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History Section[edit]

There are some issues with jumping beteween the past and present tense in the history section. Also, at one point, the article states "The Freudian psychoanalytic school of psychology uses its own, somewhat controversial, ways to treat hysteria". I have removed this as (despite being a psychologist myself) I have no idea what it refers to. The issues with this statement are that

1) it is in the present tense, despite the fact that it is in the "history" section and that hysteria is not a recognised condition in the present day 2) The controversies are not clarified. In fact, to my knowledge, psychoanalytic interventions for hysteria were welcomed as a breakthrough. 3) Not really sure what the "The Freudian psychoanalytic school of psychology" is. It's certainly not a physical location, and if it's talking about a metaphorical school then it is generally referred to as "the Freudian school of psychoanalysis". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:21, 23 December 2015 (UTC)


I removed: "These come in waves every few years, the latest being carpal tunnel syndrome in the mid-1990s which "everyone had" for a time, and then stopped complaining about." When someone will present some facts about it, we can add it again. Fantasy 21:38 21 May 2003 (UTC)

I think the person was using "hysteria" ina colloquial way, not knowing anything about its technical meaning. Good cut! Slrubenstein

The "yuppy flu" reference may be unfortunate, as there seem to be moves towards recognition of it as a real disease, called chronic fatigue syndrome -- The Anome 20:19 15 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Confusing chronology[edit]

Do the terms 1800s and 1900s in the article refer (approximately) to the 19th century and the 20th century respectively? They can also refer to decades. (Indeed, in the Wikipedia, the articles 1800s and 1900s are - unfortunately - about decades.) Someone should check and change them to something unambiguous. -- Oliver P. 03:09 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Surrealism and Hysteria[edit]

Should mention surrealist interest in hysteria. --Daniel C. Boyer 15:03 15 Jul 2003 (UTC)

vibrators in the 1800s[edit]

Treatment of hysteria in the late 1800s consisted of vibrators? Were they hand-cranked or powered by watermills? Is it possible to find a source for this particular gem of medical history? -- Nunh-huh 01:19, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Vibrator has some more information. Ambarish | Talk 16:59, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, but it's equally naff. Vibration as a medical technology was certainly a fad, and I'm sure that some of the devices sold were put to sexual use. But that doesn't mean that doctors were routinely—to put it crudely—dildoing their female patients.
Check out this turn-of-the-century medical vibrator. A veritable humdinger! ;-) Maikel 21:24, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Actually, it turns out that they were (except for the important vibrator-dildo distinction — the speculum, as a penetrating medical device, was far more controversial when introduced than the vibrator, so I'm sure a dildo would've be inconceivable). You might be interested in the discussion of the history of medical treatments in female hysteria. Before the medical literature switched into the vulgar there were some rather surprising Latin descriptions of treatments and their effects on female patients. — Laura Scudder 04:30, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Were they hand-cranked or powered by watermills? Umm, steam-powered, among other things, believe it or not (The mind really does boggle ) see the Rachel P Maines book referenced in the notes Tallus 11:35, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Article needs improvement[edit]

What about hysteria in psychoanalysis? What about feminist criticism of the concept of "hysteria"?

For what it's worth I added some more accurate dates, primary sources, and fleshed out the theories for the early modern uses (Charcot and Freud). --Quinn d (talk) 03:34, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

"Yuppy Flu" is an offensive term that was never in official use[edit]

This should be edited out or placed in the context of being misattributed to hysteria/psychosomatic illness. There is of course no such illness called Yuppie Flu, no ICD or UK coding for such and if it ever was used by GPs surely just to excuse to get the unfortunate patient out of the surgery as quickly as possible. The term is a pejorative invention of 1980's media (US actually I believe) which was inappropriately applied to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, a disease described in outbreaks since the 1930's, named since the 1950's and medically accepted as a neurological disorder since 1969 by the World Health Organisation and since 1978 by the Royal Society of Medicine (Epidemic Neuromyasthenia 1934 1977. current approaches. Ed: WH Lyle and RN Chamberlain. Postgraduate Medical Journal 1978:54:637:705 774 pub: Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford). Research and demographics show that far from being an illness limited to a narrow socioeconomic population, M.E. affects all ethnic and income groups including children and has been observed in animals.

