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Nature Versus Nurture Theory

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It seems like every moment this boy breathes, there is always noise. Crippling screams greet him in the morning as he rises with a slight tremor. Later in the morning, before even finishing his toast and swallowing horse pills with tongue-twisting names, the screeches develop into continuous, menacing voices that threaten his every move. There is the constant feeling of being watched before briefly his reality is shattered by grotesque figures that intimidate the boy with badgering echoes of being poisoned or hurt by any passing stranger. All of this happens before even starting first period calculus in high school, an already stress-filled event itself. This is the start of the day for a boy who was diagnosed with a rare childhood onset of schizophrenia.

Throughout history, even before the dawning of the branch of science known as Psychology, there has been the debate of nature versus nurture. Parents with children of disabilities would argue that genetics is the sole blame for the way their child turned out. This, however, is not entirely the case. It seems like the young man above is entirely doomed, and not too many decades ago he would have been dumped by his mother at the hospital and put into institutions where his “therapy” would be being beaten, castrated, and even cruel surgeries that wouldn’t have ever saved him. As his day begins, however, his mother who reminds him, as she does every day, how safe he is in his own skin and home. She has taught him how to control his outbursts, and takes him to therapy weekly. Simply a phone call away is his best friend, who challenges him to make it through the night without having to have vermillion flowers bloom on his wrist. Without his mother or friend, the boy wouldn’t have the love that blankets him.

These are all behaviors that influence how the boy acts, and will act, every moment of his life. Given the nature created prognosis, the boy would simply be told he has too high levels of dopamine and suffers from auditory hallucinations. Had he been left with only his label of his disease, what nature put on him, and not given the proper care he deserves, the voices that plague him daily would have lead him to take his life. Yet, with the loving care of his mother he has learned, slowly, to not jerk at every move the shadows make. The young boy could have easily turned out a “bad apple”, like the schizophrenic murderer John Ferguson, due to the wrong type of care and moral upbringing. Instead, he is able to interact and go to school like all the other children his age.



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