Found 1 comment on HN
e12e · 2016-04-14 · Original thread
To me it sounds like he probably ended up on the far sensitive side of the spectrum, but well within normal. But, even if he was an adult, he didn't have the mental tools to handle the emotion - I read it as if he suddenly got the intense and open empathy children can have. You don't go to a six year old and describe the suffering of refugees in detail, because it'll give them nightmares. Just having a general idea of someone's suffering can be overwhelming for a child.

I know people that are very emotional, and can get overwhelmed by seeing others suffer -- but people that are absolutely "normal". I wouldn't call it "average" (for adults anyway) however.

I do think he's wrong about not having had a limited form of empathy: literally feeling other peoples pain is empathy. That doesn't mean he didn't care, or loved before - but it absolutely sounds like he had trouble: "understanding and entering into another's feelings" (from WordNet, my emphasis).

It's a fascinating story, like a real-life "The Speed of Dark", by Elizabeth Moon (in part inspired by her son):

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