Been thinking about genetics a lot is it nature or nurture?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, May 27, 2012.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I love physiology and read a lot about it and it seems that scientists are starting to believe almost every trait is inherited. Honestly, I Googled "loneliness" and three articles came up saying there is a genetic component toward feeling lonely. And I know that most adoptive parents I've met feel their children are more like their birthparents than like them. However, nurture IS a factor. It HAS to be...a little bit.

    Sonic's BM was a drug addict and probably also sold herself for drug money. Her environment was that of a very poor woman and perhaps she had a disability or poor family ties. I believe with all my heart that she had a good soul because Sonic does. Because of our environment, Sonic is drug/alcohol/cigarette free. He is able to be the best he can be. That, very sadly, was not so for his BM. But I still think genetics is far stronger than nurture.

    Loneliness genetic? REALLY? I thought that was very interesting. Of course, loneliness also goes with depression and we KNOW that is hereditary.

    Just one of those "what do you think" posts with no right or wrong answers :)
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think you know my answer. And the older I get the more convinced I become. I believe just about every trait we have can be traced back to somewhere in our genes.

  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Definitely nature. No question in my experience.

  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think its a combo. I think you can have a perfectly wonderful family who raises a sociopath and you can never find a reason in nurture. I also believe that you can have a completely awful family which you would think would turn out completely unfit kids and they end up perfectly stable and attending Harvard.

    Or you can have a mix. In my family I somewhat have things that I identify with my cousins but I didnt grow up with them. I saw them maybe every two years for a couple of days at a time until I was 15 and then I didnt see them again until I was in my mid 30's. So I couldnt have really picked up a whole lot of traits from them. I did look like them though...well as a kid I did, not now. They are very close, Im not. However, one of my cousins has depression. He is also an outsider and moved completely away from the family...all the way to the west coast and the rest of the family is in the Boston area. His son has or had ADHD. So there is some nature in there somewhere. Plus we have the nature coming down my mom's side with her mental illness and what I believe is her mother's. Then of course her nurture which was just plain bad.
  5. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I also believe with most people its a combination. I think we'd still have problems with difficult child 1 if he didn't have the awful situation he is in, but I don't think it would be as bad. His rages started right after he started unsupervised visits with x.

    I also believe that there are some people out there that nature gives them very little or no choice. Or nurture in extreme cases doesn't leave much for choice either, as in the sever Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids.

    No proof at all. Just my opinion.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    I think nature definitely outweighs nurture, BUT in my opinion nurture also has a huge effect. Problem is, this is the kind of thing that really can't be studied. Those of you who adopted and are 100% certain that nature is "king", let me ask you this: Do you really believe that your nurture had zero impact on your difficult child? I don't. Of course, I can't prove my theory, because we can't take a grown person, go back in time and remove the positive nurture and see how much more screwed up they may end up. But in my opinion, no matter how lousy (for lack of a better term) your difficult child turned out, I think without positive nurture, I think it could have been worse.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Nurture is the only hope we have to mitigate problems presented by nature.
    And I'm only going to look at the assumption of positive nuture...

    For example: ADHD can be an albatross, or a parasail... depending on whether you learn how to manage the weak parts and leverage the strengths that go with your particular flavor of ADHD, or not. Your particular list of weaknesses and strengths are part of nature. What you do with your strengths and weaknesses is more strongly influenced by nurture. People with ADHD can be total "duds", and blame their failure on ADHD. Others with ADHD are unquestionably successful - and pin their success in part on their ADHD.
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I do think, in terms of adopted kids, that the best thing for children is to stay with their biological parents where possible and that this is probably far better for them than being adopted out. I know that this is a controversial viewpoint and an odd one for me to hold, perhaps, given that I have adopted... but the reasons women give their children up for adoption are very bound up with society and with others, not necessarily at all what they really "want". And I think adoption is risky, at best. Nature also wants children to stay with their own and be nurtured by them. Not the way our imperfect world is. But is it any wonder that adopted kids, especially boys, have so very hard a time of it, often.
    As for nature vs nurture... I do suspect, also, that nature is the lion's share of it. And what do we even mean by that? It is possible, for example, that my adopted son's birth mother drank or used drugs during the pregnancy; that is a terrible kind of "nurture" isn't it, that would change his "nature" definitively.
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  9. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I believe both are the factor and it depends of the matter which one is more important.

