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Conduct Disorder

Conduct Disorder is known to be mental disease that causes a young person (usually adolescent) to behave irrationally against the common social norms and values that are unacceptable to the society. Most elders consider this behavior as ‘bad’ rather than considering it as a sickness. Young people with conduct disorder may show extreme aggression towards other people and even animals. They might deliberately destroy or damage property, may resort to thievery and deceitfulness and violation of rules (American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 2004). According to research reasons such as depression and oppression due to abuse from parents, failure in school, trauma due to some events in life, etc. are some of the causes of a child developing conduct disorder. Often rejection by parents, friends and peers as well as illness and violence are also reasons cited for conduct disorder (Mental Health America, 2006).

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During my school life I first saw a fellow student whose condition I can say today to be of a child suffering from Conduct Disorder. Sally was her name, and she was about my age. Studying in the same class I remember her to be an angry child always involved in fights with other students. Her father was a drug addict and her usual bruises and black eyes were proof of that. During lunch times, she used to sit alone and would often be found crying in the girls’ bathroom. On one occasion our class teacher noticed scars on Sally’s wrist and on interrogation it was found that Sally had slit her wrists herself. At that time we students could not understand Sally’s actions and odd behavior but now that I reflect back, I realize that Sally was an oppressed child at home and in depression she did things that weren’t expected of a person.

Treatment of the disorder involves firstly recognition of the illness. As mentioned before, most people consider CD to be ‘bad’, they warn their children, hit or punish them trying to beat the ‘bad’ out of the child. However this action only leads into a more serious form of Conduct Disorder. A complete evaluation of the child must be done first where the doctor would try to understand the history of the problem and its cause through the child, the family and the teachers (American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 2004). Mostly the treatment involves all members of the family visiting the physiatrist for various sessions since this problem is usually caused due to family issues. The physiatrist tries to remove the deeply ingrained unacceptable behaviors and feed in new attitudes and behaviors. Due to the difficult nature of this change process, this treatment takes a long while and usually continues over a child’s age (Mental Health America, 2006).


1.      America, M. H. (2006). Factsheet: Conduct Disorder. Retrieved July 16, 2008, from Mental Health America:

2.      Psychiatry, A. A. (2004). Conduct Disorder. Retrieved July 16, 2008, from American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry:


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