It is no less abusive to denigrate M.E. sufferers than to use or historically validate inaccurate, offensive terms for women, blacks or gays, so why is it okay for people with a serious disease? The "moral loophole" that has been perpetuated here beggars belief.

It's also spelled Yuppie, not yuppy. I reckon a yuppy would be second cousin to a guppy. Perhaps some sort of fish.

Not to mention that chronic fatigue is a syndrome, which is sort of like saying cryptopathic.


This article does a shoddy job of differentiating between the archaic condition of female hysteria and the modern meanings of individual hysteria (= unfounded overexcitement or anxiety) and mass hysteria (= panic). Maikel 20:32, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree, it's been on my todo list for a quite a while. I got a start by just adding in some section headings to divide the article up. — Laura Scudder 05:09, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
I made some changes that separated Charcot and Freud (as the earliest significant modern discussions of hysteria) from contemporary use, and thus created a new section. I've titled it "Current theories and practices", although I don't know if that is a good title. --Quinn d (talk) 03:33, 8 March 2009 (UTC)


'Hysterical' can mean "hilarious", and to be "in hysterics" is a common expression for being overcome with (unstoppable) laughter. But these are definitions and not really relevant to the medical encyclopedic content. Are they worth mentioning? -- 03:44, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

That information is important and should have its own page linked from Hysteria (disambiguation). I don't think it goes on this page. - Peregrinefisher 05:37, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

stages of hysteria[edit]

what are Frueds for stages leading to hysteria and each stages characteristics. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:03, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Charcot and Freud[edit]

Freud attended Charcot's clinic in Paris at a time when neither cranial X-ray nor EEG were available to rule out such items as closed-head trauma or epilepsy, both of which in retrospect afflicted many of Charcot's most pivotal cases as he worked up his theory of hysteria. The infamous Monsieur Log case, that of a man who was injured by a runaway cart, had been severely concussed and was comatose for a time, is possibly one of the worst examples of a neurological misdiagnosis in the history of medicine. In retrospect, much of what Charcot concluded falls down since it can be explained now very simply as obvious organic disease. Freud took these questionable learnings back with him to Vienna and, after being nearly laughed out of his profession for proposing a version of the vile repressed memory theory, came up with his conversion theory as "plan B", drawing not only on Charcot's misdiagnoses but also his own failure to recognize what are now plainly obvious as cases of such organic diseases as temporal lobe epilepsy and even cancer. To what extent this deeply unscientific idea continues to affect medicine adversely is anybody's guess, but there are credible commentators who have observed that hysteria was well on its way to being given the decent burial that it so sorely needed when Charcot and Freud resurrected it on the strength of towering diagnostic error. By so doing they added immeasurably to human suffering by re-introducing a virulent superstition into clinical practice, i.e. hysteria and all of its euphemistic variants such as somatoform disorder. These are at best, diagnoses of ignorance. Zzzzzchecker (talk) 17:48, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

The "History" section seems to me to be more an exposition of what Freud thought on hysteria rather than a neutral historical account. IMO the NPOV in the article is not served by concluding on the merits of hysteria either by Freud or currently. The article should limit itself, at the very least as far as its history section goes, to detailing what was thought and why at various moments in time by those concerned. Otherwise we are left with a blank page saying something along the lines of: "Hysteria - a silly idea best forgotten about.". While this may be true it misses the point of having the article. LookingGlass (talk) 20:02, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

This disease never existed[edit]

Such as satan's possession, this disease was and remains to be a fraud.Self-illusioned persons claimde to be with hysteria, such as decades before, in the same places, persons claimed to be under devil's control.This disease never existed.Agre22 (talk) 17:16, 18 April 2009 (UTC)agre22

BBC citing definition[edit]