    Genetics are extremely trendy right now and they are trying to explain everything with them. But it is not the whole truth. You have to remember that for example with schizophrenia (that is very hereditary for the mental illness) only 50 % of identical twins of schizophrenic patients also become schizophrenic. And their genetics are identical. There is also studies that claim that baby's brain structure changes in ways that can be seen in MRI depending the nurture they are given. That to me tells nurture does make a big difference.

    I don't think human are that different from other animals and with for example dogs you can easily see, that there are lots of characteristics that are hereditary, but it is also a lot about the nurture and training. If the puppy has bad nerves, you will never get a calm and strong dog out of him. But with right nurture and training you most often can make him a dog who does well in common family setting. And with bad nurture and training you make him either angry and dangerous or so seriously anxious he can't function. For example being afraid of loud noises is strongly hereditary and for that little is to be done, but then there are also characteristics that are almost completely trainable.

    I think people are not that different. Some things are strongly hereditary, some are more about nurture and environment. We are given the packet of Lego bricks and if the brick is missing or faulty, you can not get a new one, but you can build it in many different ways and with good building skills you can make a lot even from the lacking packet of Legos. And of course you can also break or miss bricks during the building. And this 'building process' starts already in the womb and environmental factors (chemical, social etc.) we can not control, have a lot to do with building, not only the nurture parents give. And for older kids the peer group is very big part of the building process. So I do believe also nurture is huge factor, but to me nurture does not include only parents' actions but everything around the kid.
  10. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    I also think it's both. I think the genetic tendency is "there" - but whether it's expressed fully may or may not depend on nurture.

    Both my grandmothers, and my father, had type II diabetes. I was gestational diabetic during both pregnancies. I know the percentages are stacked against me to develop it full blown. I try to keep my weight down in an attempt to combat it, but my dad was NOT heavy when he developed it. I already have issues with blood sugar spikes, so it's probably a lost cause.

    My ex is the poster child for (undiagnosed) ADD. It didn't surprise me a bit that one of my sons also has it (and the other has definite tendencies). Allergies also run in our family, but not to the same things. Again both nature and nurture - I always say if I moved to the moon eventually I'd be allergic to moon dust.
  11. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I firmly come down in the middle (it's both) too. I'm sure nature plays a huge role and I think research will continue to bear that out. But I don't believe for a minute that nurture doesn't play a huge role too. You can be born with a predisposition to get type 2 diabetes, but if you watch your diet and do all of the right things you can probably avoid getting it. You inherit the potential to reach a certain height, but if your environment (diet, etc.) is not right, you may not get there. You inherit a certain learning potential, but depending on your environment (parents, stimulation, education) you may end up higher or lower. You inherit a family predisposition for alcoholism, but if you never drink, you won't become an alcoholic. The same seems tome to be true of of psychological things. You inherit traits in your genes but for them to develop into their full potential, other factors have to be there. I'm not sure we can entirely get rid of what is in our genes, but we can certainly repress some traits and develop others and end up with somebody very different than what would be there if the nurture side were different.
  12. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Simply, in my opinion it's a little of both.

  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Interesting debate, but then it always is.

    I'm more inclined to believe it's both, and coming from a family with fairly rampant mental illness..........I have quite a bit of experience in judging how "nurture" has affected the genetic component. Oh, I definitely believe in the genetic component, and I believe it's far stronger than docs/researchers ever allowed themselves to believe in the past.

