Childhood and school form a decisive period of a person’s life, during which their personality is shaped. Unfortunately, this time is often characterized by the indecent behavior of other children, which inevitably leaves lasting consequences. Bullying is a major problem in modern society, which is why it attracts much attention from people who attempt to educate the public on its detrimental impact. “Bully,” also known as “The Bully Project,” is an American documentary devoted to this issue. It follows the lives of several children who suffer from being harassed and ostracized at school. Alex Libby is one of such students, and his personality demonstrates substantial interest from a biopsychosocial-spiritual perspective. The purpose of this assessment is to examine Alex Libby in terms of the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual factors, which shape his personality.
The documentary follows five families across the United States, as well as their children attending American schools. Alex Libby is twelve years old, and he has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (Hirsch, 2012). He experiences severe instances of bullying regularly, and most of them happen on the school bus. Other children are shown pushing and punching Alex while also threatening his life. The boy is not eager to confront those who assault him. In fact, Alex struggles to make friends, which is why, in a way, he sees bullies as his closest associates in the school environment. By the end of the documentary, as people around Alex discover more about the way he has been treated, he receives a warmer welcome at school. However, the degree to which this attitude is sincere remains uncertain.
From a biological standpoint, Alex Libby is an adolescent who is going through a crucial stage of personal development. However, his Asperger syndrome adds a different perspective, making it more difficult for the boy to maintain meaningful relationships. He is not very strong physically, which is why he cannot properly resist the harassment. The combination of biological factors makes Alex good for the school’s bullies, who want to enjoy their alleged superiority without a possibility of resistance.
The psychological factors of Alex’s personality are determined by similar aspects. First of all, he remains a teenage boy, meaning that his mind is undergoing major transformations, just as his body does. At this stage of personal development, people usually crave attention and self-realization. Adolescents search for friends and peer support, which may push toward unfortunate situations. Alex’s situation is heavily influenced by his Asperger’s syndrome, making the process of socializing difficult for him. People with this condition are often distant and reserved, as they struggle to befriend others. In the case of Alex, the syndrome may have shifted his perception of friendship, as he refers to the bullies as his only friends. Complex psychological issues may have lasting negative consequences on Alex’s development in the future.
In the context of social relations and interactions, Alex has been put on the margins. Due to the factors discussed above, he lacks meaningful relationships outside his family circle. Within a schooling system, the majority of students often divide themselves into two major groups of predators and prey. Bullies have placed themselves in the first category, being convinced that they have the right to harass the “prey,” including Alex. In turn, Alex does not accept this binary division, as actual society is more complex. Unfortunately, his attempts to introduce the problem to outside forces (or adults) did not yield results, and social ostracism continued.
As far as Alex’s spirit is concerned, he is can clearly be called a kind person. At one point in the documentary, bullying on the bus occurs again, and Alex complains to his mother that he does not have other friends other than those who harass him (Hirsch, 2012). This idea comes from a person who has regularly been stabbed with pencils, beaten, and called names. Alex does not attempt to overpower the bullies physically in direct combat, nor does he plot an intricate revenge plan. His soul is pure and kind, as he seeks friendship and understanding in the cruelty, which surrounds him. Unfortunately, his kindness was perceived as a weakness by the bullies.
Clinical Assessment and Conclusion
Overall, the case of Alex Libby demonstrates a combination of factors, which account for a greater issue. The boy has an inherently positive view of the world around him, being of the people who deem all strangers potential friends rather than foes. While this factor is quite positive, it entails some negative aspects, as well, because such people, as Alex, become unprepared for potential hardships. Not everyone is as friendly, and blind openness to the world combined with a desperate need for friendship makes Alex an obvious target for the school’s bullies. His Asperger’s syndrome makes it more difficult to make the situation known, and many of the adults disregard his complaints.
Alex Libby has had to face multiple challenges in a relatively early period of his life. The boy has been deprived of many joys of adolescence, as his time at school has become a continuous struggle. Nevertheless, Alex has a chance to demonstrate his strength by transforming hardships into new opportunities. He has already faced injustice and cruelty, making him prepared for future challenges. The boy can draw meaningful conclusions regarding people who can or cannot be trusted. This way, his future relationships will be stronger, as Alex will know and appreciate the true meaning of real affection. The hardships of life can be extremely difficult, pushing people toward despair, but truly strong personalities are forged through challenges, and Alex has the potential to become one.
Hirsch, L. (2012). Bully [Film]. The Weinstein Company.