BBC used WP's definition today (in describing collective belief England could ever win the football World Cup) - see David Ruben Talk 12:58, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

IMO the flag should be removed as the humorous piece concerned contained only a passing reference to a "definition" in the wiki article which has subsequently changed. It was not citing wiki as an encyclopedic authority. The now superceded quote was: "a state of mind of unmanageable fear or emotional excesses. The fear is often caused by multiple events in one's past that involved some sort of severe conflict." While the first part can be found in any dictionary the (questionable?) sentiment expressed in its last sentence made it apt for mocking English football. Thyat was its sole claim to "fame". LookingGlass (talk) 19:54, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Poor images[edit]

Is it just my impression that the article would be better without the images? It does definitely belong to female hysteria but even there the image caption could be better.Richiez (talk) 13:54, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Personally I quite like the pictures, I hope they are authentic... But please edit the caption if you have a better idea! Lova Falk talk 15:38, 28 June 2010 (UTC)


Hysteria vs. DMDD. The difference? Men vs. women, parents vs. kids. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:58, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

the entire opening[edit]

i recognise that it's already been stated that there is, at the very least, a citation needed in that opening paragraph, and that the article needs extensive cleanup anyway. but would it be excessive to delete that opening and write a new one? because there are a lot of claims and no citations in any of that paragraph, and most of those claims seem...dubious at best. while it does seem to be playing on the idea of "mass hysteria", i feel that that's sort of misleading in a more general article.Anshin (talk) 05:45, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

book to use in improving the article[edit]

On Hysteria: The Invention of a Medical Category Between 1670 and 1820 by Sabine Arnaud, University of Chicago Press. "Draws on literary, medical, and other texts in a study of the conceptual origins of hysteria as a pathology linked primarily to the aristocracy and applied as often to men as to women." per Chronicle Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 21:21, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Hippocratic hysteria?[edit]

I think this page needs to reflect post-1980s scholarship on the early Greek texts which later writers had assumed were 'all about hysteria'. The material in my 1985 PhD thesis was published in 1993 in and has subsequently been accepted by scholars in the field. So I've had a go at updating. I am not an experienced editor so I am looking forward to discussion here - my only previous engagement with wikipedia was when I brought to the community's attention some sabotage on the Hippocrates page. But I want to help! Fluff35 (talk) 15:35, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

I note that my changes were mostly deleted. I've had another go and in particular removed the new references to Carta et al, Women and Hysteria in Mental Health 2012 - it's really, really bad. The authors don't give references - "Hippocrates (5th century BC) is the first to use the term hysteria" - no, no, a million times no. Just show me one Hippocratic text that 'uses the term' - there isn't one!! I don't know how the article made it past referees, let alone an editor (e.g. "The Euripidy’s myth"). So while it may be legit to use this piece as a source for psychiatry, it isn't legit to take what it says about the ancient world seriously. Fluff35 (talk) 16:49, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

A supporting opinion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:8803:B000:2F7:F999:73E8:D1CA:210F (talk) 10:13, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

I cannot find the meaning of womb for the word hysteria in any Greek dictionary I own. This appears to be urban legend. Every use that I have been able to find for hysteria in Greek relates to second, second class, or defectiveness in some way or other, with no reference to womb or other functions of womankind. There are several Greek words for womb: koilia or belly, matrix which relates to matera or mother; yet hysteria was not found among them. The use of hysterectomy only makes sense as a second surgery: which is to say, a surgery performed after the birth of a baby: hence, a secondary procedure. Hysteresis is a return to a point of origin, as well as the error associated with such a return: the second time, the defect.

I checked:

  • Analytical Lexicon
  • Analytical Lexicon of the Septuagint
  • Arndt and Gingrich
  • TDNT
  • Online translators
  • Concordance searches of the Greek NT

I did not check:

  • Liddell Scott

Sincerely, Herb Swanson — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:8803:B000:2F7:F999:73E8:D1CA:210F (talk) 10:05, 20 January 2017 (UTC)