    But also, I believe that mental illness is a true illness/disorder........biological/neurobiological.......that also affects the genetic traits we've been given via the generations. If you view it that way.......then add in the nurture aspect........I think it's easier to see why nurture would seem to affect some more strongly than others, while others too are so severe that no amount of treatment or nurturing would make a noticeable difference. Because in a way, you're nurturing around the disorder........not really nurturing it away so to speak, you're strengthening other aspects of their personality/thinking processes that have been untouched by the mental illness itself, sort of training them to cope with their disability so to speak.

    I don't believe that the sky rocketing rates of mental illnesses/disorders we've seen in recent decades is due to more awareness or better diagnosis processes. It would increase, but I just find it hard to swallow that it would increase so dramatically. Especially since dxing mental illness is still a very subjective process with no "real" tangible exams/diagnostic tests to give objective data.

    I find it interesting that this drastic upward trend coincides with the dramatic social shifts in society, but I don't find it surprising. Even as our genes tell us what color of hair/eyes we'll have yadda yadda.....they're programed for evolutionary survival in behavior over many many thousands of years of trial and error. And we, as a species, have basically chucked that out the window in a span of a couple of generations. We're not really programed genetically to handle such drastic change in behavior well. I'm not saying this is a cause, but it's likely a contributing factor as those without mental illness struggle to adjust to this change and make it work for them, think of how much more difficult it must be for those with mental illnesses. Boundaries that were traditionally steadfast (right or wrong) it seems have been chucked out the window, and continue to be, yet none have taken their place. As we've all discovered as warrior parents, people with mental illness need/crave boundaries.......without them they seem to be totally lost.

    Then I too have believed for a long time there are other environmental factors playing into the dramatic upswing in mental illness that we've probably not even considered. The amount of chemical pollution we're surrounded with in the air, the ground, the water. The way our food is now genetically engineered, smothered in pesticides, chemically enhanced. The scary part of that is there is no data on the mental/physical effects of that on human beings, either by making us more susceptible to illness or making us ill directly, or heaven forbid altering our cells to the point where it's affecting reproduction and developing embryos.

    Another strong factor that contributes, in my opinion, is the very fact that our society shifted from hard work and mostly manual labor to high technology and instant gratification in a historical blink of an eye. Again, we're not genetically programed to cope with that sort of drastic change over a very short period of time. I strongly believe this factor is mukking up the waters a TON as it's bringing forth unwanted (and probably unbefore seen) traits in those without a true mental illness........example: how many people do you know now that find themselves unable to cope without a cell phone or computer? How many do you know that have symptoms of being "addicted" to video games or junk foods. If those things were removed for some reason from society, those behaviors would disappear in those without true mental illness. Perhaps they'd find a more productive outlet.....or just switch off all together. Sort of like when easy child asks how I avoid temptation for sweets. I just tell her I don't buy them, what I do buy requires me to make it from scratch, I learned years ago that usually by the time I've went through the trouble of making it from scratch.....I just really don't want it that bad anymore and half the time don't even eat it.

    My maternal grandfather was from all accounts a mental piece of work you'd never want to meet. Schizophrenic, probably a sociopath to go along with it....maybe even a mood disorder thrown in. My maternal grandmother raise 7 kids by this man, alone, because he was so bad she had to break social norms to escape him, which put her kids in a unique social situation that was frown upon during that era. She worked 2 jobs, often 3, to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.....and often that wasn't enough. My grandfather showed up often enough for years just to mess with the kids. At one time.......when her kids entered their teens.......she was dealing with multiple difficult children, some more serious than others. My uncles sort of attempted to go off the deep end in their teens, many would say with good reason considering their father and that their mother was usually absent working. They got into some pretty serious trouble stealing, fights, ect and found themselves in Juvie. Grandma was too busy keeping basic needs met to come to their rescue in any shape or form. I know she worried terribly about them, but in her own words, there really wasn't a lot of time for that either. But in that era, and where they lived (small rural towns/cities) society did not tolerate difficult child behavior and didn't downplay it simply because you were under 18. Punishment was hard and swift. By the time the boys reached adulthood they had matured into functioning adults. The eldest child, my aunt, started working at age 12 (all the kids did, and helped with family finanaces keeping only a small portion for themselves) often 2 jobs......she dropped out of school and became pregnant, married a man that made her father look like a saint. My aunt already had the genetic components for schizophrenia, was already dropping minor symptoms here and there as well as those of a mood disorder.......then she married the sadist and was able to hold it together a short few years before going full tilt severe paranoid schizo/ with a bipolar combo. Another aunt built a glass house around herself. She probably was a easy child for the most part, but she has some very difficult child traits. My mom......was showing signs of schizo by her early 20s. The youngest 2 sibs were both pcs.

