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The Neighborhood Rascal





Joshua was doing his regular routine of running around the compound wreaking havoc on the neighbors dogs and chickens, terrorizing the neighbors kids with dead lizards and rats when he heard the sound of voices conversing outside. He didn't need to think too far, to guess that probably, another family or trader had come to complain about him to his parents.


He never cared because it always ended the same way, someone would come to complain and then his mum would beg them on her knees, pay them off and probably punish him by denying him dinner, however it was different when his Father was around, which in this case, he was very much around.


His father was the only person he truly feared and disliked because of his violent nature which was regularly directed towards him and his mother. When he looked into the compound and saw the principal of his school talking to his father, he concluded in his head that if he didn't leave home that night, his father would flog him to death. He was used to the beatings anyway and questioned why people would not just leave him be.


Joshua, at 14 feared nobody of any status ( well,except his father). He obeyed no laws and broke every societal rule possible. He showed no remorse when he hurt and bullied younger kids at school and ran away from school on most days, so he spent all his school time outside class mingling with fellow truants and street gangs experimenting with drugs, playing pranks on elders and children, scaring them with dead animals or stealing their pets, stealing from petty traders and shoplifting from supermarkets. It was almost as if he derived pleasure in hurting other people and getting punished because, the more punishment he got, the tougher he became.

He had recently beaten a boy in school so badly for calling him out on his attitude and had been asked to bring his parents, but in his usual deceitful manner, he had written a letter to the principal claiming his parents had travelled, forged his father's signature to make it believable and handed it to the principal.


He guessed the principal found out somehow and came in person to make sure he was punished and maybe to yet again tell his parents about a correctional facility they could put him in if all the traditional and church methods of deliverance weren't working.


The principal had gotten enough complaints about Joshua from teachers and students alike to get him worried and had done some digging of his own, especially because the boy's behavioral issues worsened daily, so, he had found and discussed Joshua with an adolescent mental health expert. He therefore, was at their house to drop the contact of the said expert, since he couldn’t get Joshua’s parents to come to his office for a meeting. Time was of the essence, Joshua needed an assessment as soon as possible.


Fast forward, to Joshua's mental evaluation, it revealed poor family dynamics such as parental disharmony and violence, as well as abnormal parenting styles which further supported the diagnosis of Conduct Disorder- a mental disorder diagnosed in childhood or adolescence that presents itself through a repetitive and persistent pattern of aggressive behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate norms are violated.


The expert thereafter, recommended urgent behavioral therapy and rehabilitation before his Conduct Disorder evolves into a more serious Disorder called as Anti-social personality disorder.


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