Within the Continuation universe, hypertelepathy is an inborn condition in which an individual has unusually highly developed telepathic strength to the point that it can be disabling to that individual or a danger to others.
Hypertelepathy generally reveals itself in early childhood and, as with telepathy in general, grows stronger as an individual ages, reaching its maximum strength in adolescence.
Hypertelepaths can read thoughts and feelings more easily and precisely than others. Indeed, they often naturally read through mental blocks that stop most telepathic contact. Many find it difficult to fully block telepathic energy, even from blocked minds. They can reads minds at a greater range than others, though usually not dramatically greater.
Hypertelepaths can learn to take control of another person's mind and implant certain thoughts or impressions or force their body to move. All these acts are violations of core telepathic ethics. All require conscious effort on the part of a hypertelepath.
A very few hypertelepaths can use the telepathic center of their brains as a conduit for bioelectric energy, which they can learn to use to augment someone else's natural healing processes.
Most hypertelepaths suffer unpleasant side-effects as a result of hypertelepathy. From minor to extreme, these can include headaches, fatigue, mental stress and confusion from too much input, difficulty distinguishing others' external cues from internal thoughts, difficulty distinguishing self from other, and delusions, and physical damage to parts of the brain. These symptoms collectively are called mind-pain.
Most hypertelepaths require some sort of intervention to manage their mind-pain and/or follow standard telepathic ethics as closely as they physically can. There are three types of approach. Many use more than one.
- Isolation: physical removal from other people, or at least crowds, eliminates many problems associated with hypertelepathy.
- Drugs: drugs exist to dull telepathic senses; however, they often have other side-effects. They may be used in conjunction with other treatments. More powerful drugs are often reserved for psychotic individuals.
- Training: various schools of telepathic, psychological, and philosophical training exist to manage hypertelepathy. The most famous of these is Kovam (Vunizh: "Mind-taxing," also called the Orthodoxy), a Leddie philosophy that emphasizes calm and self-discipline as a means of fostering correct behavior and minimizing mind-pain by embracing it as a normal part of life.