For the past year and a half I have worked at a single women's shelter that houses 16 Hennepin County women and their children. By working at a women's shelter I have gotten the opportunity to see a lot of psychological terms we have learned thus far applied in real life. One that I constantly see applied is the "Nature vs. Nurture" debate. On any given day at work I often see the personalities of the mothers reflected onto their children.
One resident that sticks out to me the most is a resident that had a traumatic life and she suffered from depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. In addition to her mental health issues, she was a victim of sexual assault. Her mother had pretty much the same life story; she suffered from depression and was a victim of sexual abuse as well. My resident grew up in an environment where no one talked about the things they were facing and they often internalized the difficulties they faced. Consequently this led her to confide and find comfort within men, those men used and abused her causing much of the pain she suffered from. This pattern was developed from her mother, because as a child the only time she would see her mom happy and sane was when she was with a man and many of those men used and abused her mother as well.
This resident left me often questioning is it our nature or nurture that makes us subjected to living a lifestyle similar to those around us? I also wondered how does ones environment (nurture) play a role in the development of mental illness? For instance if my resident grew up in a different environment would her outcome in life be different? Would she still suffer from depression?
Does the Apple fall far from the tree?
TrackBack URL: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/177287