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When Accidents Benefit The Victim -- Savant Syndrome Analysis (Featuring a Savant)

Updated: Apr 26


A hyper-intelligent young man.

Ms. Tamara Moskal's Synopsis

Savant syndrome is a rare neurological condition in which an intellectual impairment makes a person highly gifted in specific areas. A severe head injury can cause savant syndrome, transforming the victim for the better.
The anonymous man is an acquired savant, sharing in this article how Savant syndrome positively affected his intellectual capacity. According to him, being a Savant means developing hypersensitivity in different areas, including your own cognitive features. 

Introduction


Savant syndrome is a rare, insufficiently-explained neurological condition that is caused by head injury. However, it has other forms of development as well (some linked to autism). It is an intellectual impairment that ironically makes a specific area/s within your intelligence become extremely gifted, compared to your other areas of your intellect.


It is divided into two variations: One that is congenital (genetic or inborn), or can be acquired later in childhood, or even in adults. It is not clear how much of the global population is savant, and I am not sure if I myself am one, although I used to suspect it.



Case Example


An anonymous man who will be this article's case example, is an acquired savant. He also provided much insight for this article to be written. One day, he had a car accident in January 2022. To quote him in our discourse:


I lost control and went off road and flipped 3 times where I ended up hanging upside down for over 30 minutes and suffered a stroke. The aftermath of that was a month long hospital stay and due to there having been alcohol in my system I got in trouble for it. I also lost my spleen while in the hospital, screwed my eye muscle up, still not back to 100% but close. I knowed a tooth out, temporarily damaging my jaw. Broke L1-L4. 
All and all best thing that could have happened to me.

The "logical thing" to say that it's absurd to see such a horrible event as lofty. However, that would only be true in most cases. In some cases, this horrible injury can unlock something within you. Something that already exists deep inside, but sleeps without disturbance. For most of us, this vast cognitive potential will lay dormant for the rest of our lives, forever locked.


Due to the lack of a unified theory regarding this rare syndrome, it is not quite known why such injuries transform a person for the better. However, acquired savant syndrome is proof of a concept called post-traumatic growth. It cancels the notion that all trauma leads to pure misfortune, and dismisses it as a generalization. As such, sufferers of past trauma might not necessarily need psychological treatment, when they have the inner potential within them, to transform for the better.


Psychologists are there to solve our problems. However, misfortune does not necessarily lead to a greater misfortune, even if in many, if not most cases it does. We therefore should, in the name of truth, see events as more intricate than a mere dichotomy of positive and negative. Perhaps both positivity and negativity embedded in events should be embraced generally, not discarded or desired individually. After all, all past events lead to who we are today, and to what might become of us.


The man told me how his giftedness affected him:

Savant syndrome typically surfaces when someone has developmental problems yet is still extremely gifted in one faceset of intelligence. typically seen in music, art, and math. Mine sadly only have to do with intra and interpersonal areas; Kind of happenstance that I already had both. The remarkable thing was due to the sudden emergence of gains in intellectual capacity it actually gave my other intelligences more room to work with. They are in relation to the sensitivity expressed in autism. The brain injury expanded that sensitivity to include intelligence and even more emotional. Both were things I could never do before. Leads to something nobody ever thought was possible: Someone getting it with already higher intelligence. 


He continues:


So some peculiar gifts I have noticed is the fact I can fully sense and discern intelligence, assuming I have access to their verbal and non verbal in person. . It's not that I'm a walking IQ test, though I can usually ball park into a pretty accurate range, but more so I can sense intellectual capacity. Due to autism my gifts are in relation to hypersensitivity Wherever that ability came from it is splinter as hell. Due to having such control over my own emotions I had them pretty suppressed in a physiological sense. This made me rely on cognitive empathy, which is nothing more than learned empathy that doesn't rely on emotions. Surprise my body now possesses the ability to translate that cognition and emotional empathy, and very bearable levels. I can actually tell exactly what people are feeling, extreme abstract cognitive features and again right now splinter. Would it be cheating if I became a therapist?

From this we can conclude a very important, underrated insight: The same disorder affects people differently. And undoubtedly, different people that may become savants, will develop differently as a result. This is true not only in such psychological/developmental disorders but also in medical conditions as well. For example, I am asthmatic but it's hard to understand that as my asthma is silent.


Post Publication Notes


Finally, the anonymous man adds the following comments:


Acquired Savant Syndrome is many things. Please be aware that most of what I am saying isn't based on anything that I learned. I discovered it all for myself. It is my efforts to see if I can't apply what I know to make a unified theory on it. This may also be hugely due to my intelligence which please be aware of its limitations. I may have a deep understanding of a few things but that does not mean I magically learned all the vocabulary to accompany that understanding.
First and foremost. How am I able to do such amazing things? What nobody has been able to figure out about savant. It is a medical condition but not a bad one. Being Savant is simply having hypersensitivity to everything including yourself and your own cognitive features. The reason why nobody can see the difference is because they are assuming everyone's cognitive features are the same.
Can a musical savant not be explained, using the idea that a person's cognitive feature relating to auditory processing might be different than other people, and all of a sudden they are super sensitive to it? It does not add to your intelligence, just simply makes you more sensitive to the cognitive gifts which your brain possesses. So it is not sudden genius, it is a sudden expression of intelligence.
The reason nobody can figure out why it is expressed so differently among people is because nobody included the idea of intelligence and genetics into it. All that people witness is very large amounts of intelligence directed at a certain thing. I can explain why. Every person's cognitive features are different as a result of how genetics structure them. Cognitive features are nothing more than how gray matter forms in the brain. They are ways in which your intelligence can express itself with. Why some people are more intellectually gifted in ways is only a result of how these features are formed. 
They have very little to do with the intelligence you have and more to do with tools which your intelligence has to work with. This is the reason why most people's IQ's are only around 100. Their genetics simply didn't allow for more advanced cognitive features to form.

Extra Material


To finish this article and therefore conclude the induction of this intellect to my organization of authors, I will attempt at answering 4 of his questions to me:


1. If bi-polar is a mood disorder did I in sense "beat it" as far as a mental illness by having my emotions in check?

2. What are some "powers" of "magical thinking"? I'm just so used to it that it is just normal to me. 

3. Is there a way to harness excitement?

4. If you could make any changes to this world, what would they be?


No. 1: It is certainly possible to beat back bi-polar disorder. In fact, my own mother is bi-polar and regards her struggle against this illness a great victory. It's important to further understand how illness of the mind can be seen as a challenge to overcome, just like medication for it, can be fatal, in her own example as well.


No. 2: To quote Britannica: "Magical thinking, the belief that one’s ideas, thoughts, actions, words, or use of symbols can influence the course of events in the material world. Magical thinking presumes a causal link between one’s inner, personal experience and the external physical world."



I have explained my thoughts when I disproved the law of attraction and questioned the arcane.


No. 3: All emotions are energy and given that we have some degree of control over ourselves we can definitely harness excitement just like we can harness revenge and other emotions. A good way to do it is to understand that emotions are pawns.


No. 4: If to truly quote Gandhi: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.” Changing ourselves, getting greater authority in what we do, and leading by example, can influence the world through our own actions. To understand how I want to change the world, you need to know why I changed myself, and became dead inside.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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