouts a lot. She doesn’t seem to know what she wants in her life. She blames form for almost everything bad that happens in her life. One recent example I can quote was that one of our staff resigned over the weekend. My wife was stressed about it and suddenly she turned on me. She said I don’t understand her and I judge her.

    I really feel I have a teenager for a wife. She has a chip on her shoulder and she is angry with the world. This is what teens are like but not a 40 year old! I need struggling very much! Help…….!


    Comment by Paul | March 13, 2012 | Reply

  105. Hi, at least u recognize u have a problem. This is the first step to over coming it! My wife doesn’t think she has a problem at all. The problem is the rest of the world and not her. Good luck with it! I sincerely believe u will be able to over come it bcos u recognize u have a problem. God bless u!


    Comment by Paul | March 13, 2012 | Reply

  106. Hello,

    I would first like to start off with that my actions do not define who I am. My heart is a heart of gold filled with love yet so dark and cold as my mind so gifted yet in such dismay and my mouth so sweet and foul. All of which are a sea of wonder so beautiful yet so dark not knowing what might arise next..

    I am a 22 year old college student, who was diagnosed at the age of 5, with both ADHD and ODD. I am the very fortunate child of the absolute most loving, compassionate, patient, and understanding parents that have ever come in to existence. I have to admit that if it were not for you mom and dad and brother i would most likely would have been in jail or deceased. And for that I am eternally grateful!

    All my life, I have wanted to be able to act, think, feel, and display the behaviors that the people who do not poses these illnesses have. Every day is an absolute struggle to maintain a job, education, friends, family, relationships, etc. at the same time keeping my sanity. If my life were a novel it would be classified as horror, emotional, dramatic, love, fantasy, psycho, lunatic, low life, thriller, liar, addict, abuser and so on and so forth by those of you whom are lashing out and giving up on those who you supposedly love. For those of you who do not have one or both of these illnesses it is preposterous for you to think that YOU could ever truly grasp an clear understanding of the struggles that we mentally ill people deal with on a day-to-day basis. I cannot stress how extremely frustrating it is at least for me to live with this illness no matter how hard I try to be a normal, respectful, appreciative, understanding, caring, loving, and a “law abiding” citizen (as my mom says) it just never seems to work out.

    All throughout early child hood, I was considered by those outside of my immediate family as a “problem child” which was an extremely unfair label that followed me all through my public school years. The label followed me because administrators, teachers, and students in my small town would warn of me and my behaviors to the next round of unsuspecting teachers. I cannot remember going one week throughout all grade school without being sent to the principles office or my parents receiving a call for what I thought to be such ridiculous things. If it wasn’t raising my hand, arguing, truancy, lying, or being mean it was another thing. Being in trouble for me just simply became the norm. Trouble in school has even followed me to college. I have been on academic warning as a result to my behavior at the University and I also was placed on academic probation at the community college for 1 year but violated it and was kicked out and recipient of a 1 year suspension.

    Despite consistent and appropriate punishment, from both mom and dad, I never was truly able to learn a lesson. My parents tried everything in the book and then some. They did everything from washing my mouth out with soap, restriction, taking stuff away (phones, car, toys, games, tv, etc.), making me write letters apologizing, writing i will not do… 100+ times, and even threatening me with sending me to military school. Nothing ever seemed to get the message through to my stubborn thick skull. No matter how many warnings, advice, or recommendations that i received from both family, friends, teachers and police officers i simply shut them down and wouldn’t listen. Simply put, I had to find out for myself and didn’t want to listen. Commonly feeling that the whole world was against me and simply trying to control and mold me into what wasn’t ME. However in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth, these people who cared about me just wanted what was best for me.

    If only I would have listened! Gee what a concept! But yet like all ODD people I was…. defiant. Not having any respect for authority or care for anyone but myself. At times I didn’t even care about myself or anything floating through life like dust in the air was me. No care for my parents especially that towards my father whom self employed depended on his image and reputation in order to gain business. My behavior and attitude towards neighbors definitely resulted in people thinking negatively and talking bad about such innocent and wonderful people. But because of those who are quick to judge as if they are “GOD” shame on you for thinking I am a creation of that of how I was raised. This is not their nor illness so please quit being so ignorant. Before you ever assume or judge you should really take the time to understand.

    I am one of the lucky ones i guess you might say compared to others with these disorders. I say this as a result of being tested and confirmed to having an IQ of 149. Brilliant in both math and science and far ahead of the curve. Granted me the honor of being accepted into a program ran by Duke University which i was administered a high school SAT test in the 6th grade and scored relatively well on. The programmed promised me a full ride scholarship to Duke University granted I maintain a certain grade point average and continued in the program but since my parents wanted me to do it… do you think i would? Well if you guessed yes than you are wrong. I didn’t I threw it away like i have thrown many wonderful opportunities away. Gifted in so many ways but unable to apply to everyday life mostly because I am different and think differently than the norm. So similar to that of the character depicted in a Beautiful Mind (a brilliant Genesis with a mental illness). Many brilliant people have had mental disorders such as famous artist Vince Van Gogh, Sir Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Charles Dickens, are all just a few examples of people whom suffered from some form of mental illness. All of whom are embraced hundreds of years following their death….question why can I not be embraced with my gifts and special abilities why must my behavioral issues mask such wonderful qualities and gifts that i have? Seems like modern world likes to cast out those that are not the “model citizen” if you ask me. Unaccepted to those who are different than “normal” people. Being told all my life i can literally do anything i want in regards to my future because of so many gifts and talents that i have yet to unlock. It baffles me when i realize just how blind I am and how i cannot see the gifts which I have yet ones that others can so easily see.

    From ages 14 to present, I have experienced numerous run-in’s with the law and brushes with death. At age 14, I was arrested for destruction of property and charged with a MIP (minor in possession) of alcohol. As soon as I began driving that is when ciaos began. The day of receiving my drivers license i was pulled over for speeding. This marked my journey to the accumulation of 17 traffic violations for speeding, running stop signs, and illegal passing. Not to mention the numerous car accidents that I have been involved in as a result of my lack of care. At age 16, I also experienced my first lose of “love” that resulted in me getting in with the wrong crowed given the only available crowed after ruining my reputation and setting a pattern of trouble in the eyes of my peers. I began experimenting with drugs, excessive drinking, violation of curfew, wreckless behavior, numerous sexual partners, dealing drugs, excessive lying, stealing from my parents debit cards, truancy, and both physical and emotional abuse. Being too smart for my own good worked out for me in that i had been able to successful master the art of lying, manipulation and persuasion as a technique in order to get out of all sorts of trouble ranging from being busted with drugs and alcohol, crime, assault, and other illegal activities.

    At age 17, I assaulted my father after running away for 4 days as well as being high on cocaine. Which resulted in my arrest, in response prior to being arrested I took numerous amounts of controlled substances in order to get out of going to jail but they try to say it was “suicide.” Court ordered to rehab which i sobered up but yet still continuing on the out of control spiral. From 18-22 I have been pulled over 5 times for both DWI and DUI, all of which I somehow managed to get away with. After feeling invincible for 6 years I had a rude wake up call when i found myself in jail for a domestic dispute and my world rapidly starting falling down. Feeling as though I were sinking in my own poor decisions i woke up and realized that i had no one else to blame but myself and that it was time to start taking responsibility.

    I do fit every description that each one of you both men an woman are describing your significant other to the T. I have had so many wonderful women in my life that I was able to share a relationship with and all started out amazing and I would make them my world… Until, I knew I had gained their trust and ultimately total control over them. Every failed relationship I tried understanding and learning from in order to prevent making the same mistakes as before and all of which led back to the same horrible cycle of control and dominance. Once I had control, i unintentionally would just turn into for lack of better terms an a-hole. I would yell at the sweetest girls in the world, scare them, threaten, but never hit every single one of them. I would make them feel as though they were nothing without me which couldn’t be farther than the truth. In a desperate attempt to regain the one I lost i threatened suicide to bring her back. Sounds ridiculous to the others but in my mind it seemed logical to use force to bring back. Realizing that the quite “goody goody” type of girls were easier to due this too because of how easily of a push over they were. I can’t count how many times i have heard: why are you with him? You deserve so much better? He is a control freak and psycho! All of these comments coming from girlfriends friends and family members. The sad thing is that I never wanted it to get that way. Each one of the girls i had done this to if i could have met them today i would marry in a heart beat!

    My recommendations to those of you whom are in a relationship with someone like myself, if the one you love refuses to get help and continues to treat you horribly i would highly suggest you run away immediately because it will only get worse. The love of my life leaving me opened my eyes in a new prospective, resulting in me seeking help and trying to be a better person.

    As for my parents, words cannot describe the amount of heartache, agony, pain, suffering, and disappointment that i have caused such wonderful people. It’s not that i don’t care about them because I have always said that I hope I die before mom or dad. This being because they are the most important people in my life! I would be lost without them. My father strong and stern, my idol, my inspiration, the man i have always wanted to be just like when i grew up has finally broken down to tears. My mother, the image of the type of girl that i hope i find and am able to grow old with and have a family. I have caused both of you so much pain and have nearly destroyed your marriage on several occasions. You have been the best parents any child could ever dream or ask for spoiling me with your love and care but yet i am unable to truly feel love. I know that if you were given a chance to go back and time to me being born you would have probably wanted to conceive on a different date. Well at least i would have anyway. I know you parents out there ask yourself: why me what have i done to deserve this? How could my kids treat me this way after all I have done? There really is no answer that will bring total peace and harmony to all the pain that you have endured. But you should never give up and I firmly agree that tough love is the best punishment that my mom and dad ever did. I had the choice of go to college, sober up, stay clean, and be respectful or move out and live on my own. Being the intelligent type, I chose college especially after wanting to have a successful and similar lifestyle to that of which my parents had provided me.

    I would like to say that there is hope but after numerous counseling and medical assistance. i have come to realize that this disease is one that is here to stay. But i no longer will let it control me and who i am. You can choose to make the decision that you who too suffers or you can choose to watch for cues and hits that a problem may be arising by having a better understanding in order to prevent issues. But as someone who suffers from ODD all i can ask for is patients and understanding this does not make me what you people say that I am. I did not ask for these diseases but I will choose to control it and not let it control me.


    Comment by jon | March 28, 2012 | Reply

  107. Disregard Prior Message Sent Wrong Copy


    I would first like to start off with that my actions do not define who I am. My heart is a heart of gold filled with love yet so dark and cold as my mind so gifted yet in such dismay and my mouth so sweet yet so foul. All of which are a sea of wonder so beautiful yet so dark not knowing what to expect next… (this is pretty much the story of my life)

    I am a 22 year old college student, who was diagnosed at the age of 5, with both ADHD and ODD. I am the very fortunate child of the absolute most loving, compassionate, patient, and understanding parents that have ever come in to existence. I have to admit that if it were not for you mom and dad and brother i would most likely would have been in jail or deceased. And for that I am eternally grateful!

    All my life, I have wanted to be able to act, think, feel, and display the behaviors that the people who do not posses these illnesses have. Every day is an absolute struggle to maintain a job, education, friends, family, relationships, etc. at the same time keeping my sanity. However, when my mouth opens you never know if it is going to pleasant or ciaos it has a mind of its own. If my life were a novel it would be classified as horror, emotional, dramatic, love, fantasy, psycho, lunatic, low life, thriller, liar, addict, abuser and so on and so forth by those of you whom are lashing out and giving up on those who you supposedly love. For those of you who do not have one or both of these illnesses it is preposterous for you to think that YOU could ever truly grasp an clear understanding of the struggles that we diseased individuals deal with on a day-to-day basis. I cannot stress how extremely frustrating it is at least for me to live with this illness no matter how hard I try to be a normal, respectful, appreciative, understanding, caring, loving, and a “law abiding” citizen (as my mom says) it just never seems to work out.

    All throughout early child hood, I was considered by those outside of my immediate family as a “problem child” which was an extremely unfair label that followed me all through my public school years. The label followed me because administrators, teachers, and students in my small town would warn of me and my behaviors to the next round of unsuspecting teachers. I cannot remember going one week throughout all grade school without being sent to the principles office or my parents receiving a call for what I thought to be such ridiculous things. If it wasn’t raising my hand, arguing, truancy, lying, or being mean it was another thing. Being in trouble for me just simply became the norm. Trouble in school has even followed me to college. I have been on academic warning as a result to my behavior at the University and I also was placed on academic probation at the community college for 1 year but violated it and was kicked out and recipient of a 1 year suspension.

    Despite consistent and appropriate punishment, from both mom and dad, I never was truly able to learn a lesson. My parents tried everything in the book and then some. They did everything from washing my mouth out with soap, restriction, taking stuff away (phones, car, toys, games, tv, etc.), making me write letters apologizing, writing i will not do… 100+ times, and even threatening me with sending me to military school. Nothing ever seemed to get the message through to my stubborn thick skull. No matter how many warnings, advice, or recommendations that i received from both family, friends, teachers and police officers i simply shut them down and wouldn’t listen. Simply put, I had to find out for myself and didn’t want to listen. Commonly feeling that the whole world was against me and simply trying to control and mold me into what wasn’t ME. However in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth, these people who cared about me just wanted what was best for me.

