Brazilian doctors have diagnosed a 49-year-old stroke patient with pathological generosity — a selfless symptom that they say turned downright debilitating
The man, dubbed Mr. A in a new case report, was a “cautious and responsible” businessman before bursting a blood vessel deep inside his brain.
After the stroke, he would “spend his money with street kids, buying them soda, candies, and junk food,” according to the report, published in the September issue of the journal Neurocase.
“Were it not for the close attention of Mr. A’s wife, he would be constantly in debt,” the authors wrote.
Unable to return to his corporate job, Mr. A tried to start a homemade French fry business with his brother-in-law, according to the report. But the business failed because he “gave away most of his product.”
“He had partial insight into his behavioral and personality changes, often claiming, ‘I saw death from up-close, now I want to be in high spirits,’” the authors said of Mr. A.
Typically considered an admirable trait, Mr. A’s “excessive and persistent generosity” was deemed pathological because “it interfered with job resumption, family finances, and the family business.”
The disorder shares features with impulse control disorders like compulsive shopping and pathological gambling. But the authors argue it’s a novel affliction that “may lead to significant distress and financial burden upon patients and their families.”