Science Links Anxiety To High IQ’s & Social Anxiety To Very Rare Psychic Gift


Although Western medicine has radically transformed our world for the better, and given rise to some of the most remarkable breakthroughs in human history, in some ways it is still scratching at the lower slopes of the bigger picture. Only recently have our health systems begun to embrace the healing power of some ancient Eastern traditions such as meditation, for example. But overall, nowhere across the human health spectrum is Western medicine more unknowledgeable than in the realm of mental health. The human brain is the most complex biological machine in the known Universe, and our understanding of its inner workings is made all the more challenging when we factor in the symbiotic relationship of the mind-body connection.

When it comes to the wide range of diagnoses in the mental health spectrum, anxiety is the most common — affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population). And although anxiety can manifest in extreme and sometimes crippling degrees of intensity, Western doctors are warming up to the understanding that a little bit of anxiety could be incredibly beneficial in the most unexpected ways.

One research study out of Lakehead University discovered that people with anxiety scored higher on verbal intelligence tests. Another study conducted by the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel found that people with anxiety were superior than other participants at maintaining laser-focus while overcoming a primary threat as they are being bombarded by numerous other smaller threats, thereby significantly increasing their chances of survival. The same research team also discovered that people with anxiety showed signs of “sentinel intelligence”, meaning they were able to detect real threats that were invisible to others (i.e. test participants with anxiety were able to detect the smell of smoke long before others in the group).

Another research study from the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York involved participants with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The findings revealed that people with severe cases of GAD had much higher IQ’s than those who had more mild cases. The theory is that “an anxious mind is a searching mind,” meaning children with GAD develop higher levels of cognitive ability and diligence because their minds are constantly examining ideas, information, and experiences from multiple angles simultaneously.

But perhaps most fascinating of all is a research study published by the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Biotechnology Information involving participants with social anxiety disorder (i.e. social phobia). The researchers embarked on their study with the following thesis: “Individuals with social phobia (SP) show sensitivity and attentiveness to other people’s states of mind.

Although cognitive processes in SP have been extensively studied, these individuals’ social cognition characteristics have never been examined before. We hypothesized that high-socially-anxious individuals (HSA) may exhibit elevated mentalizing and empathic abilities.” The research methods were as follows: “Empathy was assessed using self-rating scales in HSA individuals (n=21) and low-socially-anxious (LSA) individuals (n=22), based on their score on the Liebowitz social anxiety scale. A computerized task was used to assess the ability to judge first and second order affective vs. cognitive mental state attributions.”

Remarkably, the scientists found that a large portion of people with social anxiety disorder are gifted empaths — people whose right-brains are operating significantly above normal levels and are able to perceive the physical sensitivities, spiritual urges, motivations, and intentions of other people around them (see Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED Talk below for a powerful explanation of this ability).

The team’s conclusion reads: “Results support the hypothesis that high-socially-anxious individuals demonstrate a unique profile of social-cognitive abilities with elevated cognitive empathy tendencies and high accuracy in effective mental state attributions.”

Empaths who have fully embraced their abilities are able to function on a purely intuition-based level. As Steve Jobs once said, “[Intuition] is more powerful than intellect.”

And to learn why Western medicine may be misinterpreting mental illness at large, be sure to read the fascinating account of Malidoma Patrice Somé, Ph.D. — a shaman and a Western-trained doctor. “In the shamanic view, mental illness signals the birth of a healer, explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.”

23 thoughts on “Science Links Anxiety To High IQ’s & Social Anxiety To Very Rare Psychic Gift

  • May 29, 2016 at 4:45 am

    I always thought this was just a case of overthinking. Thats how I explain it to myself. Why I can sense to tell my self why someone said something, what they really meant or how they actually feel. This is sort of interesting to read about..

  • April 17, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Okay, this is a true story, it’s my story, the secret of my life that I’ve only just learned and begun questioning. Many parts of this will seem unimportant, but anything added into this has reason. My name is Ryan; I am a tall white male, left-handed, currently age 23.