    If only I would have listened! Gee what a concept! But yet like all ODD people I was…. defiant. Not having any respect for authority or care for anyone but myself. At times I didn’t even care about myself or anything simply floating through life like dust in the air was me no cares no remorse. No care for my parents especially that towards my father whom being self employed was highly dependent on his image and reputation in order to gain business. My behavior and attitude towards neighbors definitely resulted in people thinking negatively and talking bad about such innocent and wonderful people. But because of those who are quick to judge as if they are “GOD” shame on you for thinking I am a creation of that of how I was raised. This is not their fault nor illness so please quit being so ignorant. Before you ever assume or judge you should really take the time to understand. If anything these people should be inspirational to you considering all of the headaches they have endured.

    I am one of the lucky ones i guess you might say compared to others with these disorders. I say this as a result of being tested and confirmed to having an IQ of 149. Once brilliant in both math and science and far ahead of the curve but sabotaged by unhealthy life decisions revolving around drugs and alchol. Granted me the honor of being accepted into a program ran by Duke University which i was administered a high school SAT test in the 6th grade and scored relatively well on. The programmed promised me a full ride scholarship to Duke University granted I maintain a certain grade point average and continued in the program but since my parents wanted me to do it… do you think i would? Well if you guessed yes than you are wrong. I didn’t I threw it away like i have thrown many wonderful opportunities away. Gifted in so many ways but unable to apply to everyday life mostly because I am different and think differently than the norm. So similar to that of the character depicted in a Beautiful Mind (a brilliant Genesis with a mental illness). Many brilliant people have had mental disorders such as famous artist Vince Van Gogh, Sir Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Charles Dickens, are all just a few examples of people whom suffered from some form of mental illness with similarities to mine. All of whom are embraced hundreds of years following their death….question why can I not be embraced with my gifts and special abilities why must my behavioral issues mask such wonderful qualities and gifts that i have? Seems like modern world likes to cast out those that are not the ideal “model citizen” if you ask me. Unaccepted to those who simply do not understand and me not being considered to be a “normal” person. Being told all my life i can literally do anything i want in regards to my future because of so many gifts and talents that i have. Yet it baffles me when i realize just how blind and careless I am to throw them away so easily. I simply do not understand how i cannot see the gifts which I have yet ones who just meet me can so easily see.
    From ages 14 to present, I have experienced numerous run-in’s with the law and brushes with death. At age 14, I was arrested for destruction of property and charged with a MIP (minor in possession) of alcohol. As soon as I began driving that is when ciaos began. The day of receiving my drivers license i was pulled over for speeding. This marked my journey to the accumulation of 17 traffic violations for speeding, running stop signs, and illegal passing. Not to mention the numerous car accidents that I have been involved in as a result of my lack of care. At age 16, I also experienced my first lose of “love” that resulted in me getting in with the wrong crowed given the only available crowed after ruining my reputation and setting a pattern of trouble in the eyes of my peers. I began experimenting with drugs, excessive drinking, violation of curfew, wreckless behavior, numerous sexual partners, dealing drugs, excessive lying, stealing from my parents debit cards, truancy, and both physical and emotional abuse. Being too smart for my own good worked out for me in that i had been able to successful master the art of lying, manipulation and persuasion as a technique in order to get out of all sorts of trouble ranging from being busted with drugs and alcohol, crime, assault, and other illegal activities. All of which i have to admit are not good traits because whats not to stop me from doing it again? I never truly am able to understand the severity of these actions until its too late.

    At age 17, I assaulted my father after running away for 4 days as well as being high on cocaine. Which resulted in my arrest, in response prior to being arrested I took numerous amounts of a controlled substance in order to get out of going to jail but they try to say it was “suicide.” Court ordered to rehab which i sobered up but yet still continuing on the out of control spiral. From 18-22 I have been pulled over 5 times for both DWI and DUI, all of which I somehow managed to get away with. After feeling invincible for 6 years I had a rude wake up call when i found myself in jail for a domestic dispute and my world rapidly starting falling down. Feeling as though I were sinking in my own poor decisions i woke up and realized that i had no one else to blame but myself and that it was time to start taking responsibility.

    I do fit every description that each one of you both men an woman are describing your significant other to the T. I have had so many wonderful women in my life that I was able to share a relationship with and all started out amazing and I would make them my world… Until, I knew I had gained their trust and ultimately total control over them. Every failed relationship I tried understanding and learning from in order to prevent making the same mistakes as before and all of which led back to the same horrible cycle of control and dominance. Once I had control, i unintentionally would just turn into for lack of better terms an a-hole. I would yell at the sweetest girls in the world, scare them, threaten, but never hit any one of them. I would make them feel as though they were nothing without me which couldn’t be farther than the truth. In a desperate attempt to regain the one I lost, i threatened suicide to bring her back. Sounds ridiculous to the others but in my mind it seemed logical to use such a horrifying idea to bring back. I began to seek the quite “goody goody” type after realizing that these girls were easier to do this too because of how much of a push over they were. I can’t count how many times i have heard: why are you with him? You deserve so much better? He is a control freak and psycho! All of these comments coming from girlfriends friends and family members. The sad thing is that I never wanted it to get that way. One of the girls being Cristi who I had done this to if only I could have met her 5 years later I would have married you in a heart beat!

    My recommendations to those of you whom are in a relationship with someone like myself, if the one you love refuses to get help and continues to treat you horribly i would highly suggest you run away immediately because it will only get worse. The love of my life leaving me opened my eyes in a new prospective, resulting in me seeking help and trying to be a better person…. but didn’t last too long… till the next girl came along trying so hard to be a better person karma slapped me right back and gave me someone who was exactly like me.

    As for my parents, words cannot describe the amount of heartache, agony, pain, suffering, and disappointment that i have caused for such wonderful people. You were definitely the parents assigned to raising such a pain in the rear; so strong and fearless. I am accused that i don’t care about them which couldn’t be further from the truth because I love them from the depths of my heart and would happily give my life to save them. I have always said that I hope I die before mom or dad this being because they are the most important people in my life and I would be lost without them. Wasting so many years by selfishness and problems never allowing them to be the parents they have always wanted to be especially my dad. My father strong and stern, my idol, my inspiration, the man i have always wanted to be just like when i grow up; finally has broken down into tears. My mother, the image of the type of girl that i hope i find and am able to grow old with and have a family; scared to death of me. Nothing to be proud of hurting the people you love dearly. I have caused both of you so much pain and have nearly destroyed your marriage on several occasions. Despite knowing I am truly sorry I find it so difficult to actually feel remorse because I feel as that I am innocent… all the time! (this is the truth) You have been the best parents any child could ever dream or ask for spoiling me with your love and care. I know what love is and what it is like but yet i am unable to truly feel love. Such a tragedy to want to give so much love and to receive yalls never ending love but unable to fell it? Such a horrible thing that may not make sense to other people but for those of us who have this problem its real! A perfect example is if were to hurt you then in my mind I feel as though well its not my problem you will get over it type of mentality. I become extremely depressed feeling so much resentment for all of the mistakes i have made and all the people i have hurt. Especially, when I see just how much pain and agony the two of you are feeling as a result of my actions. I know I have apologized so many times and you can no longer believe my apologies but believe me when i say every time i apologize I truly mean it.(just unable to feel it or show it) I do not fully understand the causes to all of my problems but please know you never did anything wrong it is my own illness that causes such behaviors. I can only think that if you were given a chance to go back and time to me being born you would have probably wanted to conceive on a different date. Well at least i would have anyway. But do know that I do not intentionally do what I do, it just does me.

    I know you parents out there ask yourself: why me what have i done to deserve this? How could my kids treat me this way after all I have done? There really is no answer that will bring total peace and harmony to all the pain that you have endured. But you should never give up and I firmly agree that tough love is the best punishment that my mom and dad ever did. I had the choice of go to college, sober up, stay clean, and be respectful or move out and live on my own. Being the intelligent type, I chose college especially since I’m wanting to have a successful and similar lifestyle to that of which my parents have provided me.

    In the end, I have lost so many wonderful people because of my actions and yet 22 years later still struggle to change the things that I cannot change. However, by growing up little by little I have learned to cope with some of the issues associated with such illnesses. Even though I fell as if there is no hope especially after numerous counseling and medical assistance. i have come to realize that this disease is one that is here to stay. But i no longer will let it control me and who i am. You can choose to make the poor decisions that you who suffer continually make or you can choose to watch for cues and hints that a problem may be arising by having a better understanding in order to prevent issues. But as someone who suffers from ODD all i can ask for is patients and understanding this does not make me what you people say that I am. I did not ask for these diseases but I will choose to control it and not let it control me. I am now a junior and considering pursuing my masters degree. Despite what anyone says I know deep down inside who I am and maybe one day just one day I will be able to set me free! At least that is my ultimate dream.


    Comment by jon | March 28, 2012 | Reply

    • I loved what you wrote! It sadness me though that you don’t feel you can ever be ‘cured’ of ODD. My son is 19 and a couple of years ago when I could force him to go see a therapist, I was told he displayed ODD tendencies. Fast forward to last night…his most recent antic…he punches threw the back window of his car. I just can’t believe he did it. And by the way…he hasn’t spoken about it since. That’s his MO…ignore it and it will go away. This last stunt is just the a tidbit of what he does. I am hostage to my own home.


      Comment by Tina | September 22, 2012 | Reply

    • I couldn’t get through your comment without tears because I’ve never felt such an affinity to anyone in my entire life. As you know, living as we do, this is a very lonely life. Not literally (I’m surrounded by friends and family)- but emotionally so alone. In the span of one week I can: lovingly hold my mother in my arms to comfort her (usually about my behavior), drunkenly smash my boyfriend’s laptop because I didn’t like his song choice and then dare him to hit me, be someone’s shoulder to cry on (somehow I am an amazing listener and advice-giver), joyously dance in a club with friends, take all of my ADD and depression meds in one mouthful, etc., etc., etc.

      “All my life, I have wanted to be able to act, think, feel, and display the behaviors that the people who do not possess these illnesses have”. I have always been in awe of the fact that when most people express their emotions they are actually being honest. To their loved ones and friends they can honestly say what they are feeling. I feel if I spoke what was actually on my mind people would think I am a monster.

      “They did everything from washing my mouth out with soap, restriction, taking stuff away (phones, car, toys, games, tv, etc.)…Nothing ever seemed to get the message through to my stubborn thick skull.” You could bribe me with pretty much anything and I would not do something that wasn’t of my own volition. The harshest was when I was kicked out of my home and placed in a shelter because my mom didn’t know what else she could do after 20 years. I just dusted my shoulders off, even to this.

      I was also considered “gifted” as a child and throughout high school, but they made the mistake of expecting things from me. As soon as I realized people expected me to go far because of my brain I threw it all down the toilet. Constantly skipped school to do drugs and have sex with random boys (and sometimes girls), and NEVER followed through with homework. It was apparent that something was wrong when I scored higher on tests than the “top” kids in my class (are they actually smart or just really good at doing everything expected of them?)

      My loved ones have been put through the ringer- not once, but many, many times. I don’t understand how they stay by my side! Maybe they’re the crazy ones! I always wonder what it would be like to be in a relationship with someone like me. Would it be the only way I could maintain a relationship? Having someone who understood me? No, most probably it would end in flames and wreckage.

      My hope reflects yours. To one day be… I don’t know. Normal isn’t even an aspiration anymore. Maybe I just want to be “ok”. I know I’m not curable. You would have to perform a lobotomy on me for anything resembling normal.

      I wish your comment wasn’t so old. I wish I could speak to you, the one person who I have ever felt could possibly even understand. I hope that right now wherever you are, you are “ok” (maybe even well). 🙂



      Comment by Magsy | January 14, 2015 | Reply

  108. I’m trying to find a way too get my 21 year old opositonal defient twin brother the meds and help he needs but is unwilling to receive. He now lives with our mother and is driving her to the brink with his bad attitude dissrespect and annoying behavior. We are like night and day my twin and I, and I’m the more agreeable one. Our family cant stand to be around him. He has been fired four times and kicked out of collage for fighting. The military wont even take him he annoyed the other troups. Please tell me if you know of a place we could forcibly send him to get the help he so desperately needs.


    Comment by Lisa | April 7, 2012 | Reply

    • you unfortunately cannot force anyone over the age of 18 into any kind of treatment. The only way he/she could be forced is by being court ordered. There is no magic medication for a cure…unfortunately it is a daily struggle that each individual has to deal with. As for the behavior we do it unintentionally I can guarantee he/she has struggles within. As for me I too have adhd and odd it frustrates me so much because deep down i am a very loving, compassionate, caring, and charismatic person. However these qualities are quickly covered up and lost because of my unintended behaviors.


