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My social development at age 16 was typical, I had a handful of very close peers, worked a part-time job, and enjoyed physical activities like cheerleading. I was excited, but also frequently overwhelmed by the future and all the responsibilities that would soon be upon me.I still feel this overwhelming sensation at times, but my adult self has learned positive coping skills to deal with negative feelings. Additionally, the realization that these feelings can be caused by imbalances in the brain has been revolutionary. I have been taking medication for anxiety and depression for many years now, something that my teenage self would never have done. Sixteen-year old's do not like to admit that they need help from anyone; parents, doctors,
or peers. The adult me has realized that taking the proper medication for a chemical imbalance is the first step in developing proper emotions and social skills. My personal journey of development has been unique, and very difficult at times. It is impossible to know whether one event impacted the occurrence of another, or in other words, nature vs. nurture. Did the cancer diagnosis at age six lead to the depression and anxiety that I felt at age 16? Or was I genetically disposed to the mental health disorders? The nature vs. nurture theory has always been a topic of thought for me when I reflect on my child and adolescent development.
ReferencesBarlow JH, Ellard DR. The psychosocial well-being of children with chronic disease, their parentsand siblings: an overview of the research evidence base. Child Care HealthDev. 2006;32(1):19–31. Hamner T, Latzman RD, Latzman NE, Elkin TD, Majumdar S. Quality of life among pediatricpatients with cancer: Contributions of time since diagnosis and parental chronicstress. Pediatric Blood Cancer. 2015;62(7):1232–1236.