For those still wondering if God has a heart.
So, you’ve been diagnosed with some crazy illness. Don’t cry… just dry your eye. Some of God’s cruellest creations come equipped with pretty kick-ass side effects.
1. Tertiary Neurosyphilis
If you should happen to have enough unprotected sex to catch tertiary neurosyphilis, expect full body paralysis to set in. Then try to remain calm as the disease eats through what’s left of your brain tissue. But there’s a plus to having your brain turn into mashed potatoes…
Your creative potential is unleashed. All of the sudden LIFE just makes sense, more sense than it ever has, and you feel and think and create like a bona fide genius. An electrified, creative euphoria surges through your veins. What did you think Beethoven’s secret was?
2. Savantism without major autistic impairments.
Autism can bring all kinds of symptoms along with it. These include epileptic seizures, anti-social tendencies and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Outside of the downsides, some autistic savants have brains that are computer-like, able to do complex calculations quickly and learn languages easily. Some even enjoy synaesthesia, which is a blending of the senses, and live in a world where numbers trigger colours and sounds have a taste.
3. Congenital Insensitivity to Pain (CIPA)
On the negative side, those that suffer from Congenital Analgesia (congenital insensitivity to pain) can break bones without noticing. Sometimes infections go unnoticed far too long, or they suffer burns from running water or hot foods.
On the plus side, they can break bones without noticing! It’s hard to imagine how life could possibly suck if you have never experienced physical pain.
3. Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome (PSAS)
PSAS means that your horny all of the time. Literally. Even when you don’t want to have sex. Even as you clean up wet dog shit or scrap puke off the side of the toilet bowl.
Those with PSAS do get off easier than the rest of us, though. Small sensations like the vibrations of a phone in the pocket or the gentle gyrations of a train ride can trigger orgasm.
To wrap your mind around this “disorder”, picture yourself having a full-body itch. This itch doesn’t go away, it is constant, crawling just below the skin and overbearing your every thought. The only way to scratch this itch is to fall into a frenzied session of writing.
The symptom is also the benefit – you get a boatload of writing done. Some of history’s Uber-prolific writers, like Isaac Asimov (who wrote 300 books in his lifetime), are sometimes believed to have been afflicted.
5. Photographic Memory
Imagine riffling through memories like a handful of Kodak pictures. Or being like Stephen Wiltshire who, after seeing a city only once, during a quick helicopter fly-over sat down and drew it perfectly… down to the number of windows on each building. Now that is awesomeness, defined.
But it’s not always peaches and cream; true photographic memory can come as a side effect of some ugly conditions. Like autism. Further, it should be noted that what people usually call “photographic memory” is just great memory. Photographic memory is a different level completely.
Bipolar dysfunction is an emotional vacillation between exultant highs and soul-wrenching lows. One moment you can conquer the world blindfolded, the next you’re drinking whiskey straight and loading the shotgun to go out with a bang.
The downs are not so cool. But the ups can be ridiculous; some folks with bipolar disorders travel more, accomplish more and have sex more than normal mortals. Plus the list of bipolar artists is long – Hemingway, Van Gough, Poe, and many (many) others – so creativity definitely takes a boost.
Schizophrenics are known to be delusional, hallucinatory and/or paranoid. It’s an inherited disease, theorized to be triggered by overzealous dopamine creation in the brain. The result: hundreds of men and women who believe themselves to be “reincarnated Jesus”. And somewhere – this very moment – somebody is having an entire congressional meeting in their heads.
But if there is anything cool about having dozens of voices in your head, it’s that the side effect is occasionally heightened creativity. Schizophrenics also tend to have more sex than the unafflicted. Picasso and Byron are both believed to have “suffered” from schizophrenia… and both are legendary for their sexual appetites.