Medical professionals diagnose oppositional defiant disorder by evaluating the patient's physical well-being, complete medical history, and signs and symptoms, explains WebMD. Some physicians may suggests blood tests or neuroimaging studies to determine if a medical explanation exists for the behavioral problems occurring. Testing may also reveal concurrent conditions such as depression and ADHD.
Physicians who cannot determine a physical cause for oppositional defiant disorder often refer the patient to a psychologist, psychiatrist or other mental health professional to diagnose the condition, according to WebMD. Medical professional base a diagnosis on reports and assessments from parents, other adults or teachers who have observed the attitude or behavior of the patient.
Medical providers treat oppositional defiant disorder with psychotherapy aimed at providing patients with problem-solving and coping skills, explains WebMD. They may also treat patients with medications commonly used to treat ADHD and depression. A patient's treatment varies based on the age of the patient, the patient's ability to tolerate therapies and the severity of the symptoms.
Symptoms of the disorder include excessive arguing, temper tantrums, refusal to comply with rules and requests, and spiteful behavior aimed toward seeking revenge, according to WebMD. Patients may also blame others for mistakes, deliberately try to upset others, use obscene or offensive language, and say hateful things to others when upset.