Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at SUWS of the Carolinas to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at SUWS of the Carolinas.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

ODD Signs & Symptoms

We remain open and are continuing to accept new admissions.

SUWS of the Carolinas remains committed to providing clinically superior services within a safe and supportive environment while taking all appropriate precautions to protect the well-being of our students and staff.

For admissions information, or to learn more about the heightened preventive measures we have put in place, please click the link at the top of this page or call us at (828) 489-3198.

Understanding ODD

Understanding Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Found primarily in children and adolescents, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a mental health disorder that is characterized by negative, disobedient, or defiant behavior. While most children and adolescents will go through periods where they will be challenging or difficult, the defiant behavior associated with ODD is much worse. A child or adolescent with ODD will display a frequent and persistent pattern of anger, arguing, defiance, and vindictiveness toward parents and other authority figures. These young people seem to be angry most of the time, frequently throw long-lasting temper tantrums, will start arguments that they will not let go, and will often try to provoke others by being deliberately annoying. While this behavior is extremely disruptive, young people with ODD do not see themselves as being argumentative or difficult; instead, they often blame others for their behaviors.

If you have a child or adolescent who is struggling with oppositional defiant disorder, professional mental health care can be extremely helpful at alleviating the destructive symptoms of this disorder. Treatment for ODD can help a young person learn to engage in more appropriate behavior and to help parents learn how to teach and reinforce desired behavior.



Research has determined that approximately 10% of young people meet the diagnostic criteria for oppositional defiant disorder. Furthermore, it has also been determined that ODD occurs more often in male youth at 11%, compared to 9% of female youth.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and Risk Factors for Oppositional Defiant Disorder

A clear cause for the development of oppositional defiant disorder has not been identified, but a number of contributing factors are believed to place a young person at an increased risk for this disorder. Some risk factors are listed below:

Genetic: Many years of research has shown that an individual’s genetics can be extremely influential in the development of certain mental health disorders. If a young person has a family history of oppositional defiant disorder, there is an increased risk that that he or she will display symptoms of the disorder as well. Furthermore, a child’s natural disposition or temperament, which also has genetic influences, can also trigger the onset of this disorders

Environmental: There are many environmental factors that occur during childhood, which can lead to the development of oppositional defiant disorder. For example, lack of parental involvement, repeated exposure to maladaptive or aggressive behaviors, and exposure to a traumatic event can all bring about ODD.

Risk Factors:

  • Having a parent with a mental health or substance use disorder
  • Neurological differences in the brain
  • Has difficulty regulating emotions
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Experiencing abuse or neglect
  • Receives harsh or inconsistent discipline
  • Lack of parental supervision
  • Parental or family discord

Signs of ODD

Signs of Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Since it is normal for children to display oppositional behavior at different times throughout their development, it can sometimes be rather difficult to differentiate between a child who is just strong-willed and one who has oppositional defiant disorder. However, if the symptoms your child is demonstrating is causing significant impairments with family, social activities, and school it is likely he or she is struggling with ODD. The following signs and symptoms may indicate the presence of oppositional defiant disorder:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Often loses temper
  • Is touchy and easily annoyed by others
  • Breaking rules or laws
  • Frequently argues with adults or people in authority
  • Demonstrates aggressive behaviors
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Deliberately tries to upset people
  • Blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehaviors
  • Engages in mean or hateful talking when upset
  • Instigating behaviors
  • Intentionally destroying relationships
  • Belligerent behaviors
  • Engages in revenge seeking behaviors
  • Constant disobedience
  • Shows spiteful or vindictive behavior

Physical symptoms:

  • Physical injury due to violent behavior
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Accelerated heart rate

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor decision-making

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Angry and irritable mood
  • Agitation
  • Resentful
  • Inept social skills
  • Lowered self-esteem
  • Persistent negative attitude

Effects of ODD

Effects of Oppositional Defiant Disorder

If parents do not seek treatment for a child or adolescent who is struggling with oppositional defiant disorder, a number of negative complications may develop that can greatly affect that young person’s life. The following effects can occur when ODD is left untreated:

  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Frequent conflict with parents or other family members
  • Inability to formulate meaningful relationships
  • Poor school performance
  • Disciplinary action at school
  • Expulsion from school
  • Interaction with law enforcement
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicide

Co-Occurring Disorders

Co-Occurring Disorders

Children and adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder often experience the symptoms of additional mental health concerns. In some instances it is believed that ODD has triggered the onset of the other mental health disorder, while in other cases it is thought that the additional disorder contributed to the onset of oppositional defiant disorder. These listed disorders are known to commonly occur alongside a diagnosis of ODD:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Substance use disorder
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Conduct disorder
  • Learning and communication disorders

Thanks to SUWS, I did a complete 180! I was able to restore the relationship with my parents and understand the underlying issues for my ODD.

– Anonymous Patient