Genius Syndrome: how autism and other mental disorders help the world's most successful individuals

Recently, billionaire Elon Musk said on the air of a popular American TV show that he has Asperger's syndrome – a form of autism. He considers this state to be his superpower, which helps him to be a real genius of our time. And the multi-millionaire is right: such a mental aberration leads to original thinking and directness, which is necessary for success in the world of business and science.

Many legendary personalities who became real engines of progress showed signs of mental disorders. We tell you how diagnoses that people are wary of have a positive impact on creativity and the development of new qualities.

Genius Syndrome: how autism and other mental disorders help the world's most successful individuals

Differences in the work of the brain can complicate everyday life, but make it possible to stand out. Elon Musk is far from the only one, there is a whole list of celebrities who have signs of various mental disorders. Singer Billie Eilish has Tourette's syndrome, Richard Branson has dyslexia, and Will Smith has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Judging by their brilliant career, mental disorders did not harm, but only helped them to become more creative and successful.

Genius Syndrome: how autism and other mental disorders help the world's most successful individuals

Richard Branson says that it is dyslexia that gives him the opportunity to better focus on the right things and achieve success in different areas of his business. Indeed, with dyslexia-a selective impairment of the ability to master reading and writing skills while maintaining the overall ability to learn, a person finds new ways to master the necessary skills if traditional education does not work for him.

Genius Syndrome: how autism and other mental disorders help the world's most successful individuals

In Tourette's syndrome, as in Billie Eilish, involuntary movements occur during stress. The singer admits that this complicates her life. Because of the disorder in childhood, the star did not go to school, and together with her brother was home-schooled. However, she says that it was education outside of a standard educational institution that gave them the opportunity to grow into successful creative individuals.

Most of the above-mentioned diagnoses were discovered in the second half of the 20th century and were previously viewed in a negative light. Indeed, with a disorder such as autism or Tourette's syndrome, many people may experience discomfort in their daily lives. But now scientists are inclined to believe that special states of the psyche do more good than harm. 

Genius Syndrome: how autism and other mental disorders help the world's most successful individuals

In 1988, the concept of neurodiversity was introduced when sociologist Judy Singer realized that differences in brain function are just differences, not diseases. They do not require treatment, because they are variations of brain activity. Neurotypics can be much more successful in many areas than people with a standard type of thinking. They have a big gap between what is good and what is bad. This helps you become excellent specialists in a narrow field. 

Genius Syndrome: how autism and other mental disorders help the world's most successful individuals

Peter Thiel, founder of the PayPal payment system, believes that Asperger's syndrome gives entrepreneurs significant advantages in the business world. This mental disorder is a form of autism. The syndrome was named after the Austrian psychiatrist and pediatrician Hans Asperger, who in 1944 described children who were characterized by a lack of abilities for nonverbal communication, limited empathy towards peers and physical awkwardness.

Autism affects how a person learns about their environment and makes connections with people. Despite differences in their perception of the world, autistic people are honest, straightforward, attentive to details, can find or create their own patterns, actively process information and stimulate memory. Autism traits are seen in many celebrities, including British computer biologist Camilla Pang, who develops a formula for a cure for coronavirus, and the late Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Genius Syndrome: how autism and other mental disorders help the world's most successful individuals

Historians say that geniuses like Mozart, Michelangelo, Charles Darwin, and Isaac Newton were also neurotypical. 

Genius Syndrome: how autism and other mental disorders help the world's most successful individuals

Times are changing, and society is gradually realizing that people with a non-standard type of thinking are necessary for the development of human civilization. The Government Communications Center actively hires candidates with neurodiversity. The Israeli army has a special unit for autistic people, in which soldiers demonstrate high analytical skills by visually analyzing aerial footage.

Those who do not follow the accepted norms push humanity to progress. The future lies with people with an unusual perception of the environment, because they are able to change the world, taking it beyond the standards.

There are those among us who can draw an exact copy of a picture from memory, instantly multiply five-digit numbers in our minds, and memorize an entire book verbatim. The reason for their genius lies in a disease that scientists call Savant syndrome.

Keywords: Health and medicine | Celebrities | World | Autism | Society | Success | Brain | Creativity | Thinking | Diagnosis | Syndrome | Psyche | Opportunities | Geniuses | Mental disorders | Unusual people | Elon musk | Non-standard | Diseases

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