I could have died. I believed my own rhetoric of “free will” and “marijuana won't kill me.” Only now can I see where that rhetoric was taking me. Every positive thing I had I smoked away.
Life at home was chaotic. I couldn't go a day without causing some sort of commotion. I spent countless days trying to avoid my problems and felt that I was chained up by the fears that ran me.
Before I came to The Family School my life was full of fighting and heartbreak. I didn't care that I made my family feel unsafe. I slept through the days to avoid the feelings that came with facing reality. I was numb.
Sometimes a drug addict needs to completely ruin his life before he decides to change. That's what happened to me.
My dad used to tell me that it didn't matter to him whether I succeeded or failed as long as I knew that I did my best. Unfortunately, I always settled for what was good enough.
I was doing some of the most harmful things a person could do and it had a terrible impact on me and my family. Nearly all of my problems at home stemmed from my extensive drug use.
Determining when a child's behavior meets the criteria for a specific disorder is difficult for parents. Complicating our understanding of our children's behavior is our own questioning about whether we are at fault-if the behavioral problems are a result of something we are doing, or not doing. We hope that the information here will help you understand oppositional defiant disorder and point you toward resources that can help.
About one in 10 children may have oppositional defiant disorder, which is defined as a persistent pattern of defiant behaviors such as arguing, anger, tantrums and/or disruptive behaviors toward you as parents, or other authority figures. Children with oppositional defiant disorder tend not to perform well in traditional classroom settings or respond as expected to normal parental rules and boundaries. They tend to have a negative, argumentative attitude and can show hostility toward authority figures. Typical behaviors also include refusals to follow rules, spiteful or vindictive behavior and difficulty accepting responsibility for their behavior. This tendency to blaming others for misbehavior creates difficulty maintaining positive relationships with family members and friends. Adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder tend to gravitate toward a "negative" peer group that supports their acting out against established rules and authority figures.
Since it is normal to display certain degrees of oppositional behavior throughout childhood and adolescence, it is difficult to discern between children that are strong willed, or even those going through normal adolescent development, and those with oppositional defiant disorder. However, if your child's defiant or oppositional behaviors have been persistent, are disruptive to the family or school environment, and have lasted at least 6 months, he or she may have oppositional defiant disorder.
Children with oppositional defiant disorder may also have one or more coexisting disorders, such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), anxiety, or depression. Treatment options include individual and family counseling, medication and specialized academic and residential settings.
The Family Foundation School serves adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder by providing a supportive and consistent therapeutic environment that helps adolescents to develop independence while maintaining a healthy respect for themselves and others. Together with family support and counseling, caring teachers and staff and positive peers, adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder are able to grow and develop their full potential.