    We start with me as an infant; although seemingly learning properly, I didn’t start doing, well, anything (talking, walking, wanting, etc.) until I was 3.
    At 8; I begin to hear voices and see shadows from people who aren’t there
    At 9; I begin having mood swings and severe changes in emotion for no real reason, bursts of sadness, self-hate, and uncontrollable crying fits and sometimes, although very rare, fits of rage.
    At 10; I have been put on medication for anxiety and bipolar depression, I develop a strange tic, where I’ll shake slightly every once in a while as if I’m cold.
    At 12; I begin to show signs of overdose from the medicines I have been prescribed, despite the fact that I hadn’t been taking them nearly as often as I should have.
    At 14; I begin having strange pains in my abdomen at school, for about week, at around the same time every day, let me reiterate I am a male.
    At 16; the tics become more frequent and develop into full zaps coursing down my spine, making me jump nearly out of my skin with each one. Down my neck, through my arms and legs, and finally down and out of my fingers and toes.
    At 17; I begin to have strange uncaused pains again, but this time all over, but most notably my right foot, lower back and left wrist. I also stop taking my medications.
    At 18; I begin to see people not as they appear, but as their personalities, the ones with genuine intent would appear beautiful, while those with ill intent in mind would appear rather offensive and untrustworthy. I can still see people as they are in reality, but they just feel different in appearance.
    At 21; I am introduced to a girl, named Hayley, she’s right-handed and at this time age 18. She seems closed off from the world, she’s not incredibly attractive, but I see her as stunning and slightly confusing. We seem to gravitate to each other immediately. We hit it off and she becomes my first girlfriend! Merely to touch her felt amazing, I assumed this was just a feeling of love. Every time I came in physical contact with her I could feel my tics move peacefully out of my hands and into her. Hayley and I begin spending a large amount of time together and I had become far too attached to her. She told me about how she was brutally abused by her father when she was 6 and about how she was also diagnosed as bipolar with severe depression, and to how this had led her to cut herself. She mentions how she has slight tics as well. She has a metal ankle on her right foot from where she had crashed on her roller skates about 4 years prior to us meeting. She also has severe lower back problems that she blames on “dead lifting 450lbs once”.
    While we’re together I begin to notice strange things, when she’d stub her toe, I’d feel it, when she’d run, my right ankle would hurt. At first I assumed this was just simple empathy, until I could feel her pain from a distance and know in my heart it was her, every time upon asking her about her pains she’d wonder how I knew. I began to think her thoughts, when she thought something strong enough I could hear it. I could completely feel her presence within me, every pain she felt physically and emotionally was mine to share… then she moved 500 miles away from me, I could still feel her, but our connection felt strained and fell to a whisper of what it once was.
    The longer we went apart the more inconsolable shed become, to the point of madness! I could feel that just holding her would be enough to calm her completely, but I couldn’t anymore. I forced myself to break up with her so she could find another person to hold her while I figured out a way to get to her to stay, she never forgave me, and began to hate me… I could feel it, my own mind hating me through the voice of another.
    At 22; I realize a lot, she’s 3 years younger than me, I didn’t start until I was 3. My emotional problems at 9, was her being tortured at 6. My abdominal pain at 14 was her getting her first period at 11. The overdose feelings from my medications were her and I taking the same pills at the same time doubling the effect. All of the shadows and voices were slight glimpses through her eyes and ears while I was using mine! The pain in my right foot was her broken ankle! The pain in my back was hers! Finally the pain in my left wrist… was her cutting herself… I’m still unsure about the tics, I now call them chills for what they look and feel like, and I’ve been assuming that they’re just our bodies attempting to fight off whatever kind of connection this truly is.
    At 23; we are now even farther away from each other, although I can feel her stronger than ever, we barely keep in touch anymore… but there’s a twist now! I now have a very slight control of it, I know I feel her strongest when she thinks of me. I can expand our connections to others; I am able to put thoughts into the minds of those weak of mind, and cause discontent in those strong of mind (they feel the intrusion and want to fight it without know what’s happening). I don’t have a true control of it, so these things happen by accident mostly, it seems if someone holds on to my right hand for a prolonged amount of time I can plant thoughts into them, but only then…
    Closing; I write this not for you to believe it, because I’m almost positive you won’t, but to find out anything I can about it, I yearn to know more about this connection, and to possible break it one day, she doesn’t deserve to be attached to me forever. I know this isn’t incredibly well written, but this is the best I can do for right now.
    Please, if you know anything about this or if it makes even a small amount of sense to you, send me a message! Also along those lines if you have any questions about any of this I’ll gladly do my best to tell you what I know.