      Comment by jon | April 30, 2012 | Reply

  109. I have been married for over 15 years, with two wonderful children. Nearly 4 years ago, I chose to leave my home out of fear that I would hurt myself, or cause irreparable harm to my children by allowing them to see their father in the state I was in. The two years prior to my leaving were miserable, and the trial “separation” since then has been worse. For the first twelve years of our marriage, I was in graduate, then medical school followed by a surgical residency. Most of that time I also had a full time job as well to support the family and allow my wife, who I loved dearly, to stay at home to raise our kids. We had our share of problems, like many other couples, during this time, but it was AFTER the demands of school/training were complete that our problems began. I knew that my wife had a very negative disposition, and that the few issues about the children or the home were summarily dismissed. As the children became older, and certainly after I finished my training, and had available time, the conflicts became much more frequent and intense. Like others that have commented on this post, I could say it was daytime, and she would say it was night. I see much of this time as me walking around with blinders on. I am now learning of observations that my family made during this time that should have otherwise been apparent. (her telling MY family that those were HER children). I wouldn’t wish the rigors of being a spouse to a stressed out medical student/resident to any woman, so I know I had my own baggage. I was little/no help with household chores, although I dutifully did any work outdoors, often while sleep deprived. Eventually, I noticed abrasive, demaning insults hurled at me while in front of the kids. Doing something as putting bags in the car before a family weekend get away would set her over the edge. If it wasn’t done HOW she wanted, or WHEN she wanted, then I was the target of her scorn. During some of our arguments, I began putting prior observations together…volatile relationship with her rival sibling, prior workplace conflicts and instability, the absolute refusal to accomodate anything I asked. After splitting up, we entered into counseling, but the conflicts became much more frequent and pronounced….which in retrospect, fits perfectly with an ODD patient, since a large portion of her “control” was being challenged. IT was during our separation and counseling, that it dawned on me that during our 15 years of marriage, not ONE single conflict had ever gone “my way”. These conflicts typically involved the children, but could extend over to day to day household activities. During the introspection of our therapy, I volunteered that I had been historically forgetful, and disorganized. I took an adult ADHD study and this suggested I may have ADHD. Suddenly, the entire focus of all of our problems became centered on a condition that I MIGHT have had, but heretofore had not caused significant disruption in my daily activities. Regardless, MY condition became the predominant issue, as someone with ODD never is behaving badly or part of the problem. I’m no shrink, but I would surmise that IF i had ADD, and she had ODD, that would be a pretty volatile mixture. The distinction is, as I see it, until the dynamics of our relationship change, until I am acknowledged as an equal parent, and a partner in the home, (regardless if i lose my keys from time to time), then nothing in our relationship will change. This malady is almost a self defeating prophecy….some one that is THAT profoundly negative lacks the insight to see how caustic their “in your face” form of pseudoindependence realy is. Sadly, I see little help on the horizon, reinforced by many of the opinions on this page.


    Comment by marriedtoODD | May 19, 2012 | Reply

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  113. my brother was diagnosed with ODD when he was 10 after being expelled from 2 different schools, he is now 17 and has had no education (no school would take him) We have been trying to get him some help for 7 years and been told that he needs to come foward himself to ask for treatment. How do you get someone with ODD to do that when it goes against there nature? Now that he is an adult I am terrified that he is going to end up in serious trouble. There has to be some way to help him?


    Comment by Emma bryant | August 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Honestly…it is tough love and setting limits. I have a brother that I feel has ODD and is Bipolar…he is written off in my life. I acknowledge him but I make no attempts to reach out to him. He has physically hurt me and my son and until he can take responsibility for his actions I cannot associate myself with him. Mind you it has been almost 7 years since I have seen or spoken to him.


      Comment by Tina | September 22, 2012 | Reply

  114. So I have spent the last 4 hours surfing the net trying to understand why my only child is such a jerk. About 2 years ago a therapist said to me that he believed my son had ODD. Back then and up until now I thought he was full of crap and just used words to try and put a name to my son’s lack of respect towards me and his father. However, in the two years since then I have been struggling with my son about EVERYTHING.

    We fight about cleaning his room, flushing the crap he just leaves in the toilet for days, mowing the lawn…basically any chore around the house. We argued about him working…his reply to me…I have a job. And yes, technically, he did….but he only worked 3 days a month. He got a second job after I demanded it and started working 3 days a week. He wasn’t in school and I would argue with him that he should be working as much as possible to save for a car. The deal was that I will match anything he earned. He got $800 from graduation and about $200 from his past birthday. Within 4 months he blew threw all of it. It didn’t matter what I said….he simply didn’t care. He didn’t mind when he was locked out. He didn’t mind when I took his phone for months. He just doesn’t friggin care.

    For all you that posted we should be ashamed of wanting to write off our loved ones for ODD…I say live one day in my shoes. You can’t imaging what it is like literally walking on eggshells day in and day out. I have to watch what I say to him and how because I don’t want a fight. I can’t ask him how his day was without him cursing me out about being nosy…and then turning the entire conversation around so that he is a victim. IT SUCKS!!! I am to the point of telling him he has to leave….which isn’t easy but required in order to keep my sanity. Just last night he punched the back window out a car he just got a few months ago…FOR FREE! I didn’t give it to him my brother-in-law did. I sleep with my bedroom door locked so that he doesn’t try to come in while I sleeping to steal or hurt me.

    I am going to see a therapist tomorrow for the first time in years. If my son can’t help himself…I need help and the courage to push him out…right now I am not that brave…hopefully, a therapist can help.


    Comment by Tina | September 22, 2012 | Reply

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  118. Hello there. I want to share my story. I am completely in love with my boyfriend who I knew had trust issues from the beginning. I suffer from mental illness myself and have been in a mental hospital because I was suicidal after my previous boyfriend emotionally abused me for six years. It has been three years and I have met and fallen in love with my new boyfriend who has adult ODD. I knew he had anger issues. I am not blind. I see that he has problems with authority figures. His parents and immediate family were not there for him basically starting at birth. As an infant he was put in foster care. His parents went through three marriages and two divorces before his father died two years ago, devastating him. His older brother constantly puts him down. His brothers make no secret that they are angry at him because his mother got him out of foster care first. But through time my boyfriend and I have worked through the trust issue. Sometimes he raises his voice to me and changes his mind on things. I pick and choose my battles. He may raise his voice but never once has he ever raised his hand to me. I would be gone. He volunteers at our food pantry. It is not court ordered, he does it because he wants too. He helps the elderly in our building. Yes, he doe have temper tanturms but I can talk him down. I constantly tell him I love him for who he is on the inside. That in his heart he is a good person. I am learning more and more about ODD every day, but I believe that positive reinforcement will help him. He has helped me with my low self esteem and I am helping with his. I have a soothing influence on him and know how to treat him without being condescending to him. I believe you can have a relationship with someone who has ODD. You both have to modify your behaviors. From what I have been told, he is less angry since he has met me. Oh, he still gets angry and defiant and rants, but if I let him rant, he gets it out of his system and he is done with it, He and I will be married and I know what I am getting myself into and he knows what he is getting himself into because I am not a walk in the park either. Sometimes I have to ask him to listen to me several times, and eventually he cools down and hears my side. But like I said, I pick and choose my battles. We have seen the worst in each other. Don’t be discouraged. I can see where it can be. But there are a lot of very good people out there who suffer from this disorder. With some help, you can get through it. Good luck to everyone.


    Comment by Trish | November 18, 2012 | Reply

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  124. There is not a button that goes off inside of a person when they turn 18 that stops ODD. I feel that there are different levels of ODD in adults. I was never diagnosed with ODD, but clearly had it as a child and still have it now. As a child I had to be in control of my own life, because I felt that I had the right to make my own decisions in life and not have them made for me, because only incompetent and/or weak people have to have other people make decisions for them. As an adult I have to be in control of my environment, I can not allow anyone else to take control, because I don’t want to seem weak or incompetent. I don’t like anyone telling me what to do, but I know my place in the work place and I do what I am suppose to do and more if I like the boss, if I don’t like the boss I will do the bare minimum… the work place is only distinguished by titles, it doesn’t make them smarter than me. I have six children and I don’t like them telling me ‘no’, so instead of just saying no, my children will say I am doing this right now, can I do what you want later? We will discuss it and figure it out. I have to have structure and all of the children have routines. I have written them down and hung them on the wall. As for defying authority figures… well my moto is, “Even fools can be educated!” Police, lawyers and doctors to me are just human beings making a living and they are equal to me, but with different educations… we are all human. I will listen to what they have to say and I will make my own decision to listen or not. I will get a second opinion if I feel that the first opinion was incompetent. I will not be made a fool of. Spiteful and vengeful.. oh hell yes.. when I don;t like someone I know all of the contacts to hinder their life in every way possible, but in the end I make the decision to hurt them or not. If I do something that hinders their life then it is either to give them a taste of their own medicine or they must have done something to me or a loved one. I do not lash out if not provoked. My boy friend has helped me with my need to control things. I learned that it is ok to lean on someone, I was scared to lean on him, because one day he might not be there, then what will I do? I learned that I will be ok because I am intelligent and will do what i need to in order to survive. Every now and then he will say, “I can help you know, just ask me to help you.” It is hard to ask for help sometimes. My friend said that anyone that comes full force at me will get the bulls horns, but if the ask me and approach me with respect then they will get a positive response.


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  126. Im in a relationship with a man whos son is 7 and was diagnosed with ADHD ODD and Seperatiion anziety. now im think it thru think his father has it too, been reading all the others and thing they say, he does and has done to me. More and more my friends coworkers and family members see it, I am scared to death of what will happen next, Cant walk on egg shells the rest of my life. HELP


    Comment by MICKEY | May 28, 2013 | Reply

  127. O.D.D. is a very real thing for adult


    Comment by Justin g | June 9, 2013 | Reply

  128. have been reading this for the last hour and a half. I’ve been with my husband for 14 years, we separated several times, I even moved away to another state, he came back begging and (stupid me) gave him another chance, which I regret deeply!. after I gave him a second chance and he moved away with me, I got myself pregnant. we now have a 6 year old who I suspect has ODD. I figured out a few years ago (after my little guy was born) that my husband was an emotional and verbal abuser. I confronted him with this, of course he denied it. i even got arrested for hitting him since he drove me crazy one time by annoying me for 3 days straight (it was horrible). he also has issues with drug and alcohol abuse. he is very smart, he gets good jobs making good money, but has been fired a few times, i believe its bcuz of when he abuses drugs or pills or whatever he does, he cant hide his true personality which im sure gets him in trouble. I have lost all respect and love for him for all he has put me through all these years. since I started reading about my childs behavior, I strongly believe that my husband is also ODD and I think he’s had this since childhood and was not diagnosed (he is 38 years old). He is awkward socially, a loner, he often says inappropriate things, he doesn’t care what people think, doesn’t really have friends. he hangs out at times with certain people of questionable character. he manages to always want to do the opposite of what I suggest even when it comes to my child. for example, I told him I don’t want my son to drink coffee (he’s only 6) I find him offering my son coffee behind my back (total jerk!) this is just one of many things he does. I’m sorry to say this, but i wish i had NEVER EVEN MET HIM! he knows I don’t love him anymore and really want nothing to do with him. we are still living together in separate rooms, I can barely stand being around him for more than 5 minutes at a time. I have tried to encourage him to seek counseling, but obviously he doesn’t admit to having issues. we are only together right now bcuz of financial issues. he is planning to move out once our lease is over, however; I am so concerned of what things he will teach or do with our son just to get back at me. I don’t trust him. what can I do about this? I wish he would just go away forever, but I know he will purposely want to be in my face to make my life miserable. I know for a fact he can’t stand to see me happy, he does things to make me angry on purpose. nothing he says hurts my feelings anymore, it just makes me angry. I am very concerned about my little boy, who I just started taking to counseling. is there hope for my son? I am willing to take him to the counseling sessions as many times as needed in hopes that he will have a chance and not grow up to be as miserable as his father.


    Comment by Lisa | July 28, 2013 | Reply

  129. I have witnessed ODD in an elderly person. This woman was 78 with no mental or cognitive problems when I became her caregiver. Over the years I became totally frustrated with her behaviour. As soon as I would use the term “don’t do” or “please don’t”, she deliberately did what I asked her not to do. Do not use these stairs – bing! – there she was walking down them. Do not turn the computer off by the switch. Bing! – the computer was shut off. Of course those are just two small examples of an endless list of things. Some things, such as the stairs, were a safety concern.
    She always had a pleased little smirk on her face and never felt remorse. Not even if what she did caused me, or others in the family, grief.
    One of her great grandchildren has ODD, and it was because of him I began looking at the behaviour as a mental disorder. She is now in her 90’s and I have witnessed it for almost 20 years. I believe ODD in adults is very real.


    Comment by Francis | September 24, 2013 | Reply

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    Comment by juego friv | April 29, 2014 | Reply

    • I asked about ODD about my son a couple of years back. I’m very happy to say and repeat that when my son was younger my husband and i sought help for him. Started at the MD doctors office and from there referred to a child psychologist. It actually did wonders for him! He is now going to be 28 yrs old and knows how to handle himself if things arise. I know he still practices his learnings from a child now should he get that way. I use to call it brat! Thank God he is good now!But, after his father and i decided to split up and i later had gotten together with someone, who would of thought that he would act in the same ways, if not worse than when my son was at it’s peak. My boyfriend (i refuse to marry with him bc of his attitude) is now 61 yrs old. He is always right and i and everyone else is always wrong. Dont get me wrong, he is a smart man when it comes to life and things, but along the way (mostly shown to me) he is and acts worst than when my son was diagnosed with ODD. starts arguments, destructive, mouthy and lies.Walking on eggshells is not a way of life for anyone. He is an alcoholic and an avid gambler. I will get the blames if the weather is too hot or he had car problems. A few years ago he got a DUI. In the process of it all he said he thought about it and apologized for the way he was and treated me because of his drinking. WRONG! It was not just his drinking, it is his attitude along with his horrid actions, his way of thinking and carrying on with things. He has been married 3 times, never held a marriage or relationship long. I have been his longest (almost 15 years). I’m now 53 yrs old and have decided that i DO NOT want to be around this kind of behavior anylonger. Like i said, he’s always right and everyone else is wrong. And when he thinks he is right and tries to withhold monies or anything, thats when i say enough…..Now is my time in life to enjoy the things i want and live!But here is a question: no i wouldn’t leave anyone in the dust just like that but how do you make your point across to someone like that that they need help and counseling??


