A 49-year-old man from Brazil had a stroke last month that dramatically changed his personality. In a sense, that’s nothing new—personality changes are normal following a stroke. People often become apathetic, struggling to feel concerned about or interested in other people. But that’s not what happened to “Mr. A.”…in fact, quite the opposite. Mr. A developed “pathological generosity,” an extremely odd condition that results in an “excessive and persistent” desire to help others. When Mr. A left the hospital, he started giving money and gifts to people he barely knew. To this day, he just can’t quit…giving money and stuff to other people just makes him feel better.
Mr. A’s doctors are continuing to study his brain to see what they can learn about the “underpinnings of generosity.” They are concerned for their patient, as his condition “ultimately imposes severe distress and financial burden.”
Their words, not mine.