This week's Brain Rules post is particularly intriguing to me. I have never doubted that the way our central nervous system responds to life and outer stimuli is largely based on our family of origin. "They" are starting to prove this scientifically. ("They" being scientific researchers) ...Of course some people are born with certain predispositions to mental and physical disorder or posses disorders at birth, this is undeniable. Further, I believe that many of us are born with certain personality traits as well, however, environment has a boatload to do with improving, enhancing or turning that around when necessary.
The end of this article says what I've intuitively known since I was a child, and is one of the primary reasons I do not believe in capital punishment. What it says is that through experimentation and intervention, researchers are proving that parents who have better coping skills drastically effect the development of their child's sensitive nervous systems, and thereby effecting the whole way a child interacts with the world!
The reason I'm saying this is not to make anyone feel guilty or blame themselves about their child's weak spots. I am more concerned with those affected by severe abuse, and who do not get the treatment they need... and societies way of "dealing with them". My point is that society often scoffs at those of us defending men and women on death row when we try to prove that their abusive upbringings are indeed mitigating circumstances. That that information is directly connected to their state of mind at the time of the crime, the direction of their growth (or lack of) in all ways... It DOES matter. And furthermore most of these men need to be in mental health facilities, not further punished for everyone failing them.