Stress blog

Does nature or nurture dictate your path in life?

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. February 6, 2013

Need more help?

If the stress in your life is more than you can cope with, get help right away.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room
  • Call your physician, health provider or clergy
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

Why do some individuals from challenging backgrounds rise above the chaos to succeed, while some from privileged and affluent homes spiral down into depression, chemical dependency and other problems? Is it in their genes? Is it because of their environment?

In the book, "Freakonomics," the authors address the role of parenting and suggest that about 50 percent of a person's behavior is determined by genes. The other 50 percent is environment, including your parents, teachers, coaches, members of your faith community and your peers. All of these people influence you and the choices you make. Why not surround yourself with people who will nurture and encourage you?

Your fate isn't a roll of the genetic dice or a spin of the wheel of chance. Admittedly, some of your genetics determine how you behave, but it's not the whole story. You have the final word in how your story turns out.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

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4 Comments Posted

Feb. 06, 2013