As I’ve been trawling for more info about the mechanics of depression, I ran across two studies whose implications really hit home. The implications were thus: one was that folks with the short SERT (the alelle currently suspected for making folks more prone to depression, gad, bi-polar, and ptsd) have a larger portion of their brain react when they do something wrong, and the other was that short SERTs seem to have a higher sensibility for justice (or fairness, depending on how you interpret it).
Golly gee did these ping me. Weird to think that things I think of as positive (if inconvenient) personality traits could have the same source as the bane of my existence. But let me tell ya, I read that and thought ‘yeah, I fit that group.’ My brain loves to get out the lash when I feel I’ve ‘erred.’ Heck, I usually beat people to it, if they don’t notice that I made a mistake, I’ll let ’em know I have, darnit! Masochism ho!
And the sense of justice just follows, I’d guess. After all, if everyone were as willing to own up to being wrong and then avoid those behaviors, our society would function much more smoothly…though honestly, much more timidly as well. Fear of being wrong means being unwilling to risk the fruitfull error…
I’ve always thought of my dedication to honesty as more of a pain-avoidance system than anything else. Who needs excess guilt? I’ve got my share, and it sucketh the mighty piggy wonk.
So, here’s my question…Do these studies match your experience? Have you found yourself more committed to fairness than those around you? How about the mental ‘lash’ for screwing up? Do you have a big, weighty cat-o-nine tails for beating yourself over the slightest wrong action?