      Comment by sharon dowell | June 27, 2015 | Reply

  133. My husband has ODD with ADHD, a terrible combination. We have only been married about half a year, and I’m already regretting it. If I could do it all over again, I would. I love him but I’m also a practical woman. I didn’t find out the details of his condition and how it affects him until after we were married. However, I’m in it for the long haul as I do not believe in divorce.

    Here is a sample of what I have to deal with just about every day: ADHD makes him spend all our money. ODD makes him angry when I suggest that he spend less money so we can finally start a savings. And he gets angry over any little thing, things no one would believe, even to the point of stomping out of the house in a rage, driving around Lord knows where, and coming back. He knows he is wrong and he always sincerely apologizes, but I am getting worn out with the act of arguing with him. The ADHD is bad enough, but the ODD is sometimes unbearable.

    I know he loves me very much, but these disorders going on in his mind makes his love a little cloudy sometimes and all he can see is what he wants and anger if he doesn’t get it. I am about to pull my hair out by the roots. I try hard not to take his words and behavior personally, but I’m a person with feelings and it gets difficult to take after a while. When he goes off or makes inconsiderate or bad decisions where I have to suffer, I wonder what I was thinking to marry him and how I wish to God that i could take it all back. Then he apologizes with those cow eyes for getting upset and I coldly say OK because I don’t want him to think it’s okay, but eventually things are back to normal.

    Does anyone know what I can do to communicate with him better when he does something wrong or stupid that needs to be corrected (and he does a LOT)?


    Comment by Vanessa | June 24, 2014 | Reply

    • Correction: My husband has ODD with ADHD, a terrible combination. We have only been married about half a year, and I’m already regretting it. If I could do it all over again, I WOULDN’T.


      Comment by Vanessa | June 24, 2014 | Reply

  134. Reading the comments above, I can’t help but get the feeling that an awful lot of the people described are not suffering from ODD but are more likely sufferers of antisocial personality disorder (which is also common in sufferers of ADHD). ODD is a reaction against the perception (whether true or not) that somebody is trying to control you. I don’t believe it extends to attempting to control others…


    Comment by Jblogs | August 19, 2014 | Reply

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    Comment by unnamed | October 22, 2014 | Reply

  136. I have been with my daughters Father for nearly 18 years….he has always had issues with his moods, personality and temper. I feel angry that his parents didn`t disclose to me when we met, that he has ADHD, diagnosed as a child. I am convinced he has O.D.D, He always refused to take responsibility for his behaviour and actions, blaming everyone/thing else around him. He can wake up perfectly ok, and within moments, he is in his “normal” fault finding mood. Criticism and being awkward is his mantra. No matter what you do for him, there is never any genuine gratitude or pleasure. I hate family occasions as he invariably will say and be awkward and confrontational. He is very opinionated, often remarking on behaviours he sees in others but with the flat refusal he exhibits himself!. The one issue I am finding extremely difficult to deal with is when I try and “talk” to him, he will repeat the same words over and over again….at the last incidence( 2 hours ago) he has repeated the word “whatever” in a high pitched tone over 50 times- despite my pleas for him to listen to how his behaviour makes me feel. I was a Qualified Nurse, but have found that the shift systems I worked made him criticise my ability as a Mother….even though I worked part time around the needs of my daughter. He has no close friends, and constantly finds fault with mine. I feel every day is a battle with someone , who I feel, is emotionally stunted. He cannot deal with any type of illness that others may have (an example, from many, is when I had a sickness bug… I was on my hands and knees on the floor vomiting,as I was unable to reach the bathroom. He got out of bed, stormed down the stairs, stepped over me and pronounced” for fucks sake, I`ve got work in the morning”….didn`t help me get up etc. Nice human being.
    I would love to leave, but being as controlling and caniving as he is, I cannot do so as he has put the house in his name only….even though I put half of the money into it. I think and feel that ODD is a label that gives people an “excuse” for their behaviour….I am so bloody angry and exhausted. I just wish he would go away….


    Comment by Jude | October 31, 2014 | Reply

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  138. I’ve struggled with Borderline Personality Disorder since I was about 3. I was diagnosed and medicated for ADD at age 6 and depression at age 15 (though I can remember being severely depressed as early as age 7). It wasn’t until my early 20’s that any of the docs ever suggested a personality disorder. From what my mom and the doctors have said I’ve pieced together small flashbacks of being sexually abused by my father and his friends (at age 2) and then in turn being indescribably mad at my mother; in my 2-3 year old mind she allowed this to happen to me (she was court-mandated to allow visitation to the halfway-house he lived in).

    As an adult my life is… I don’t really know how to describe it to those who are sane. On the outside I am a pretty 29-yr-old woman who is always well maintained and of above-average intelligence, who works part-time and has many friends. I am a chameleon though- nobody would ever even think I was anything but your average person. Inside of my head I am something entirely different. First of all, I absolutely hate myself. The contempt people feel for the individuals they despise the most is probably the closest I can come to describing how I feel about ME. This is all maintained inside of my head- nobody knows the absolute disgust I have for myself. The people closest to me call it “depression”, but it’s really a deep self-loathing.

    In the past year I have had 2 death scares in my family- my mom was hospitalized for 2 weeks with lupus related kidney problems and my aunt was hospitalized (and comatose) for 2 months with septicemia. These are the 2 people that I love (?) the most in my life. When I was afraid of my mother possibly dying I kept wondering… “who is going to help me do my laundry and dishes?” “who is going to grocery shop for me?”. With my aunt it was “what should I spend my inheritance money on?” These are always the first type of thoughts that pop into my head, but as an afterthought I “feel” the shame associated with thinking this way. My life is always about “what can I get others to do for me?”

    I’ve spent time in homeless shelters and mental wards alike. This needs to end. I quiet the rage inside of my head quite effectively with video games and foreign films but it always rears it’s head eventually. I don’t know how much longer I can hide away in my room and hope my thoughts remain benign and dulled. I’ve seen about 10 therapists and doctors since I was a child and none came even close to anything I would deem “help”. This life isn’t liveable though and I can’t honestly see myself reaching 35 without finding…something. I really don’t understand how people who have personality disorders can actually be “fixed”. You would need to rewire my entire brain because this is who I am and how I think. Is there really no hope?


    Comment by Magsy | January 14, 2015 | Reply

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. My husband has a very similar story to yours, but he is successfully coping. He was sporadically physically abused by his father and was sexually abused by his grandfather. His mother was very neglectful under the guise of being a single mom which she was quick to use as an excuse and parented out of guilt. Very long story short, my husband felt very unloved and wanted to die, so he constantly surrounded himself around dangerous people and did dangerous things including drinking to excess and doing many kinds of drugs. He was also very violent, never wanting to be a victim again.

      It is only by the grace of God that he is still alive and has left behind his bad way. He came to learn that he has a heavenly father, Jehovah God, who yearns to set all things straight for him in the future and give him a purposeful life now. After getting help with his vices by turning to God through the Scriptures, I entered the picture.

      As a nurturing woman, I naturally wanted to help him to be the best man he could be and I fell in love with him. However, I noticed something was off with him. I encouraged to have his mental health checked out and he did, albeit begrudgingly. He had a triple diagnosis of ADHD, PTSD, and ODD. Bummer! Well, he is currently taking medication to help with his main most unpleasant symptoms, but there are some symptoms he will just have to live with. I encourage him to take life one day at a time. In the meantine, I do my best to love him up and exercise patience, focusing on the man I fell in love with.

      For more info about how you can find a purpose and hope, check our


      Comment by Vanessa | January 14, 2015 | Reply

  139. Reblogged this on cloudythots and commented:
    I can honestly relate to this video. The wisdom Dr. Sutton has shared will help me along my journey of improvements. It is interesting how someone can say just the right thing, worded just the right way, and -*BAM*-, something just clicks in your brain and you discover hope! *ALL SMILES!!* I shall try my “best thinking” ALL day today!!


    Comment by cloudythots | January 15, 2015 | Reply

  140. So one of my “best friends” apparently has ODD/ADHD, we are both 30 now and known each other since high school…he asked me to be his best man for his wedding at the end of this month and as I start to write my speech I realize I’m really not close to this guy at all. He’s really essentially an asshole and manipulates me often because I’m more or less a pushover. Maybe that’s why he values our friendship, because I’m a friend who he can “control”. I’m one of the only people from high school who bothered keeping in touch with him. I just threatened to quit on him as best man because he pulled some BS on me regarding my family’s wedding invitations. It was so maddening. Now I’m not sure how I’m going to pull off a best man speech for someone who really hasn’t been a great friend to me.


    Comment by ocbruin84 | March 4, 2015 | Reply

    • Oh and to add to this, he can’t seem to hold a job down and has worked at a million places. I don’t even understand how he continues to get hired given his past.


      Comment by ocbruin84 | March 4, 2015 | Reply

  141. I’m humbled by the commenters. What I see is all parties involved are tortured souls. My story is not unlike most here. Some bizarre, a bit mundane, at times shameful of my own reactions.

    The cause of my posting here was the search for meaning behind the actions of my beautifully gifted 22 y/o daughter. As a parent I’ve had my faults. Lack of patience, selfishness, anger, self righteousness. It will forever haunt me that if I were a better person, and I honestly could have been, perhaps, just maybe, my daughter would have stood a better chance. But those are could have beens and now we are dealing with reality.

    Is ODD a pop diagnosis or a real thing? I don’t know. I’ve read many points of view and can’t say with any authority…what I do know is my child fits the pigeonhole too accurately for my comfort. That in itself is disturbing.

    She is a beautiful, charismatic, intelligent woman. Those things are a detriment to her because she uses them as tools to manipulate. Nobody is safe from her pathology, not family, not friends, not professors. Nobody. To date the toll on her life has been disastrous. Dropping out of an Ivy league college with me holding stacks of student loans. Failure to hold jobs until now she is near unemployable. Abusive men, Drug abuse. Loss of all her true friends. Evictions. Dropping out of therapists. Stealing from family and friends of family. The financial toll alone has been devastating as I followed along and kept cleaning up the messes…..usually out of manipulation and me not wanting her to hurt anymore than she already was. (She counts on this motivation of mine and plays it well.)

    There has been violent altercations with her mother (we’re divorced) and sister. At one time I almost hit her when she was doing her best to provoke physical confrontation with me. That was a year ago.. I’ve never been so scared angry and disappointed in myself. My daughter has used that tool against me ever since. I no longer get angry…..I just leave.

    She can no longer live with her mother or myself due to the stealing and levels of provocation she resorts to. It’s relentless. Today she is homeless after an eviction from a place I paid first month rent/deposit after removing her from my home. She quit on the therapist we were seeing together. Lost her most recent job for simply not showing up. Sold her car to pay rent but bought drugs instead. Hates herself and feels lost but will not allow anybody to help move her in a positive direction.

    It light of all the reading here and elsewhere so much fits. The lying when she was younger to get her way. Simple things that I chalked up to simply being a headstrong selfish young person. It wasn’t that simple though. As she matured the behaviors and lies and anger and manipulations increased to the point of her being somebody I no longer recognize.

    For those of you here suffering from ODD…..I’d like to share how it feels to be the caretaker. It’s as if I’m in a lifeboat paddling for a distant shore with those I love most dearly seated on benches in front of me. Waves are breaking over the sides and we are sinking. My strength is fading but if we all work together we’re going to make it. One of those people is standing on the bench rocking the boat wildly causing yet more water to rush in.

    When I say, “Sit down or you’re going to kill us all.” That person yells back, “F&&K YOU! You can’t tell me what to do!”

    How does a human being respond to such a predicament? It’s a horrible decision to make. Jettison a person you love more than life itself, or, allow that person to destroy all of which you cherish….including yourself?

    It’s not fair you have this disorder. You didn’t ask for it. Neither did I. It’s ugly and hurtful and destructive. Untreated or ignored it ruins the lives of everyone it touches. Those who love you feel remorse and guilt for actions their not proud of. You do to because nobody could be proud of the way an untreated ODD leads their life. It must be horrible during those moments of self recognition.

    To date my daughter is homeless, car-less, jobless, friendless. The only people interested in her are abusive men and greedy trolls hoping she can get them high. Help is waiting if she wants it. A bed at a treatment center for chem abuse and the restarting of her therapist are the two requirements. Support from family, aunts, grandparents is there….if she wants it. Until then, the boat will keep moving towards shore. With, or, without her……and it breaks my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Tod | April 23, 2015 | Reply

    • I really do feel for you. I am married to a man with ODD, along other things, and I am miserable. His life is absolutely self-destructive, yet he insists that his way always right and he does not want to listen to any logic suggesting otherwise. I soooooooooo wish I had not married him. These days, I may get about 2 or maybe three hours of good times with him on some days. Even then its only a matter of time before he does something that defies logic and irritates me. He’s constantly asking for my help, yet he never wants to accepts it and fights me tooth and nail. I hate my life so much and it is because of him. Sometimes I just wish he would run away and be safe, but never come back. I try my best to be optimistic about my marriage and his mental health treatment, but another part of me feels like he will be this way forever. And yes, he is very manipulative. He gets free stuff from people all the time and he sees nothing wrong with that. It’s embarrassing to me sometimes. I just want a normal marriage-a husband who pisses me off because he keeps leaving his drawls in the bathroom floor or smacks when he eats, but I was not ready to deal with a man like this. He is like a son, but a husband. And yes, he does throw temper tantrums like one, too. I can go on and on, but I’d rather not. If anyone is reading this and dating someone with ODD, don’t marry them! You will regret it. In my case, my husband mental issues weren’t addressed until after we were married. I feel so stuck.


