“Accelerated thought syndrome” is the evil of this century

“Accelerated thought syndrome” is the evil of this century


According to Dr. Cury, we must avoid the hyperconstruction of thoughts.

After practicing psychiatry for 25 years and treating patients in more than 20,000 appointments, Dr. Augusto Cury is concerned about his findings.

This Brazilian claims to have discovered the “accelerated thinking syndrome” (SPA), a condition that, according to him, affects so many people that it can be considered “the evil of the century”.

Cury is the author of more than 40 books on anxiety and other mental health issues and created the theory of Multifocal Intelligence, an intelligence that integrates emotional, social and cognitive skills, and that includes the conscious and unconscious aspects of the construction of thoughts , according to the doctor’s website.

BBC Mundo asked him what he thinks the SPA consists of and why it causes him alarm.


What is the syndrome racing thoughts?

It is a type of anxiety. The excess of information, activity, worries and social pressures can accelerate the mind at a terrifying speed.

In the digital age, this is happening with an intensity never before seen.

In other words, we have irresponsibly and very seriously changed the process of constructing thoughts.

What do you mean by “accelerating the mind at a terrifying speed”?

The excess of information and the digital intoxication cause the trigger of the memory to shoot a lot, and to open a spooky number of windows (of the memory archive), without being anchored in any, so the individual loses focus and concentration.

The result is a frightening and sterile speed of thoughts. Many useless thoughts. (One of the consequences of this is that) For example, a reader reads a page from a book or newspaper and does not remember anything.

The intense acceleration of the construction of thoughts predisposes to emotional disorders and low tolerance to stress.

It also generates repetition of errors, infantilization of emotions, excessive fatigue, atrocious boredom and enormous difficulty in enduring creative solitude.

Augusto Cury
Copyright of the image AUGUSTO CURY
Image caption Augusto Cury is the author of more than 40 books on anxiety and other mental health issues.


How do you know that the SPA is actually a “new” type of anxiety and not some of the disorders that are already known?

There are many types of anxiety: generalized anxiety disorder, panic syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, burnout syndrome, post-traumatic anxiety …

These types of anxiety arise from conflicts, they develop during the formation of the personality, before the losses, crises, abuses and unprocessed frustrations.

But SPA anxiety comes from the stressful and hectic lifestyle, and in many cases there are no historical causes.

Millions of children, adolescents and adults, because of the excess of information and activities, social networks and digital intoxication, edit the construction of thoughts and emotions in an exaggerated way, without needing to have traumas.

Knot in the brain
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES image
Image caption The accelerated thought syndrome causes concentration deficit.


What do you consider to be the symptoms of the SPA ?

Lack of sleep, difficulty falling asleep, waking up tired, knots in the throat, intestinal disorders, and sometimes even increased blood pressure.

If there are headaches and muscle aches, they are alarming that the brain is exhausted by too many thoughts and worries.

Psychic symptoms include early suffering from something, irritability, difficulty managing frustration, and difficulty living with slower people.

In addition to the lack of concentration, another important and very characteristic symptom is the memory deficit. Nowadays, it is very common for children, teenagers, parents, to remember the names of people, appointments and daily activities.

Landscape distorted by acceleration.
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES image
Image caption We are accelerating the human mind at a terrifying speed, according to the Brazilian psychiatrist.


But are some of the symptoms not the same as other types of anxiety?

Many symptoms are common to all types of anxiety, but what makes the SPA different, as I said, is the absence of traumas.

In addition, symptoms such as difficulty living with slow people, excessive fatigue upon awakening, suffering in advance, memory deficit, are greatly exacerbated in a hyperpensive mind or that has SPA.

Why do you think the SPA is the evil of the century?

For the intensity and drama of this syndrome, which affects people of all cultures and ages.

Between 70% and 80% of human beings, including children, have manifestation of this syndrome. It is, without a doubt, the evil of the century, more than depression.

The SPA in the digital age has already caused an intense disorder and deficiency in the quality of socio-emotional life in all modern peoples and cultures.

Girl watching a screen in the dark.
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES image
Image caption According to Cury, mobile devices can cause accelerated thinking syndrome in children.


Have you done studies to say that so many people suffer from the syndrome?

I have had more than 20,000 psychiatric and psychotherapeutic consultations, innumerable trainings for professionals of the most diverse classes and, in addition, I have written more than 3,000 pages on the process of construction of thoughts.

Despite not having statistics, all that experience as a professional and educator convinces me that the number (of people with SPA) is great.

Many years ago a professor at the São Paulo State University found that more than 50% of university students suffer from it.

Nowadays with digital poisoning, I am sure that more than two thirds of people have SPA.

Boy yawning in a class.
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES image
Image caption The SPA means that learning at school no longer excites children, according to Cury.


Why has not the theory been published in a scientific journal?

As for the SPA, it is so urgent to alert society, that I preferred to publish it in books.

My books reach millions of human beings in more than 70 countries.

I am empirically convinced of the existence of SPA! But since it is a behavioral syndrome, it is difficult to check with brain images or laboratory tests.

What can be the consequences for those who suffer it ?

Conflicts increase enormously, because anxious people have a low threshold for frustration, are intolerant of setbacks, are irritable, tense and anxious.

The students do not develop a deep and schematic reasoning. They are much more reactive, act according to the stimulus-response phenomenon, action-reaction, and can not internalize, work their conflicts in a more intelligent way. Nor do they have the courage to think or debate ideas.

An anxious professional has low productivity. Think a lot, but your thoughts are more sterile, your answers are less intelligent. They lack depth and assertiveness.

A tense and irritable mind predisposes to a series of emotional disorders, such as depression.

The SPA generates chronic dissatisfaction. We are in the era of emotional beggars, children, young people and adults who need many stimuli to feel crumbs of pleasure.

Rocket taking off from the head of a man.
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES image
Image caption Workers with SPA produce a lot of sterile thoughts, according to Cury.


How can this syndrome be prevented?

You have to learn to contemplate beauty, which is to surrender and be ecstatic while you observe (beautiful things, like) the nature of flowers …

Talk about your failures so that your children or students understand that nobody gets on the podium without having failed before.

Another tool is to change the era of world education, move from the information age to the era of managing the human mind. We have to challenge disconcerting thoughts, criticize ideas and recycle suffocating emotions.

Another very important technique is to change the era of behavior, move from the era of pointing out failures to the era of praise, to applaud the successes of your children and your employees.

Whoever is an expert error detector is apt to repair machines, but not to form bright and emotionally healthy minds.

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Rava Desk

Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.


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