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FEMALE HYSTERIA
“HYSTERIA?”
what really is
what’s its etymology?
how is it still relevant?
TIMELINE OF
THE TERM
“HYSTERIA”
500 BC
1100
1660
1885
1980
1828
500 BC: HIPPOCRATES
I believe hysteria is
caused by a displaced
or wandering uterus
hysteria, n: a disease caused
by a restless and migratory
uterus
1100: TROTULA DE
RUGGIERO
I believe hysteria is
caused by abstinence
hysteria, n: a condition
caused by a restraint on
desires.
1660: NATHANIEL
HIGHMORE
I believe hysteria is
caused by “bad
blood,” and pelvic
massage is the cure”
hysteria, n: an illness caused by a
a lack of blood flow in the uterus
area, can be relieved through
hysterical paroxysm .
"HYSTERICAL PAROXYSM"
hysteria paroxysm, verb: to experience an orgasm,
primarily through a physician’s pelvic massage
treatment.
1828: AMERICAN
DICTIONARY OF THE
ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
hysterical, adj:
originating “[Gr. from the
womb.]” and is
something seen in a
woman who is
“disordered in the region
of the womb;” and who is
“troubled with fits or
nervous affections.”
SYMPTOMS
anxiety,
sleeplessness,
irritability,
nervousness,
erotic fantasies,
feelings of heaviness in
the lower abdomen,
and wetness between
the leg.
(according to male
doctors)
1860: SIGMUND FREUD
I believe hysteria is a
form of neurosis that
comes about when a
traumatic experience
leads to process of
unconscious
symptom-formation
hysteria, n: a psychological
condition that is a product of
upbringing, education, of one's
interaction as a child with the
world of adults or of other
children
OTHER TREATMENTS FOR
HYSTERIA
electromechanical medical
instruments: provide more
reliable and efficient physical
therapy to women believed to
be suffering from hysteria.
1956: NEW WORLD
DICTIONARY OF THE
AMERICAN LANGUAGE,
hysteria, n: “a mental
disorder” that is characterized
by “excessive anxiety,
sensory and motor
disturbances.”
1980: DSM-III
“female hysteria” is no
longer a recognized
illness
hysterical symptoms
are in fact now
considered as
manifestation of
dissociative disorders.
016: MERRIAM-WEBSTER ONLIN

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Hysteria