      Comment by Jackie | April 23, 2015 | Reply

      • Your husband needs help and so do you. My sincerest wish is that even if he does not seek help, that you do. We can love all we want, but if our actions are simply repetitions of the previous day/week/month/year, we, and our loved one, will stay exactly where we are.

        As I see it a person dealing with ODD must decide what to surrender to. Feeding beast within, or, learning to starve the beast within. One will destroy their life and everything they truly hope for. The other will put them in control enough to actually gain those things. Until they realize this there really is little hope. Our job, if we truly care enough, is to make the effort to put them in the position to have to make this decision. Unfortunately some will choose wrongly and we need to go forward with our lives carrying hope that they will one day see their personal value and elect to start starving their beast.


        Comment by Tod | April 23, 2015

  142. This page is incredible. I have been reading through everything and I see my wife over and over in the stories.
    But let me be fair. I had a drinking problem and put her thru hell for almost 3 years. During that time, she was very angry with me and in my stupor, I wrote it off as being due to my drinking. I was very wrong. I quit drinking and i have turned my life around.
    She suffered a lot of abuse as a child and this is most likely the cause of her current disorder. I realize that I helped feed into that by drinking and being vulnerable to abuse. But there is no way that I am the cause of her condition.
    I am working full-time and paying the bills. I haven’t touched a drop of the liquid poison in almost a year. However, that is not good enough for her. Here are some highlights:
    1) She makes a point of bringing up how much I messed up her life every chance she gets. If I point out that I am no longer doing that stuff, she doesn’t care. Whatever I did justifies whatever she has been doing and more. There is no real forgiveness from her. Any failure I ever had can be brought up at any time and used whenever I have any legitimate complaint about her behavior.
    2) She has been physically violent with me on more than one occasion… and the answer is no, even when drinking I never hit her. There ARE angry drunks out there, but I was always a melancholy type. The last thing I would want is anger or arguments when I was drinking because that would mess with the “fun” of drinking. She has cut me and given me a black eye. I’m lucky I guess. I could have lost the eye because the cause was a phone thrown at me full force from across a room.
    3) We live in an apartment building and I am sure that every neighbor we have knows exactly how she thinks of me. Over the past 4 years or so, she has just opened up with screaming and cursing and insults whenever it suited her. This is emotional abuse also.
    4) She uses guilt and manipulation and denies trying to do it. She lies and claims that I don’t remember things because I was drinking. When I am able to show her proof of her lies, she gets even angrier and defensive.
    5) She deliberately does the opposite of what I ask her to do OR she promises to do things and then fails to do them claiming that she was “busy”. Busy to her means recording and binge watching all kinds of stupid crap on cable. Phone calls and other things that could help us are things she avoids doing at all costs unless I really get on her about it.
    6) She deliberately makes herself late for almost everything she has to do. I can’t refer her for any job or education because she is unreliable. She has made me late for things I care about, dozens of times.
    7) My getting sober has had two effects that she doesn’t like. a) I am no longer weak, so she can’t mistreat me the way she used to without consequences. b) Because I am standing up for myself and trying to set limits, she flips out… SHE NO LONGER HAS TOTAL CONTROL OVER ME AND WHAT HAPPENS IN MY LIFE. Yes… she is very angry about this.

    I have managed to get her to go to therapy, but I know for a fact that she is sabotaging it by not being honest with the therapist about what is going on. She takes responsibility for NOTHING. EVERYTHING is my fault.

    She uses any information I have given her about my life or anything she has learned from me against me. Many of the things I have told her in trying to reason with her are now the very things she tries to accuse me of doing.

    She twists the words I use when speaking to her in a heartbeat. Asking her to stop any kind of objectionable behavior is a trigger for her to escalate that behavior AND catch an attitude about it.

    She has a kind of blank stare and avoids eye contact whenever she does manage to calm down a bit. I have learned that what this means is that she IS processing what I am saying, but I know that something else happens inside her and she is able to move past any reason or logic to begin another dispute later on.

    I have read at least a couple of people here describe how living with this kind of person is like trying to walk on eggshells. I now know that I am no longer part of the problem and that there is no way for me to walk softly enough. In fact, I think if I could float above the floor and not touch anything at all, she would find a way to complain about that too.

    I have also read on this site from people that have ODD/Personality Disorder that get angry or upset because the people they are hurting want to leave or because they are being advised to get out… Hmm. let me see if I understand this. A person with ODD/Personality Disorder is getting angry or upset. Wow. That’s unusual, isn’t it? Also, lets look at the cause. They may lose the source of some of their “joy” and support, their punching bag, the people that are trying to love them while they are unable or unwilling to see any wrong in their behavior. Clearly, some of the people that have written about their struggles with the diagnosis are more aware of their condition than others. However, it is unlikely that they maintain that clarity while they are in the middle of one of their episodes. As a result, it is “wrong” for others to want to get away from people that are antagonistic, abusive and possibly even violent.

    Ok. I guess it is part of the disorder that allows its sufferers to resent the idea that they can become intolerable AND resent that their victims would “give up on them”.

    I mentioned earlier that my wife does not seem inclined to let me move on from my past. I somehow accumulated a debt that is never-ending and she believes she can cash in on that debt at any time by reminding me of it and trying to use guilt to manipulate me. Of course she is angry that one of her favorite tools is no longer working. Her anger isn’t working either, because I simply stop responding to her. The problem is that I give in after a day or so of not talking to her and I try reason again. This works for maybe 24-36 hours and then she is back at it. Let me state again that I know that I put her thru hell. I can’t undo what I did, but I am trying every day to be better and take care of us.

    I am quietly preparing to leave. She will find plenty of stuff to argue about anyway, so I don’t need to set her off by making the threat right now. She MAY work at getting better, but she may not. I still have some guilt because she stuck by me throughout my crap. The problem is that part of the reason she stuck with me is because this was a situation that allowed her a lot of freedom to express her disorder with little or no resistance. I have guilt because I have to be ready to go just in case… It will mean that although she stuck by me, I won’t be sticking by her. On the other hand, as long as nothing else is working anyway, maybe it will take me being gone for her to wake up and really put some work into getting help and changing.

    I have let her know that the ball is in her court. I now have to grow a bit more and be brave enough to jump out there and leave. I hope I don’t have to. But I will if I have to. Thanks for reading my venting.


    Comment by K. P. | May 11, 2015 | Reply

    • I’m sorry you are going through this but obviously this is the path you need to take to grow. I commend you for stating your responsibility up front. Dr. Russell Barkley is the premier authority on adult ADD (he pushed the ADD classification of a “handicap” through Congress). You can find his classes and writings online. Research indicates that children who have ADD (biological in origin) undiagnosed and unmanaged have an extremely high percentage of developing Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Why? Caretakers who are frustrated with children that are behaviorally very challenging often become overwhelmed and act authoritarian or swing to the opposite and become too liberal. Inconsistent discipline teaches these children, albeit covertly, that throwing tantrums enables them to “control” what’s happening in an environment that seems “out-of-control” and very unreliable to them. The typical arsenal of such a child who then physically becomes an adult consists of blaming, low tolerance of frustration, high irritability, defiance and oppositional behaviors towards those in positions of authority ( her perception of you since you became sober and reliable), incredible vindictiveness, rage that is completely out of proportion to the situation, vengefulness and sarcasm. Until you understand that the person is “acting out” like when they were a child many people are dumfounded, hurt and confused by the behaviors. ODD is a personality disorder, a curable condition but the person has to want to change. ADD is a biological condition. ADD is a legal handicap, it is NOT curable; it is a malfunction of the part of the brain that controls Emotional Regulation. Dr. Barkley’s research is pointing to that its a natural progression for a person who already has an inability to REGULATE their emotions (ADD) to develop ineffectual ways (the acting out behaviors of ODD) to get their needs met. Remember when a person is highly emotionally disregulated, reason and logic cannot exist. I know it sounds clichéd but don’t take it personal; her modis operendi will always be the same with ANYONE who shares an intimate relationship with her until SHE initiates change. She is emotionally very young and like any child who has learned inappropriate means of obtaining what she needs, she will always default to what has been “successful” for her until she learns that it is NOT successful. Again, you could be “perfect” and she will drum up all sorts of “perceived” grievances to attack you with acting out behaviors to ease ANY discomfort NOW(low stress tolerance). ADD is all about NOW and NOT NOW so often the cause and effect of her behaviors do not connect in her mind; she will not understand that her tantrums =you leaving. It seems like you are a straight shooter, maybe you might put it in writing to her that you will leave by such and such date if ABC isn’t initiated and STICK to it. Be sure to give copies to other family members. But maybe you are at your limit and for your own mental health you must leave. It sounds like you have plenty to deal with considering your alcoholism without trying to “help” her solve her issues. Additionally, even people without ADD who have their relationship dynamics change when the partner suddenly gets sober need counseling to readjust to their “new” partner. So good couples counseling with a therapist who KNOWS ADD and substance abuse would be of great benefit. I hope you are getting lots of help and support to stay sober. Her handicap is very debilitating and directing her to the help she needs is her only salvation. If she chooses not to get help that is her decision. Take care and God Bless you both.


      Comment by Carrie | May 11, 2015 | Reply

  143. Wow, this ALL hits home. i can see these people all around me in my life. I can say I too have outbursts, but the bottom line is I never get my way and I really don’t care. I care about the outcome mostly.
    Anyway, to make it short, I was an only child and my mother had so much wrong with her, I couldn’t even begin to start. She alienated herself from her mother and sister and then alienated me, my son and my husband. She did, however, maintain a relationship with my other son, which down the road caused problems of horrific proportion.
    I think I used the “walking on eggshells” metaphor when it wasn’t even a thing. I remember as a kid saying “damned if I do, damned if I don’t.” I learned to just agree with everything, which often enraged her because she wanted a rise out of me. She had absolutely no friends at all and when I moved out, I had such tremendous feelings of guilt, I included her in all aspects of my life (which of course was never good enough.)
    I raised my kids what I thought was like living in Shangri-la. I wanted everything wonderful, because my childhood wasn’t. I will take blame because my husband never supported any kind of “work” ethic and used my rules to say I was “nagging” and “ruining’ everything. (Especially when I said to a 5th and 3rd grader lights out at midnight when they were watching basketball with their dad.)
    After reading all of these entries, I realize my mother, my one son and my husband all have ODD. I learned to live with it with my mother. She fought with everyone and drank. Wednesday night I would wait for her to barge into my room and let me have it with something that was bothering her. This was her modus operandi.
    My husband is passive aggressive and because he is pleasant, I didn’t notice at first. But I realize and it took over 20 years to realize how bad it was because I was busy going back to school, getting my Masters, being a teacher and raising a family that my husband NEVER, EVER does anything I ask. He makes promises, lists, but nothing every changes. One Christmas when we were on vacation, I said please slow down and don’t eat like you always do, it ruins the meal, you are done in 3 minutes and it is disgusting. This was after 25 years of marriage. He promised and promised, sat down to eat and began to keep putting more and more food in this mouth without swallowing, he then took water. Then he started choking and spit the food out everywhere and ruined the dinner. My older son gave him the Heimlich. HE HAS NEVER, EVER WASHED THE BATHROOM, DUSTED, COOKED A MEAL, OR SET THE TABLE. I ASK ABOUT ONCE A YEAR AND HE ALWAYS SAYS, “Oh, if you reminded me I would.” He has no friends of his own, but allies himself with his twin and therefore shares friends.
    My oldest son also has ADD, but it is different from Husband and Son. As my mother aligned herself with him, he is more like her, but is smug and sarcastic. He can turn absolutely anything into an argument and his main goal is to be right. You are so confused and exhausted that you don’t know what to say, so you lose out of fear that he will end the relationship, like my mother did with so many people. My son used my husband against me because he saw what my husband did. Rather than help me, he would say, it is your job because you do it all the time and accuse me of being the “control freak.” Even today, after 26 years, he cannot be nice. If he feels slighted at Christmas, his birthday, someone else’s birthday, he will create a huge tumultuous argument. He has ruined several Holidays by staying in his room, copping an attude and just staring, without talking at meals. He feels superior to everybody and always has, even though his grades were never that good. He is smart, he is a good chess player, but he surrounds himself with people he feels superior to so he doesn’t have to argue. I am quite intelligent and educated, but he puts me down, my job, my education, my friends, etc. I feel it is a competition.
    My husband never helped with my mother or son. He always says I need to keep my mouth shut. However, it is easy for him, because no one talks to him about anything but sports and the weather because he doesn’t do much.
    My husband has annoying disgusting habits that he has never altered or changed one aiota. He interrupts, eats and talks with his mouth open, is sarcastic and mean. He also is the biggest know it all I ever met. I think people don’t mind him because they think he is harmless. He says a lot of bullshit and throws out insults, but he never is angry and that seems to “work” for him. Despite people tolerating him, they often look at me or make a comment. I keep him away from anyone educated because he is embarassing the way he acts. He is racist and opinionated.
    Therefore, I have really little to look forward to. My youngest son has anger issues, stemming from his relationship with his brother (horrific sibling rivalry.) He also will not get a job because of panic, wanting to move or lack of self esteem. He gets defensive and yells. MEanwhile, i still make dinner every night, and do the things I should while trying not to have a breakdown.


