In archaic usage, the vapours (or vapors) is any of certain mental or physical states, such as hysteria, mania, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, lightheadedness, fainting, flush, withdrawal syndrome, mood swings, or PMS, ascribed primarily to women and thought to be caused by internal emanations. This is related to the similar concept female hysteria. Vapours were considered to be the female equivalent to melancholy found in men.
A description of someone having "a case of the vapors" was sometimes used for a person in a state of emotional agitation.
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