The Uplift Drop
The Uplift Drop is phenomenon almost universally reported by any Sophontist who Uplifts a creature to full Sophonce, and is cited, legally and ethnically, as one of the reasons to stop Uplifting at the upper end of Sentient. Most animal brains are not equipped for existential thought, and The Uplift Drop has a measurable mortality rate due to panic, stress, or outright suicide on the part of the Uplifted animal.
It took a few weeks for it to hit me. At first being a Sophont is exciting, powerful, to think and feel and perceive in all these new ways. You're something more than you ever were, and all that new brainpower goes towards your old interests. I was all about exploring, and wanted to play complex games of hide and seek with Andrea. And then... I was watching the news with her, and I it finally clicked for me... what the world is. My mortality, her mortality. Before Andrea adopted and uplifted me I belonged to a man who beat me. Back then I always blamed myself, but in this new frame of mind I realized... humans are not all good, not all well-intending. They are capable of cruelty, to excess. I carried his anger as sorrow and I gave him all the love I could. He didn't love me, but I would have died for him. I lost something when I realized that, something fundamentally "dog". I'll never get it back.
- Chronic, Acquired