    Comment by Catherine (@helenoftroy2) | June 20, 2015 | Reply

  144. This is a man I met and live with it’s been over a year are best times is when I don’t talk at all , he can take any conversation and turn it into all about himself and he is a victim and has a excuse not to work he sleeps all day smokes weed and manipulates everyone he has contact with I tell him everyday I’m not happy he says okay you don’t like my kids making me feel bad saying I don’t like his parents those are the only people I like I don’t like him he is a emotional abusive man I just came out of a 20 year relationship and I have not rested in my mind since meeting him it’s a nightmare he threatens suicide the world revolves around him I was with someone that made me smile everyday he has made me cry everyday I did not know people can be this bad!


    Comment by Rita lucero | July 31, 2015 | Reply

  145. I know it must be hard to read these for anyone with ODD…And yet, no one has the right to hitchhike the life of another human being. One life is all we each have. No amount of offense can shut up the experiences of partners and families. Courage must be an offering made towards healing, the courage to face how ODD effects those you love, and the courage to understand that others have a right to advocate for their own lives and health. And also the courage to help those working hard to find ways to end these cycles, or build a different life elsewhere, hoping or praying that some day they will. Noone can be helped until they want to change truly….not to appease someone about to leave, but because they truly understand the plight everyone is suffering. Even if my beloved husband (ODD and ADHD) were to tell me my experience under his life offends him,..I can’t let that add to the many things that oppress us partners. I have plenty of heartache to compensate for any offense he might feel. It helps no one. Courage and commitment with understanding of the conditions lived,..that might help. To understand you must face, hear,…see,…those many of us partners who so often go invisible with lives slowly loosing all flavor, all color, all hope.


    Comment by Ana | December 8, 2015 | Reply

    • Hi Ana, I don’t understand some of the things you wrote and or what exactly you were trying to say. It seems you are very emotional and hurting. An ODD afflicted person is very painful for anyone to live with, because the one we love can be so vicious and cruel. I, like you, have a husband who is ADD/ODD. Your husband has specific behaviors he developed as a child to cope with his family environment. Those behaviors, albeit inefficient and abusive are behaviors that in his past got people to do what he wanted. You are now his family so his maladaptive behaviors are automatically used in your relationship. This is a CURABLE condition. It involves Integrated Family Therapy. Imagine if he were a child about age 4 or 5 and he acts out. An adult would (idealistically) announce clearly that the bad behavior is unacceptable and what behavior is accepted. Parents set up strategies that enforce the good and discourage the bad behaviors. If the parents of such a child have a chaotic family life or there is some family tragedy going on then the policing of good and bad behaviors doesn’t happen. The child then does not receive the guidance to develop mature morals. Sometimes parents are overwhelmed by the bad behavior and don’t know what to do to discourage it and the child ends up ruling the household up until he/she grows up and finds a mate to control, like you. Integrated Family Therapy involves all the family members; the therapist guides, coaches and instructs everyone on how to stratagize. If you want to see how a personality disorder can develop, like Oppositional Defiant Disorder, even if the parents are good kind people, please type into Google “Supernanny UK S04E01 youtube” and watch how Jo Frost helps the parents of an ODD child to stratigize and bring back order and respect into their home. There are two very successful therapists who CURE ODD with Integrated Family Therapy in adults, David M. Allen, M.D. is the author of the book, How Dysfunctional Families Spur Mental Disorders: A Balanced Approach to Resolve Problems and Reconcile Relationships. he explains the history of why our mental health industry is now a- pill- for- every- disorder industry. Dr. Eduardo M. Bustamante MD is the author of Treating the Disruptive Adolescent: Finding the Real Self Behind Oppositional Defiant Disorders. Dr B. reveals in his clinicians manual very detailed information of how ODD can be rectified. You will have to be the strong one. You will need to say that certain behavior is unacceptable. Look for a counselor who understands personality disorders and is learned in Integrated Family Therapy. This is a BIG deal. You may get support from your husband and his family, you may not. If you dont get any support you may have to make a decision. I cannot live with my husband. No one can. There is not one member of my husbands family that will allow him to live with them. His family so far want to take the easy way out and pacify him. NO ONE except me has stood up to his bullying and said that his behavior is unacceptable, except me. It is difficult to stand firm and calmly stick to your guns but I have to do this for my husband, for me, for his children or he will continue to tyrannize all those around him and he will never mature.


      Comment by Carrie | December 8, 2015 | Reply

  146. im 21 and i am ODD and from the majority of comments i read, there seems to be no hope for me in life. despite that, i will still be hopeful and keep praying, and seeking a better life for myself and those around me. thank you all for the glimpse youve given me of how my friends and family must have felt all these years, now i know why everyones happy when i go to sleep or leave.(because im like “hell o wheels”?). if there is hope for people with ODD, please message me or comment. i admit theres a problem, i just dont know what to do next…


    Comment by BOO | January 8, 2016 | Reply

  147. My daughter was dx with ODD while admitted to south oaks hospital when she was 13ish. She was great at pushing my buttons and “emotional hostage” kidnapper. I could not have make the decision to admit her without my codependent anonymous family. Her choice was to enter a group home in her junior year of high school. She could not adhere to my parenting and I was a single mother. Her father left me when I was six months pregnant with her and a 21 month old. He had very little to do with our children and barely supported them financially after our divorce. Both of my daughters moved near their father after high school as he “promised” them a relationship with them and to pay for their college. Needless to say that did not work out for either of them and I helped them out as much as I could with college as I entered nursing school myself. They remained in that state and became estranged to each other. My ODD daughter got married and had a son who is now 16. When he was five his parents divorced and my daughter announced she was a lesbian. Currently my daughter is in full bloom of her ODD and her target is my grandson.
    She has gone back to school to become a nurse ( she is the same age as I was when I went to nursing school and my grandson is the age she was when I went.). I am also the target since she has cut me off from him ( not the first time). He is a good kid and I fear him not having an outlet (me) will push him to use an outlet in a bad way. He can do nothing right in her eyes and she is on his back for everything. My daughter has been in a domestic relationship for several years now. I am heart broken for him and wish I could help him. If any one has any suggestions please feel free to comment. Thank you.


    Comment by Marye | January 29, 2016 | Reply

  148. Wow, after 3 years of dating someone I have only been able to conclude is cruel, self-centered, verbally abusive, immature, disrespectful, and completely irrational, I have finally found a diagnosis that fits the terror I have experienced. This would have been a bit more helpful about two weeks ago, before he ended things with me for the 5th time. I seriously have gone out of my mind trying to understand this person like the whole time I’ve known him. Honestly, at this point, I am just so exhausted. It has felt like a perpetual roller coaster of the grief process for about 3 years with how repeatedly I was pushed away and in such a cold manner. I think I’ve cried most days.

    The highs, the lows, the over promising and under delivering, constant excuses or acting like he doesn’t even owe me one, scary arguments, manipulations, neglect/abandonment, lying, sneaky behavior, short temper, threats of hanging up, breaking up, or wanting to be let out of the car (no matter where we were) if I thought contrary to how he wanted me to view him or his intentions. They have always been a “yes” or “no” question too. “Do you really think I said and or did things to try to make you jealous? Yes or No.” What this means is; answer correctly, or I will never talk to you again. Also, if you say “No” to avoid punishment, it means the end of the conversation and I was obviously crazy for bringing up the idea to begin with. Lose/lose for me.

    Facts or reality have never mattered in any issue that arose. His need to never take accountability and never be wrong always trumped the 8000 pieces of evidence displayed against him in any given grievance. Usually, the solution or the way to end the discussion was to just scream or swear at me and call me names until I was crying so hard I couldn’t breath. No discussion of any issue ended with a meaningful resolution or an “I love you”, because that would be rewarding my behavior. My behavior being that I would question him on things or propose things that I felt our relationship needed to be healthier. Literally, none of these conversations ever went well. It didn’t matter how tactfully I approached it.

    Every time we would break up, he would disappear for a week or two and then send desperate, pleading text messages telling me he tried living without me and can’t, we are too close, he loves me too much etc and would be beg me to take him back. I obviously had fallen for this every time and did attach conditions to my agreement to try again. He would make promises and within a week or two be treating me like complete crap again. To my extreme disgust, he would tell me he knows he needs to listen to my needs and he will do whatever I want or need in terms of comfort I desire. Seriously, then two hours later, he is doing the complete opposite and NOT listening to me when I tell him I want him to stay in bed with me and watch a movie and cuddle because A. I can’t sleep anyway and B. We didn’t see each other very often and I like to be held more than once a month. So, then we are arguing all over again because HE decides he is keeping me awake with his snoring or whatever and so he goes out to the couch so I can sleep since I had work in the AM (he is Self-Employed and his sleeping patterns are on his terms so, it wasn’t that he needed the shut eye). Uhm, I just said I didn’t even want to sleep…I wanted to spend time together. Somehow in me calmly explaining that to him and asking him to come back to bed with me, he got so mad he came charging at me from across the room and got right in my face and yelled at me.

    Like he was my dad or something and always knows what’s best for me. He was always in control and wouldn’t do anything I requested or suggested that would make things easier or better on both of us. Sometimes, he would agree to whatever and then just not do it. That was fun. I would have very simple requests and they all surrounded us spending quality time together, not being stood up, or that he would be more attentive to me. Nope…I was not accomodated. Don’t give an inch because I might want to take a mile. Ha, I have never been that way and never planned to start. I just wanted the basics…and maybe to feel loved and respected.

    He truly has portrayed that I don’t deserve even the standard basics of a relationship. I would be mocked for not wanting to be alone 98% of the relationship, because I pretty much was. He always had other more important things to do or people to be drinking with. Most of the time it was too busy working (writing music) and no matter what, he is always late getting his projects turned in and somehow, even though I haven’t occupied really any of his time, it is always my fault.

    Anyway, I realize this is a tangent and I could go on for days. It makes me feel better to write things out. I have never publicly shared the details of my experience before, I thought this site would a nice place to start because I need to heal. I need to worry about me and not this person I couldn’t make happy no matter how much I catered. Whether or not he would be open to help, would depend on the day with him I guess. Not that it matters as I may never hear from him again and just as well. I have loved him with all my heart and I have always been able to see the little glimmer of light beyond this illness he is consumed by because it has always been clear to me that his childhood and the lack of constructive parenting he experienced growing up, took a huge toll. He even acknowledges that much. Time will tell. In the meantime, I am trying to pick the pieces up and move on, once again.


    Comment by Angela | February 19, 2016 | Reply

    • Your experience is my experience only I married mine. If I could give you over piece of advice it would be to keep moving on and never look back. In my case I also had self-esteem issues and instead of valuing my singleness I lamented it and thought that this guy is the only one who would be interested in me because I was almost thirty and had never been on a date or had a boyfriend. Here is my present life: He does not work, support me at all, only brings new problems and drama to my life, and is entitled from his upbringing which is the same as your boyfriend’s. I hate my marriage because every day is an opportunity for him to create problems for me, but I am bound to him and that’s that. I basically sold my soul for peanut shells and singleness looks pretty darn good from where I’m sitting now. Though he is seeking mental health treatment and is prescribed medication he is still a handful. He adds nothing to my life and cares nothing about enhancing our marriage and is draining to me. And I feel like an absolute fool whenever I have to bring him around my friends and family. Every day I am full of regret and I hate myself for hitching my wagon to a 10 ton anchor.

      Do not let knowledge of his diagnosis make you compassionate. His mental problems are not your concern. Let his family deal with it. As for you, you are worth much more than what you are getting and if leaving him means being alone, do it. Frankly, if I was single again I would not even be interested in dating. Being single is definitely a good thing!


      Comment by Sunny | February 19, 2016 | Reply

      • Thank you for the encouragement, though I am saddened it does come from personal experience. I totally wouldn’t wish the kind of treatment I have received on anyone. My age has played a role in how long I have stuck this whole thing out too, I’m afraid to admit. I am now 32 and on one hand, have felt I am too old to be going through this kind of junk and on the other hand wonder how I am going to meet new guys. It is also a scary thought after everything the last 3 years has had to offer. What if the next one is the same or worse, is always a question in the back of my mind.

        Do you have children? I know that would add a whole level of complexity I couldn’t imagine.

        Honestly, I think I will be ok in another week or two. I’ve been through this so many times now…He only reappears once I’ve become strong enough to be on the right track and feeling good about my future but still left with a tiny thread I haven’t yet ripped from my heart. It is really hitting me today. I’ve been thinking about how he would blame a lot of his rudeness on ignorance. He would simply say he was too stupid or blame it on something of that nature. He really isn’t stupid, at all. In fact, he has his strategy down to a science. It has kept me putting up with him for how long…and wanting to excuse his behavior. So, quite frankly, my compassion is limited if even existent toward him right now. I didn’t have the greatest childhood either, in fact, I went through some very tough things thanks to my parents, collectively and individually. So, I guess what I would like to understand is, to what degree is this disorder the cause of choices we made when we were younger? I have a hard time excusing someone of moral accountability when I know I have become the person I am because of my own choices. We choose how we will deal with other people each day and every day is an opportunity for a fresh start. I would think logic would take over at some point. Action A produces reaction B in other person. If the reaction is negative, wouldn’t this trigger any mind to not want to reproduce that result? Maybe I am far from understanding the depth of this disorder and the great hold it has on its victims. I just seriously can’t comprehend being cruel to those I love and being able to live with myself day in and day out.