    My aunts mental illness literally drove people away from her. It was truly impossible to deal with untreated by medications to make the symptoms less severe. Yet she was the hardest working, most generous, loving human being I have ever met outside of my own grandmother. Over time and with guidance from my grandma, she learned to cope with her illnesses.....eventually finally sought treatment to improve her quality of life. But I can span her whole lifetime.......and with as severely mentally ill as she was, the woman could hold down a job, sometimes 2, her house was spotless, her bills always paid as long as there was money to pay them. And even as much as she tended to drive people away.......she continued to seek out compainionship That aspect.........I believe came from nurture. Not just my grandmother, who had maternal instince out the wazoo and common sense and was far more intelligent than she ever let on, but by a society that still had it's moral values firmly into place at the time when she was growing /developing.

    My mom..........whew. It's a little harder to be objective here, but I do try hard as it gives me another entirely different persepective of her. Her paranoia distroyed her first marriage, not that it was all that wonderful to begin with, in a time when divorce still wasn't the norm and biracial marriages were scorned. Truth be told it distroyed all of her marriages, would have the last one except by that time she was terrified of being alone so refused to leave. The 5 kids she had were physically, mentally, and emotionally abused based on her shcizo concepts. Her intentions were good, but when you're always dealing with an ever changing warped/twisted sense of reality........intentions mean nothing. Yet with all this going on......she worked, she paid her bills, and for all outside appearances, she held it together. That was the nurture aspect.

    Her 5 kids? Now we enter into the period where the idea of "family" was taking on radical changes in society, as well as many social changes and envoronmental changes that were drastic. Eldest bro is a drug addict and a pediphile. He can't maintain a relationship with a woman for any length of time. I long ago lost count of how many times he's been married or been living with someone. He just ended his latest. He does have a strong work eithic though, can/does pay his bills, but money is not something he can hold on to and he's addicted to "stuff" as well....pathological liar on top of it. Eldest sis, this one is complicated as I've watch her deteriorate over the years. Strongly suspected bipolar from early teens. Schizo symptoms/behaviors from late 20's that became even more pronounced once she reached her 30's. Now? She's just a mess mentally. A nurse, who once was at the top, who now if she can find work......steals medications from her patients. But I'm pretty sure her license was pulled permanently the last time back in Sept. And she became more severe, her ability to "hold it together" fell apart. In her early 20's she was totally "on it" and doing well. By mid 30's she couldn't keep her rent paid and utilities on. Her parenting, while I firmly believe she loves her kids/grandkids, is NOT fit for a dog.......literally. Middle sis, is doing what one of my aunts did..........the glass house thing........having issues attaching to other people. Younger bro, is also a mess. Did drugs/drinking for years but miraclulously did not become addicted. Is abusive and also can't maintain a viable relationship. The one he managed to have last should've ended before it started as it was an abusive living hell on earth. But he does maintain in the working/bill paying ect aspect.

