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Mental Health Diagnosis Among African American Youths

Most African American youths are diagnosed with high rates of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) due to mental health practitioner bias and low cultural competency in diagnosis.

In reference to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) can affect children and have overlapping symptoms; they are distinct conditions with different underlying causes and treatment approaches.

Diagnosing a child with PTSD instead of ODD can be beneficial for several reasons: reducing stigma, trauma-focused treatment, and accurate assessment.

However, it's essential to consult with a qualified mental health professional for a comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis. They will consider the child's symptoms, history, and individual circumstances to determine the most accurate diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan.


Dr. Bilé

President and co-founder of Choices Mentoring Initiatives

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