        Comment by Angela | February 20, 2016

      • No, we do not have children, thank God. I never wanted to have children but I even if I did I still would not have them because what kind of upbringing could we possibly give them with a father like that? Furthermore, I would not want my daughter to learn that it is okay to end up with a selfish man who cares very little about her, and I would not want my son to learn that it is okay to live off of his woman as if she was his mother and never grow up. If I have to suffer because I did not see my self worth then fine, but I would never force innocent children to suffer right along with me.

        Ours we a whirlwind relationship. We were not in again off again like you but all the signs were there. However, I was so happy with finally being able to say ‘my boyfriend’ in conversations and no longer being the eternally single one amongst my friends that I would have taken anything short of cheating and physical abuse to keep him and walk down the isle. If I could do it all over again I would rather walk in front of a train than marry him again. He is better than he was with his medication, but he is not where a husband should be at all.

        And do not underestimate the power of him persuading you to take him back. He knows all your weak points. If I could talk to my former self, I would ask her what he brings to the relationship. You can ask yourself that. If you also bring everything to the relationship as I still do, is it worth it? I live like a married single person – someone else lives in the house, but I am still very lonely. And the physical got old quickly after we got married and is meaningless without two people who really love one another. He has affection for me, but how can it be real love if there are no actions to back it up?

        Remember, it is better to be single and lonely than to be in a relationship and still lonely.


        Comment by Sunny | February 20, 2016

  149. Any time I thought about having kids with my ex I came to the exact same conclusions. His willingness to even progress toward living together was limited at best. His tolerance for being around me hit its peak usually at about 3 days straight. By day 2 he would be struggling big time to not be a jerk. So, for him to say we should get married the last time he came crawling back was one of the most irrational and ridiculous things I could have expected of him. I told him we needed to get along for at least a year before I would even entertain the thought of marriage.

    May I ask what kind of medication your husband is on? From what I have seen in my research it seems like ADHD and Depression meds are most common. My ex would never be willing to take a medication. He thinks they ruin his creative abilities. It would have to be a natural supplement. I’ve wondered if 5-HTP would help him. I take that myself each night before bed but I don’t think it is something that would help someone with a tendency to be defiant 24/7, just with the depression perhaps.

    Sunny, you have given me so much advice and so much of what you have said are things I have thought and felt myself (about my self worth etc). My dad always reminds me that life is too short to dance with ugly people. Life is too short. I would like to think there is hope for you to find the happiness that you so much deserve. My grandmother married a man who seems like a candidate for AODD and every time I speak with her she admonishes me to run the other way from my relationship. Being married to that man for the past 40 years has taken a toll on her health and overall well-being. It hasn’t been worth it in the least. I felt a bit of that with the debilitating depression that I experienced just in the last 3 years. My ability to even think to take care of myself became consumed with my overwhelming emotions that were being constantly stirred up in the relationship. My thoughts were overrun by just him (they still are). My hope is that you have been stronger than my grandmother and I and haven’t let your situation cause you to treat yourself without care because I think you sound like an amazing and intelligent person who deserves a long happy life.


    Comment by Angela | February 20, 2016 | Reply

    • My husband’s main diagnosis was ADHD but when they switched it to bipolar disorder and prescribed him Abilify and Gabapentin that’s when he started changing for the better. Actually, had he been diagnoses earlier in life he would probably be a decent person by now, but he is middle-aged. I sure wish that his very abusive and negligent though permissive family would have gotten him treatment as a kid or at least teen.

      He also didn’t want to take meds but I insisted and now he doesn’t want to be without them. I do credit him with caring about me enough to get help.

      You know, the first year of our marriage when he was diagnosed I realized that I need to stop being so obsessed with the manifestations of his illness and I made some changes that I still make it a goal to follow a few years later (we haven’t been married that long). I started giving myself money to spend on things I like each check instead of giving it all to him and I give him much less as a motivation for him to get a job, if he doesn’t feel well enough to do something that I enjoy or comes up with excuses I still go, and I make sure that I have time for myself where I consider spiritual things, take care of chores, hang with friends sometimes (I prefer solitude), or do something fun. These things have allowed me to keep my sanity and be well. I feel the same way about a second marriage that I did about getting out of a job that I hated a few years ago that I was determined to never return to, which I haven’t.

      Thanks for your kind words, and your grandmother know what she is talking about when she tells you to run. I know that if I ever found myself single again I would just remain single. Logically I know it’s all about the person you choose and who you yourself are, but I am so turned off and I’d rather be alone, which is great.


      Comment by Sunny | February 20, 2016 | Reply

  150. We should simply put all these mental people in prison or kill them. All of their enablers should be killed with them for their ignorance in allowing this scum to walk on the face of the earth.


    Comment by Local hapa | March 5, 2016 | Reply

  151. Just wow.

    I feel like everything that didn’t make sense makes sense. My husband has never been physically abusive and we’re determined to make this work (married 14 years and two kids). But I’ve been circling this realization for some time.

    My son has ADHD and is on the verge of ODD but I’ve taken several parenting classes, he’s in therapy, and I’m sure he’d be fine if it weren’t for my husband’s refusal to learn how to best parent my son. But he doesn’t openly refuse, he just doesn’t do it. And that’s his whole life. He’s been diagnosed with ADHD and depression but there’s so much more. I finally felt like I understood better when I read Better Than Before and the concept of the Four Tendencies… He is the rebel through and through… He resists both external and internal expectations. And now I’m wondering if at least some rebel adults are kids with ODD never treated and grown up.

    One of the best/most helpful books I read for my son was Transforming Your Difficult Child: the Nurtured Heart Approach. I’ve joked that they need to write a sequel, Transforming Your Difficult Spouse: the Nurtured Heart Approach. But now I’m wondering if that might actually be true.

    It’s exhausting enough to parent my son this way and be the only income for the family and take care of all the family responsibilities, but maybe if I can pull myself together enough to respond to my husband’s negativity the same way I do my son’s…

    My daughter is a normal, healthy, happy preschooler and I want her to grow up in a good situation. For her sake I’m giving this a try.

    Thank you for writing this short but obviously critical post and to everyone who replied. I’m feeling overwhelmed but like I finally have some direction.


    Comment by Ann | April 16, 2016 | Reply

  152. ODD is strongly linked to under-methylation or histadelia as its sometimes know and it has a biochemical cause (mostly low serotonin and dopamine which give the person traits such as low motivation, irritableness, lack of empathy, selfishness, temper issues, OCDs et.c) and is the closet you’ll get to a ‘cure’ is by treating the imbalance. I’ve seen how the treatment can work miracles but of course the person has to be compliant with the treatment in the first place – which is often the hardest part. Here’s some more information about it:


    Comment by GlobalGrasshopper (@globalgrasshopr) | April 28, 2016 | Reply

  153. I have been married to a man for 33 years. He has always been angry at the world. He did not have a great childhood. At one point the courts took him out of his mother’s house and put him with his father because of mental abuse from his step father. His father was a gambler and away most the time to Vegas so he basically was raised by his grandmother. I thought that I could help him. I had low self esteem issues saddled with depression. Currently I’m in therapy and take meds for my depression.
    My husband gets upset very easily. I have to walk on eggshells around him. I never know who is coming through the door. He’s impulsive and just recently took our retirement money and put it into his company. This is the second time he’s done this without even telling me. I used to work for him but could not tolerate his temper tantrums. I currently am unemployed and can’t work a full time job because of my back issues.
    He’s embarrassing. Tonight we were at our daughter’s college graduation and he was making fun of an Arab student very loudly. I told him to be quiet and he told me if I didn’t like it then just cover my ears. This happens all the time.. His mother asked him to stop swearing and he told her not to tell him what to do. He acts like a kid with a temper tantrum and he’s 61.
    I’m at the end of my rope with him. He tells everyone what to do and constantly says inappropriate things to our friends, criticizing their children or how they handle their personal situations. I know he’s ADHD, he’s very hyper sometimes acting almost manic.
    He did finally say he may try medication after years of me asking him. I almost wanted to spike his coffee with my daughter’s Adderall just to see if it made a difference. I didn’t of course because my daughter needed her meds to help in school…yes she’s ADHD too. So are his 2 of his brothers, a few nieces and nephews but my husband seems to have more of the ODD. He’s uncouth and crude and at this point I’m done even if he gets help. I want to live a peaceful life and I can’t with him around. I don’t know what to do. If I tell him I want a divorce I have no idea how that is going to affect him. He also gets depressed very easily. I care about him but do not love him anymore. I just want to go on with my life…away from him. He makes my life a living hell. I’m also worried because my daughter is moving home and they fight all the time. There are times he can be nice and calm but the older he gets the worse he gets… I just don’t know what to do anymore. I just want to leave but fearful of what he’ll do. He hasn’t physically abused me…well maybe a couple of times. Like a slap to the face or one time he broke my foot. A couple of weeks ago he pushed my daughter and then said she started. My daughter was so distraught she was in hysterics. He didn’t hurt her. He has been under a lot of stress because of his business and our money issues and that makes his symptoms worse. I need help…I can’t take it anymore.


    Comment by Janice Steingold | May 7, 2016 | Reply

    • My husband behaved in the same way as yours, but thankfully I didn’t have to wait a few decades for relief. Within the first year of marriage I insisted that he go see a mental health expert. At first he was diagnosed with ADHD ODD and Ptsd, but a year later he started seeing a new psychiatrist who switch his diagnoses to bipolar disorder and PTSD. Bipolar was a much better for because it took into consideration all of the symptoms of ADHD, including ODD, but also explained the extreme mood changes from being energetic, unable to stay also at night, verbose, and impulsive to being exhausted, sleeping all day, having nothing to say, and not caring if anything gets done.

      A new diagnosis means new meds, and these bipolar meds were a gift from heaven. He is like night and day, and he doesn’t want to be without them ever. I even help him to remember. He is currently in Seroquil and Gabapentin. I feel like we are the closest to being a normal could than we’ve ever been and it’s only been 2.5 years of marriage!

      But in my case my husband was willing to seek help (albeit at the age of 38). Evidently his family was too busy playing the blame game to actually see why he is doing the things he is doing. Just the physical and sexual traumas he suffered as a kid should have warranted an emergency visit to a mental health worker of some sort. Anyway, if your husband is also willing to see someone, make the appointment ASAP because in his current untreated state he is liable to change his mind on a moment’s notice. Maybe if you spin it to him like this is his shot at being truly happy. Probably saying that his going well make you happy or the rest of the family won’t work because whatever mental illness be has, be it bipolar or ADHD, are selfish diseases that are concerned only about self and nothing else, so appeal to that. My husband thinks more clearly, is able to see a few steps ahead if he makes certain decisions, and even takes my thoughts info consideration sometimes.

      But the truth is that it is a shame for a marriage that has been together for so long to end. Hey, I get it. I SAS wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into at month 2, which is when I insisted that he see someone. If you’ve waited 3 decades for help, why not wait just a little longer? He has expressed interest in getting help, and the results for my husband are immediate, so just wait a little longer while he gets it together. As women, we both know that it takes a lot to get us to give up but that it also takes very little to sell us on giving it another shot.

      While he is working on himself, there are things that you can do too to make the situation calmer in the home. Check out all the different articles for couples at I can tell you that they work, which is why I haven’t been posting to this sight as much.

      I wish you both the best.


      Comment by Erica | May 7, 2016 | Reply

  154. I live this every day, I have for 4 years. I’ve thought he was just controlling and and ugly person. I keep thinking he will change. But it seems to be getting good worse. We have two toddlers and although my income pays 75% of the bills, I couldn’t afford to live without the little bit of income he gets that he doesn’t blow on crap that is just for himself, he would let my youngest go without diapers if he wanted something. I do love him and my kids love their daddy. But I don’t want my children thinking that it is ok to act the way he does or treat people the way he does. I am the kind of person that believes in solving problems not running from them. So I’ve read so many of these saying run, or you cannot fix this. He has been diagnosed with ADHD as well as ODD, granted his family kept that secret until we were together for years. He will not see a doctor or psychiatrist or psychologist or whatever he needs to see. But I think I could convince to if I could show him literature of meds that can control this. Is there a medication that could get him balance? I need help. I 6 days a week to support us, get to spend at most 20 hours a week with my children and 90% of that time I’m arguing or fighting with him, the other 10% is because he is at work for a few hours on my day off. I need help! Please!?


    Comment by So Tired | June 27, 2016 | Reply

  155. It is so sad to read these stories! I live with an ODD husband, too. 31 years. For so long I wondered why he seemed to see me as an enemy. It seemed sometimes that he needed to have an enemy. I don’t know how I found this ODD diagnosis, but it fits him perfectly. I’m sure he has ADD, too, which I also have. I wish I could suggest that he see a doctor about these things, but he would explode. It’s so hard to be married to someone that you can’t talk to about things. There’s always fear, fear, fear. Very frustrating. Very defeating. I wish all of you the best and I wish for you loving, supportive friends who will carry you through these hard times of battle.


    Comment by Kathy | July 30, 2016 | Reply

  156. This blog site literally saved me. I was in a relationship with a wonderful man for almost two years. He has both ADHD and ODD. For the first several months, everything was “blissful”. Until I read about ADHD and the “hyperfocus” phase, I didn’t realize the love to him was a drug feeding his brain and other chemicals. He did not inform me about his ODD until several months into the relationship. He had a past that I won’t get into.

    After several months, his behavior returned to what his friends called him his normal self. When we had met, his friends said he had changed and was less angry and volatile with me.