    Then there is me. And I was, I think or it seems, born totally different from all of them......including aunts/uncles. My grandma called me an "old soul". (I've never really been sure of what they meant by that) I avoided the mental drama from as far back as I have memory. Learned to read body language and facial expressions to the point where I knew when someone was "off" and I didn't stick around for the aftermath if I could help it. (as much because I was always the target of the aftermath) I had grandma, and I truly believed she saved me from the utter worst of it. But I also know that even before kindergarden I could recognize unacceptible behavior and not copy it, just as I could recognize acceptible behavior and made it a point to copy it instead. (not sure if I'm wording this part right) I could easily recognize when something was just wrong, from any point of view, as well as when something was right. And I could easily (maybe too much so) see what the consequences would be per right and wrong choices, the ripples on the pond effect, from a very early age. Yup, I was a difficult child myself.......and in my teens I did some rather risky difficult child behavior that had some serious consequences. But all the while I was doing them (somewhat to fit into a very dysfunctional family) I knew what I was doing, why I was doing it, and what the likely consequences would be of my actions. Which is why, just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. I just couldn't settle my behavior with my inherent sense of right and wrong. (which doesn't always jive with society by the way, it's often stricter)

    From this generation, it totally went to hades. Eldest bros kids have no official dxes but wow. Eldest sis's kids........(this is definitely nurture AND nature) her eldest will live his life in prision....most likely schizo, bipolar, and sociopath for certain. Her daughter tries hard, and while I don't think she has a mental illness, she's not a easy child either. Her youngest...has stayed out of prison by a miracle.....he can't stop fathering kids, and is functioning so low it's pathetic. Middle sis' kids....eldest suffers severe anxiety (which he seems now to have some control over), middle daughter is a easy child, a disaster area...... Younger bro's kids, eldest is a LOT like me (but she's not his bio child) and does well considering, his son tried to rob a bank with a watergun, among various other things.......says it all. Youngest daughter I've posted about, another mess waiting for a place to happen.

    I have easy child. Then I have Travis (who inherited the autism gene) who's issues are biological as well as mental, who can not be "cured" in any sense and who functions so far above and beyond what had ever been predicted that I still shake my head in wonder. And Nichole, who was all over the place for years and who has stabilized as nearly a easy child. Both my difficult children are functioning and doing well, most especially given their dxes. Genetics obviously played a huge role in their lives. But I believe environment AND nurture played a larger role. My goal wasn't necessarily to "cure" them, but to get them as stable as possible and functioning at as high a level as they could manage within that stability.

    Katie............. Is her Dad intensified by probably a factor of 100, which I find interesting because if you add up all the time she spend with us as a child, it would actually be very little over the span of a childhood. Hers was influenced by evinvorment and the nurture factor as well. Unfortunately, in the wrong direction, making it more severe, instead of less severe. And there is a high chance she has at least one mental illness diagnosis in the mix that is not being treated on top of it.

    This is why I believe what I do, that there are far more factors that play into mental illness than we like (or feel comfortable) to give credit to.

    I don't believe I'm the perfect warrior parent by a long shot or that my methods would work with every difficult child out there. By the time my own difficult children came along I had above and beyond experience dealing with mental illness, as many psychiatrists have said, probably more than many of them.......simply because my life was surrounded by it, nearly smothered in it. I knew going in what usually worked and what didn't. I knew creative thinking outside the box was necessary, and due to past experience.....I was good at it. I new that routine, consistency, and boundaries were necessary for all children, but an absolute must for those with mental illness (adult or child).......because I had first hand experience in what happens to thinking/behavior when that is absent.

    But even with all that experience/knowledge (because I'd been educating myself on mental illness since the early days of high school), I could've just as easily wound up with a mentally ill difficult child who is unable to adapt or maintain stability, simply because their mental illness is that severe.

    And that to me is the key. That's why I don't think it fair for docs or society to look at the parents and blame them. Because they could've done all the right things, gone above and beyond (look at Timerlady and the Tweedles as a prime example) and the end result still be a child who is so mentally ill that it doesn't make a visible difference.

    You notice with my aunt and my mom I never once said they were cured or even stable. Nurture/environment I believed taught and helped them to maintain on a certain level despite that, that they would not have been able to do without it. Although the next generation became more severe in still see where the nurture part played a role. By the 3 rd generation that nurture/environment aspect was gone (environment=modern society), my sibs didn't make much effort in structure, boundaries, consequences......or even attempting to instill a work ethic...and their parenting was abusive, neglectful in soooooo many areas. I shudder to think what difficult child combos will come out of the 4th generation........and not just from the nurture/environment thing but from choices in genetic partners which also seem to have deteriorated along with the rest of it. (perhaps because "normal" people would not put up with it?)