  • October 20, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Psychic, as an adjective (which is the correct use of the word in this study) pertains to the soul or the mind. Empathy relates to understanding how another person feels. Do you not think that the two are connected? Personally, I believe you should expand your definition of all words before asking someone to look one singular word up. 🙂 The study is filled with psychic references. I’m sorry you did not know that there was more than one meaning of the word.

  • October 19, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    Your empathic insights should be put to use as you move through the world. Be a role model for those who are lost and need to be reminded of their path. Don’t shun others. We all get side-tracked at times as forces pull us in one direction and then another. Occasionally a genuinely wise person will approach us and help to re-instill our faith in humanity. Be that person.

  • October 18, 2015 at 7:38 pm


    The study’s conclusion is about more acute sense of empathy in socially anxious people. Empathy is not a psychic ability. You can look of the definition if you’re confused.

    Read the study. NO mention of psychic abilities.

  • October 18, 2015 at 4:34 am

    You are not alone, beautiful sensitive soul ~ you are one of the “new wave” of enlightened old souls, that have come to change our world… there are many of you (of us) who all feel like we don’t fit in here – coz you don’t fit the mold the illuminati try to enforce on all humanity, you see through the illusion of the matrix! I know it’s not easy… find your soul tribe, believe in yourself & trust your intuition (your true guidance) & love/ bless/ forgive/ have compassion for those unenlightened, dulled-down beings who don’t get it ~ you are here for a higher purpose! Love & Light on your journey, Namaste <3

  • October 15, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    I have this issue. For awhile i couldn’t go into public was to much for me. i thought it was because i was having issues but i do pick up on people alot. i call it “vibes”. What helps me it to meditate or concentrate on what im doing. if i dont let my mind stay open im good, its when im not paying attention is when it gets at me. when someone is irritated or angry its like i feel it vibrate through my chest into my brain ( fight or flight kicks in) and my anxiety starts to build. i Tell myself its not me and to calm down. Take a few breaths, think about every breath, feel my heart. Cant do big crowds but i am learning. Its a stepping stone. Going to Spiritual Church helped me quite a bit. Taught me how to control myself and what i am seeing and feeling, was very fortunate to find them. I am not alone.

  • October 15, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Great article — but I disagree that it’s “rare”. Empathy for others is a wonderful thing — however, being empathic is not. I’m sorry. It can be healed and then be used as a wonderful gift — but far too often, it’s developed by trauma of one kind or another in the childhood and causes a leaky auric field — pushing the energy out too far away from the body to see how other’s feel as “protection” and therefore, allowing too much to come in. It is a great lesson in loving the self enough to re-parent the self and seal up the aura — so it can turn into pure clairsentience. Take it from an older woman who has struggled with this my entire life. Love yourself enough to pull your energy back around yourself more — have healthy energy boundaries — and fill up with the light of the Universe and of love — and do it every day and you’ll be fine — and turn from wounded healer — to healed healer.

  • October 15, 2015 at 8:45 am

    I didnt realize or i guess hear of others say they can feel another person like that.i can for those im connected to miles away i feel something wrong w/ another dont tell ppl bc they dont understand! !