    At work, he was always getting into fights with his co-workers. It almost seemed as if he fed off of “Conflict” to feed his adrenaline and ODD behavior. For us normal individuals, our happy state is when we are at peace. I started to see that it was the complete opposite for him. For him, peace seemed to be an anxious state for him, and he was most happy when he was in conflict with people, blaming others, and accusing others for his misfortune.

    Then–the blame started to first rear its ugly head with me one year into the relationship. Now, I was at blame for the majority of the conflicts we had, and he never seemed to recall what he said, nor take any responsibility for his actions.

    He was taking medication that prohibits alcohol intake, and not taking his meds properly. Additional medical issues arised.

    This is a man whom I believe also has a Peter Pan syndrome of never wanting to grow up, and his parents enabling him financially. I could see that I was becoming his “Wendy”, concerned about his health, and my role was changing from lover to mother.

    The man that I fell in love with was no longer that man. The man I loved was never that man.

    It started to impact my self-esteem. I felt like I was walking on eggshells. At several points, I had fear and flight in wanting to break up–something I have never done before with anyone in my life! My behavior started changing, and it was as if he was bringing me down to his level.

    Panic attacks and anxiety started with me, and there were times where simply his voice would upset me, leaving my ears ringing, and having to throw up from the stress.

    I ended the relationship. Thank God we never lived together.

    The biggest thing that I had to overcome, by seeing a specialist, is that I felt guilty for abruptly ending the relationship, after meeting him at a restaurant one evening. I felt guilty that I couldn’t do more. I felt that “if only I had read up more on ADHD and ODD”, I could have helped and changed him. If only this, if only that. What did I do wrong? How could I behaved better for him not to be so upset?

    Through this blog, and having seen this horrendous stories of courage, from both the ADHD/ODD individual, and non-ADHD/ODD partner, it has given me validation that I “wasn’t the crazy one”.

    I will continue to read these blogs for self-healing.



    Comment by Tender Heart | August 30, 2016 | Reply

  157. I had this and have this. Of course I didnt know what “this” was until recently. All I knew was that I had been this way my entire life and have altered my life drastically on every front to accommodate it. I avoid relationships after it destroyed my marriage and my relationship with my kids. I changed to a profession where I could be my own boss because I cant deal with any authority (except for judges). I stay a lone wolf person because I can’t maintain friendships. I live an intentionally meager existence despite being a criminal defense attorney. I have an extremely obsessive personality so I avoid all vice type things and video games. Well, except for some weed. In short this has made my life of 50 years much less satisfying as it should be.

    The one positive I have had is I always looked for explanations of my behavior. Of course, these explanations were still limited to lifestyle, religious beliefs, and intellectual issues since it couldnt possibly be a personal flaw on MY part. This led me to Buddhism which allowed me to eventually see myself as I really am and try addressing it despite not knowing the clinical reason.

    Now I would just like help becoming more mentally healthy so I can enjoy the waning years of my life. I have learned to deal with the poverty and the loneliness … but I still have a hard time with the anger. I can now live in the moment and I enjoy simple things but the anger shades my full enjoyment.

    Any help on the anger would be appreciated.

    Jeff Messer


    Comment by Jeff Messer | September 7, 2016 | Reply

    • Hi Jeff. Please purchase the book , “Treating the Disruptive Adolescent: Finding the Real Self Behind Oppositional Defiant Disorders” by Eduardo M. Bustamante. The book is an easy read and without overwhelming the reader with psychological definitions, maybe then you can start to get a hold on why you have a reservoir of anger. Bustamante has ADD, ODD and he understands the dynamics of this behavioral disorder. I commend you for reaching out to understand why you are behaving the way you do. Bustamante, like others who have come to the same place in devising successful techniques to enable families to cope and move towards much more satisfying lives, tempers his writings but insists that certain “strategies” must be adhered to for the entire family to benefit. It will be difficult for you to “see” your behaviors from an outsiders point of view but it is integral and vitally important for your growth to accept the great harm your behaviors have on others. I have had in depth education for almost two years (2 Phd level courses, over 50 manuals, over 100 research documents from all of the developed nations in the world) to understand why my beloved has behaved towards me with such vindictive destruction for apparently no reason. There is a reason, it has nothing to do with me. Your maladaptive coping behaviors started at a young age and your family structure inadvertently supports it, unfortunately. This is why the entire family needs to all work together to develop more effective behaviors that will lead to a more satisfying life for all. Most people with your “issues” will become self employed so as to feel more in control of their out-of-control lives. Many like you will “try” again and again to have a romantic relationship and without meaning to, you will destroy those that love you. Many like you will rage insisting that the lover “triggered” or somehow purposefully harmed you thus warranting your vindictive attacks. Some loved ones that are now alienated will respond to your provocative blame rages by fighting back and you will act “shocked” as though your behavior had nothing to do with inciting others against you. Others will accuse you of being self-centered, of being the most selfish man on earth, of being a bully, of being an abuser emotionally and financially or even physically. You will be horrified by their judgement of you and you will be mortally wounded. You may be so wounded that you decide to stay away from any relationships at all, for a time. Then the desperate cycle to establish a meaningful relationaship will start all over again. Many will believe that you were abused as a child because you act out with such intensity and negativity. You may not have ever wanted for anything but you are still wounded. Why? There are reasons. You are not “crazy”. You can face your self doubts and your fears with an enlightened professional who practices integrative family therapy and specializes in personality disorders. No matter whether the label is ADD, ADHD, bi-polar, compensatory narcissistic personality disorder, alcoholism, oppositional defiant personality disorder, negativistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, drug addict, sex addict, thrill seeker addict, obsessive disorder, control freak, gross overeater, under-eater, out of control spender, gross manipulator, compulsive liar, or plain “wako”; you can learn, if you want. See also Dr. Russell Barkley, Dr. Daniel Amen, and watch this Youtube video to see that “neglect” of a child can have many forms, Supernanny UK S04E01 – YouTube. If you watch the disturbed violent child in that video and you see yourself in him, then find consolation in knowing that like that child you can learn to have loving satisfying relationships. You can re-establish your relationships with friends and children, they are often willing and resilient. Lovers that you have behaved very destructive with may be more resistant or unforgiving; at the very least you can bring about some understanding that will allow you and estranged loved ones to not cringe and avoid you like the plague. Like the 12 step program part of your healing is to make amends to others. Your reward will be that you will feel in control of your life, you will feel respected and most of all you will be secure, confident and happy with who you are.


      Comment by Carrie Silvina Espinoza Villanueva | September 14, 2016 | Reply

      • Carrie,
        You just explained my ex to a “T”. Thank you for validating this information, and for sharing with Jeff.



        Comment by Tender Heart | September 14, 2016

      • Cary, I purchased the book you recommended..Got it cheap on Amazon…Then I shared it with someone who could benefit from it.



        Comment by Tender Heart | September 30, 2016

  158. I think I am O.D.D and A.D.D. because my mom said I am not pay attention very much and big argued. I don’t listen or obey my mom. I am 51 half years old. I think psychology is not enough elavulate me.


    Comment by Lori Huff | September 7, 2016 | Reply

  159. I have been trying to nail down the origin of my problems with what appears to be ODD. My grandfather was really old-school. He rarely showed any emotion and he believed in hard work and being drunk on the weekends. He never told his 3 kids that he loved them or showed anything in terms of affection directly … but he would do indirect things. He’d leave them little gifts or maybe do some of their farm chores for them before they had a chance to do them – but nothing ever directly. My aunt and uncle, my mom’s siblings, were forward enough to just climb on his lap and make him accept hugs or a kiss on the cheek. My mom, on the other hand, was not that way. She was more like my grandfather and they hard a hard time connecting. Consequently she didnt have many nice things to say about him and his drinking and she left his home as a bitter, angry adult. She was very intelligent in an era and job where that wasn’t really appreciated in a woman so I think she had a chip on her shoulder – part I suspect from sibling rivalry and part from her inability to relate well to most others.

    She and my father worked together and they “hooked up” after work one night – and I was conceived. Being from traditional families they married despite not really having much love for one another. My dad explained to me that it was a miserable time. She was constantly bickering and needling him. He has a tendency to get lost watching TV and if he didnt give her his full attention immediately she would throw fits and utensils and one night even faked a heart attack during his favorite show The Beverly Hillbillies (he was a hillbilly from kentucky). Needless to say they divorced when I was very young.

    She remarried as quickly as she could to a very strict guy who seemed to accommodate her. Initially they struggled financially and she would often tell me how I ruined her life, how much she hated me, and how much she often couldnt stand to look at me because I looked “just like him” (my father). I was pretty much left to fend for myself most of the time from an early age. Even as early as age 7 her and my step-dad would work full time and leave me alone at home to care for myself. It was the early 70’s in Odessa Tx. and I rode all over the town on my bike getting into mischief … vandalizing and shoplifting. When caught by the local authorities they would drop me at the Boy’s Club when the locals would take great joy in beating on me for my smart mouth. This cycle continued until high school. When I left home for college I was intelligent but lacked focus and I had all the signs everyone talks about here for ODD.

    I believe that my mom desperately sought the attention and love of her father and since he wouldnt act to show it then she prodded him to get an emotional response. That was her “payoff” so to speak. If she goaded him and he responded angrily then he must care. At least I think that was the reason. I think she did the same to me as a child. I know for a fact she loved me but she had an ODD way of showing it (no pun intended) and often it was thru making my favorite foods. I believe I learned the same thing from her as I would pester and argue with those close to me basically until I drove them away. This happened to any women I tried to have a relationship with and finally my wife and even my kids. I sought an emotional response from them, negative was fine, just to show me they cared. This would explain my antagonism but not necessarily the anger. I am thinking maybe the anger was just learned behavior from acting like a jackass all the time.

    Could this even be close or am I way off?

    – Jeff Messer


    Comment by Jeff Messer | September 8, 2016 | Reply

  160. This is so my husband. After 5 years of hoping he will change and he has got worse, I had to leave with our children so they don’t see him like that. Please pray for us..


    Comment by Cindi | September 10, 2016 | Reply

  161. This is my husband. We’re currently separated but cordial and he’s willing to do anything to help himself. We’ve been married for almost 3 years and it took me leaving for him to take it serious and come out of denial that something was wrong with him. He’s seeing a therapist and crazy thing is i’m in graduate school to become a therapist. I came across this disorder doing homework and realized my husband exhibits almost all of these symptoms. I’m going to have him pass this information off to his therapist so they can accurately diagnose him and he can begin treatment. He’s been like this since about 4 or 5 years old and now 40 years old. I’m just glad he’s finally getting help.


    Comment by Kanza P | September 22, 2016 | Reply

  162. My boyfriend was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD when he was a child .he’s 34 now. He recently went to treatment for alcohol and pills. He’s doing well but he can’t hold a job. I wish there was a pill for odd


    Comment by Yvette Paladin | June 25, 2017 | Reply

  163. My son was diagnosed with ODD when he was eight (way back in 1983). Now, he is 42, and things have not improved much. I feel like almost my entire relationship with him has involved me tiptoeing around him and trying not to set him off. When he does get triggered (which sometimes feels like it is by almost everything), he gets verbally and emotionally abusive, screaming at me until I am sobbing and apologizing over and over for everything I have done wrong in his life. I know he has even been physically abusive at times, with girlfriends.

    As much as I can tell, from his perspective, sometimes it seems that practically every memory that he has is as ugly as can be, and he won’t accept that the distorted/tainted way he remembers things is *not* the way other people remember them.

    So much of his life is about what a victim he is, about how badly he has been treated all of his life, how everyone has abandoned him. He is extremely angry and bitter, and he holds a grudge like no one I’ve ever known. He is barely on speaking terms with any of his relatives. Every relationship he has with women has been destroyed, and he ultimately blames it on me for having been a bad mother.

    For what it’s worth, I was not the best mother in the world. I was a single teen mother with my own mental health issues, from a family that has been plagued with mental health issues. But I have made it a mission in my life to get help, and to get better. He won’t do that.

    I am generally glad/relieved that he lives far away and that I don’t see him very often – but virtually every visit we’ve ever had has been ruined by his attitude and his hair-trigger temper. I miss my grandchild, and would like to visit more, but it’s hard to feel enthusiastic about it, knowing what is inevitably to come.

    I feel horribly guilty about my mixed feelings towards my son. I have tried to talk him into getting counseling so many times, or taking an anger management class – but he refuses. He doesn’t see that any of this is *his* fault. It’s always someone else…

    We had a horrible fight tonight, over the phone, which ended in him calling me a name and hanging up on me. Admittedly, I said, “Fuck you!” when he called me the name, so that part was on me. But I was almost relieved when the phone went dead. At this point, I don’t know if I want to continue with what is often a very toxic relationship. But I don’t know that it much matters whether I want to continue it or not, as he is likely to just cut me off after this fight anyway. I feel like such a failure… But I’m so tired of the fighting and tiptoeing…

    The best thing that I can say about my son is that he has been a terrific father, and has raised an amazing daughter (even though the relationship with her mother ended very badly and bitterly many years ago).

    I told him tonight that he should research this disorder. I sincerely hope he does. So, my son, if by some chance, you come across my note here, I hope you will take it to heart and try to make something positive of it, instead of interpreting it 100% negatively. Because, believe it or not, I will always love you and hope that you can make life better for yourself and everyone around you.

    Thank you all for listening.


    Comment by Troubled Mother | July 17, 2017 | Reply

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