    Of course even what I've pointed out here are probably not all the contributing factors. Science was stunned to discover that the elimination of just one species of plant or animal could shatter an entire ecosystem. Until then, they had no concept of how closely everything related to everything else. I think, no I believe, that mental illness is the same thing...........just as it is with all illness. I believe we've not even scratched the surface with either, but most especially mental illness, because we just can't seem (no matter how hard we try) to drop the stigma attached to it.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I love everyone's viewpoints.

    It is interesting that those with adopted children tend to think more strongly that it is nature. I think that is true of many adoptive parents, if not :)

    I do know about the twin studies for schizophrenia, Suzir, so I agree that a component of the environment is there. The problem is, nobody knows why those twins that don't get schizophrenia don't get it even if they live in the same house. Maybe a different response to the same environment?

    I have a very close friend with an Aspie son who never knew or saw his biological father because my friend ran off with him when he was three months old (he was abusive). Yet the son not only looks just like him, but walks, talks, has mannerisms etc. like his birth father. HOWEVER...due to her parenting, which was excellent, he at least did not turn to drugs and is a kindhearted person. He met his birthfather recently. His birthfather has quit drinking and admitted how horrible he had been to this young man's mother. So I guess under the drink, he wasn't that bad a man. And the young man is delighted to meet all his bio. siblings who he feels are a lot like him, EXCEPT that they are much less refined and far less educated.

    Malika, I always feel that kids are best brought up by their bio. parents. However, sometimes that can't happen. Sonic's birthmother, as stated above, was a long time druggie and neglected all of her children. She had none in her custody and didn't really want to have them. PastryChef's birthmother is Korean from Korea (not US-Korean) and in that society, at least when my daughter was born, girls who were born out of wedlock were treated like trash and had no chance for any kind of life at all. I would LOVE to meet her she is feisty and stubborn and VERY bright. Wouldn't surprise me if drinking problems or drug abuse was in her family tree.

    Adopted children have a much higher rate of mental illness and drug use regardless of their nurture. I think that it is hard to trump nature. All we can do is try. Often our best efforts are trumped by nature. These adoption stats are real and true and the majority of adoptive parents are really good parents who give their kids their all.
  15. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    In those schizophrenia studies there was also quite a big difference in child probability to get a illness if they had been living together with their schizophrenic biological parent or not. So both asspects were defenetly there, nature and nurture. I think it is very possible we will never get totally clear answer to this dilemma and maybe there is not one.

    But I do believe, that when considering nurture it is very important to both remember all kind of environmental factors. It is not just the parents!

    I think that my difficult child's biological father would be seriously surprised if he ever would get to know he has a son and would meet difficult child. Would probably need to have DNA-tests made at least three times, because he wouldn't believe, that 'that kid' could be his. Or he would blame mothers bad DNA. LOL

    I do know that my father can't still believe I could be his kid. He is the mean SOB but also very talented and driven artist. Me, hmm... let's say not artistic and not driven. If I would be adopted he would certainly be blaming 'biological parents faulty genes any nurture can not overcome.'

    And I'm not in any way trying to imply that any adoptive parent in this thread is blaming 'faulty genes' for having a difficult adopted child, not at least any more than what is most likely true.
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Based on adoption statistics, I'm going to venture to guess that those females who give up their children (or have them removed) tend to be proportionately (probably by a high factor) difficult children, who may have a long family line of mental illness (diagnosed and undiagnosed). Then too, you'd have to consider the children's ages of when they left the bioparents care, as those that remain longer and suffer abuse/neglect would also still have an environmental/nurture factor playing into it, even those that were removed at fairly young ages. It's something, if they don't do now, I think they need to educate prospective adoptive parents on the odds of their adopted child having a mental illness. Of course they probably don't want to do that as it would decrease the amount of people wishing to adopt.