  • October 15, 2015 at 8:39 am

    My social anxiety isnt so much that i dont like ppl its more too many give off too many confuses my brain to the point its so overwhelmed i have to leave get away.too much to handle.
    Iq idk mine.not book smart by any means but st smart health money and common sense i seem to be rite on more so than a few others ive meet.
    So is study correct?i guess its how we see it

  • October 14, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    I love you all. don’t let the environmental sociopaths get you down

  • October 14, 2015 at 12:17 am

    yeah thats sadly the case that other people dont want to look at. Its good for society, bad for the people that have to go through it. The stress might heighten your senses to a degree, but it shortens your lifespan as well. You can speed up metabolic processes without consequence. Personally, im chronically sick and have no more friends left hahaha.

  • October 2, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    You’re not alone. Instead of not liking it. Embrace it. Free yourself and learn how to control it. Know your boundaries. If you let yourself stay stuck in not liking it then you will be miserable. Many times when people seek my advice and they just do all the time. Overload sometimes. I try to start out what I know, feel, see and have been getting better with saying something like: “I am going to be straight forward and I am not out to be any certain way, but here is what I see…”

  • October 2, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Your not alone and as much as I want to agree with you in the hating I can’t. I too see and feel so much negativity it drives me to insanity so I retrieve and this time I have done so for three years and have only socialize through blogs like this one or facebook. I do things that make me feel better like heading to nature zones like parks and lakes. I do night walks it helps me to calm down when so much evil is around us. I don’t like crowded places because there are just too many emotions and I get drained, but I try to focus on the emotions that cause me tears and I will follow and just out of nowhere I know what to tell them. Other times I can literally feel their physical pain, and even though I don’t like the pain I rather have it and feel it then them.

  • October 1, 2015 at 5:39 am

    Every single word u just wrote is exactly how I feel. I feel as I get older I only want to be alone& stay away from ppl because they are so confused.
    I’m with u on that… I guess it’s a gift? I don’t really see the purpose tho. Everyone hates the truth

  • September 30, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    I have this gift too. I feel your loneliness.

  • September 30, 2015 at 8:11 am

    it is a gift of awareness. embrace it.

  • September 30, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Your absolutely right I do not believe I could have written that better. you hit just about every point of what I myself have been seeing and realizing. But I cannot seem to not care. it actually hurts to ignore helping someone or even just acknowledging their point of view. how they could see it the way they do. i try to understand why and i am left confused. so many people act without thought to others or do not consider others …. are more important than what they want. So many selfish people out there willing to lie to get what they want. they do not even seem to realize that they do not have to. it just become a habit. i wish you well and i do hope you find a balance and good people to keep you company.

  • September 29, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Your not ALONE…not alone… there are many of us here now to shift the vibration of things. Be still and do not worry what others are doing and thinking. Be a frequency holder. Speak your truth at all times. Go inward or you will feeeel like shit all the time…i get it!

  • September 29, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Some people really don’t seem to understand how to love.

  • September 29, 2015 at 3:11 am

    You’re not alone, trust me. They need to contact us, it seems, huh?

  • September 29, 2015 at 2:14 am

    You think you’re alone, you’re not (Heyoka level)

    You must love this ability for it could save yours and the lives of others. More so nature is beautiful and I can feel a lot more than most Empaths (live, love, life) Empaths

  • September 28, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    I have this ability.. and I don’t like it.. I can see trough people, I don’t listen their words-I hear what/who they are.. why are they telling me that, I know every answer on their question, I see how they feel.. I am feeling like one on who my atention is focused.. if I let myself to feel that.. and I cry, I’m angry.. I laugh, from their point of view.. I don’t like people, they are lying too much, no one thinks like what he/she says, so much people looks on himself, and himself only.. I want that I can say every one what I found out about them just by talking to them for the first time.. but! I did’t met a person who isn’t that kind of shallow one.. so he/she could understand me..


Comments are closed.