As I have read it, that Athanasian is either a born with the thing or a brain damage.
From my experience I got Athanasian as 10 years old after a specific incident of great shame and humiliation. I felt as if my mind imploded and my personal space, went from 3D to 2 D in a fraction of a second – interesting but strange indeed 🙂
This phenomena actually repeater some times, and finally stopped – so I believe that Athanasian for some people has a link to personal space and the ability to hold you space and perceive the external surroundings. (not sure I express my self correct here – but I hope someone can come with some clarification on what I mean:-)