    I have 2nd cousins that are fraternal (boy/girl) twins, who thanks to some major drug use were in a severely abusive/neglectful home environment for a period of a few years. However, their early years were the exact opposite. (abuse/neglect started at around age 5-8) They went to a distant cousin who has run a therapeutic foster home for years. If you think MY rules were strict, hers were omg wow! The twins arrived in her home an utter mental mess, although there were times when their original personalities shown through. By age 12 you'd never guess they'd ever been in an abusive situation. They each were adopted by 13 into this family and are exceptional adults/parents. But then I have to take into account this distant cousin also came from the same family I did........then added extensive training to it........and her success rate was pretty darn high. But even then, not by far perfect.

    The schizo twins study is only some of what makes me believe that mental illness is indeed a true illness, and not just groupings of unacceptable/uncontrollable behaviors. There was another study done on catatonic patients, where they discovered that a certain treatment/medication combo thing literally brought them out of their catatonic state. But it was so hard on the body, that they decided that it wasn't worth it. But in my opinion it showed these patients weren't catatonic due to environment/trauma or all the other endless reasons they'd come up with over the years........but that it is a disease process of sorts. The schizo twins study makes sense, IF you view mental illness as an actual disease process. It would explain how one twin can have it, yet another be unaffected.

    I really get upset at the lack of genuine research going on for mental illness. You'd think with the dramatic rise, there would be an equal if not higher urgent need to find out the why behind it in order to stop it, reduce it, or turn it around. Instead, it seems all they're interested in is coming up with new medications that mask the symptoms.
  17. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    I absolutely believe in nature...dominant traits, predispositions, leanings, tendencies, etc.
    But...I also firmly believe in Inner strength, determination, the will to survive, compassion, and most importantly LOVE.
    There is something to be said for telling another person (through action and word) "I will never give up on you, I believe in you, you CAN do this!"

    These attributes I think come from a faith of inner belief system.
    And...I think they can trump nature.

  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hound Dog, I agree with your post and will add to it.

    Many adopted kids come into this world with disadvantages from the start. On top of birthmothers and birthfathers who tend not to be the most stable, there is often no prenatal care and substance abuse in the baby's systems even before they are born. This is the case with Lucas. He had cocaine in his system at birth (BM was high as a kite when she went to give birth) and also syphillis. She admitted to no prenatal care. Lucas was lucky to come out of his prenatal situation with only autism and not fetal alcohol syndrome, although I'm sure the alcohol that I'm also sure BM did not refuse to drink did not help things either.

    Jumper has some "iffy" genes on birthfather side (if she ever decides to use alcohol or drugs), but her birthmother took really good care of herself and of Jumper during her pregnancy. We knew her. Jumper has been a dream child so far.

    Julie came from Korea. I am sort of assuming that her birthmother took good care of herself. Julie has no symptoms of alcohol or drugs having been used in utero.

    I think a lot of how well our adopted children do has to do with the start in life their birthmother's gave them or did not give them as well as the genetics they bring to the table. Of course, nurture is there...but I think this is unfortunately less the case when the child has brain damage from drugs/alcohol before birth. That can really do a number on the impulse control center of the brain, even if a kid doesn't have the complete Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) syndrome. Poor impulse control makes one less likely to be successful and make good choices.
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    80% nature, 20% nuture. in my humble opinion. :)
    HoundDog, I want to take lessons from your distant cousin!
  20. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I think "nature" gives a blueprint that cannot be changed, but nuture determines the quality of how it is built. For example, nature may determine that Eeyore has a maximum potential height of 5'9" but nuture of good nutrition and physical fitness will get him to that 5'9" where a life of junk food and nights of going to be hungry or drug abuse may only allow him to grow to 5'7".

    There are two bedroom homes built with substandard materials and two bedroom homes built with solid oak.