Hyperprosexia: symptoms and treatment of this attention disorder

The ability to respond to stimuli around us is one of our most basic and at the same time most essential survival skills: after all, even in order to feed ourselves or flee predators, we must be able to take care of and to concentrate our resources. on what surrounds us.

Thus, having a low attention span is a significant difficulty in nature, as well as in the social environment: it is more difficult for us to learn things, to understand them and to be able to identify with them. the environment. So it may seem that a high attention span is always a positive thing. And the truth is that, as a general rule, having a high attention span can promote our adaptability.

However, there are conditions in which an excess of attention span can occur, which implies the emergence of difficulties similar to those that would cause its deficit. This is what happens with hyperprosexia, Which we will talk about throughout this article.

    What is hyperprosexia?

    We give the name of hyperprosexia to the condition characterized by the presence of excessive attention to environmental stimuli. This is a quantitative change in attention, in particular an exacerbation of it. It assumes a very pronounced interest in stimulation and the presence of hypervigilance and hyperlucidity, as well as the greatest possible degree of alertness and concentration. It is considered in attention disorders or disturbances, although it is generally considered more as a symptom than a disorder in itself.

    While it may seem like having heightened attention is a positive thing, in reality, hyperprosexia usually involves a high level of distraction due to difficulty in maintaining attention or moving away from it. a particular stimulus.

    hyperprosexia it can negatively affect the adaptation to the environment of those who suffer from it: It is difficult to learn at school or to be productive in a company. It can also be problematic in terms of personal interaction, and can even be dangerous when activities such as driving are carried out.

    Thus, the most important effects of hyperprosexia have to do with the time spent focusing on the really important stimuli, or the inability to direct attention to the important because there are other stimuli that distract too much and no they let the person concentrate.


    There are two major aspects in which there may be an exacerbation of attention span, although this is the first that has the greatest tendency to consider hyperprosexia.

    The first of them this implies that the subject cannot concentrate, because he is unable to retain attention at a given momentSince, in reality, the person only directs his attention superficially to different stimuli before others demand his attention. This alteration implies the exacerbation of attentional mobility. In other words, it focuses on everything but does not focus on anything, so the subject actually exhibits strong distraction or attentional instability.

    The second of the major options implies that the exacerbation lies in the ability to repair: In this case, the person concentrates extremely and persistently in one stimulus, being unable to deal with the other stimuli. Thus, the person only concentrates on one stimulation and cannot react properly to what is going on around him.

    Thus, in practice, excessive attention has the paradoxical effect that one cannot focus on the relevant, which serves to wonder whether there really is an excess or a lack of attention span. We must not forget that the test of whether or not sufficient attention is given depends on our ideas and beliefs about what is important and appropriate in each case; that is, it is a debatable thing. Hyperprosexia is one more example that psychological alterations are always analyzed through social conventions and consensus ideas about what is good and what is bad.

    Disorders associated with this impairment of attention

    Hyperprosexia is an impairment of attention which, as we have seen, it usually appears as a symptom of certain physical or mental conditions rather than as a disorder in itself.

    Among the various conditions in which it can occur, one can find poisoning by substances or the consumption of exciting drugs such as cocaine. It can also be found in manic episodes, delusions, or very high anxiety states. (Which is not necessarily an anxiety disorder). On the other hand, it is observed in disorders of the psychotic type, such as schizophrenia.


    Treatment of hyperprosexia it’s usually related to the disorder that caused itAnd different therapeutic strategies can be used depending on the causes of their appearance.

    Thus, if it is drug poisoning, it may be useful to use blockers such as naloxone, eutimizers in the case of manic episodes or antipsychotics in the case of schizophrenia or others. psychotic disorders. The use of benzodiazepines or other anxiolytics can be helpful. In any case, the use of these drugs should only be done on prescription.

    Bibliographical references:

    • Barlow, DH and Durand, VM (2003): Psychopathology. Madrid: Thomson.
    • Dunn, DW and Kronenberger, WG (2003). Attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Neurol Clin N Am: 933-940.
    • Garcia, J. (1997). Psychology of attention. Madrid: Synthesis.
    • Mantilla, SP (2006). Neurological diseases and attention problems. Colombian Neurology Law, 22: 190-194.

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