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How to Get Rid of Hysteria - Hysterical Neurosis


It is a illness known from the time of Greeks, although down through ages it has changed its meaning and dimension. Originally it was thought to be a women's disease, as the word hysteria signifies 'uterus', the uterus moved from one part of the body to another because of sexual frustration.

The hysterical reaction in modem psychopathology is explained as serving defensive function by which the individual escapes or avoids stressful situations. As a neurotic disorder, the symptoms of hysteria can take the form of widest variety. Although at one point of time the diagnosis of hysteria was not that frequent perhaps because medical knowledge had not advanced so much, the same has considerably changed nowadays.

Hysteria can be clinically grouped under two types: conversion and dissociate - in conversion hysteria the afflicted person can present physical symptom of psychological origin. In the absence of organic cause, the symptoms and features are intriguing and enigmatic.

Features of the Hysteria:

1. There can be hysterical convulsion (fit).
2. Sensory disturbances-loss of sensitivity.
3. Hypoesthesis (partial loss of sensitivity).
4. Hyperesthesis (excessive loss of sensitivity).
5. Analgesia (loss of sensitivity to pain)
6. Paresthenia (exceptional sensation, such as tingling)

It includes blur of vision, photophobia, double vision, night blindness, and defective steropsis. The heart disturbances from total deafness to' selective one has also been found as conversion symptoms.

The visceral symptoms of this disorder are headache, lumps in the throat, choking sensation, coughing spells, bleaching nausea, sneezing, difficulty in breathing etc. Another enigmatic conversion syndrome. is pseudociasis (false pregnancy) in women who develop morning sickness, absence of period, fullness of breast, and bulging belly without being pregnant.

The dissociate hysteria, on other hand, is also a manifestation of underlying conflict. This is an escape behavior in which the individual gratifies his urges but denies the personal responsibility of his unacceptable behavior. There is a difference between hysterical amnesia and amnesia caused by brain pathology. In the later the registration and storage of infornation are impaired where as in the former the recall of registered infonnation is affected although the forgotten material is intact, beneath the conscious level.

Somnambulism is also another type of disorder where the individual walks in sleep but when he gets up the following morning does not remember the event. Fague called it "split personality". The two personality works independently in the same individual, one having no knowledge of the other. Multiple personality has similar features of dissociative hysteria. There may be one or more two personalities in an individual but their functions differ from one another, and no awareness of existence of the other.

History of Hysteria

The studies of hysteria by Charcot, a French neurologist who worked at the Salpetriere hospital in Paris, were particularly influencial in the late 19th century. He believed that hysteria was caused by a functional disorder of the brain which caused symptoms, and which also rendered patients suceptible to hypnosis so that new symptoms can be produced by suggestion. Charcot, Later became more interested in the probablity of a psycological cause as a result of clinical studies by his pupil, Pierre Janet, who proposed that the disorder in hysteria has a tendency to dissociate, i.e. to loose the normal integration between various parts of mental functioning, together with a restriction of personal awareness so that the person became unaware of certain aspectes of psychological functioning that would otherwise be within his awareness.

Hysteria-Conversion Type:

During the World War I and II, conversion reaction was the most frequent type of psychiatric syndrome. Examples of common conversion symptoms in soldiers are paralysis in legs and inability to strengthen their back. These symptoms are because there is a conflict between their loyalty to their nation and their lives. Today it constitutes only 5% of the neuroses. Increase in education is one of the reasons why it has decreased. This disorder can be seen among the illiterates and low- income group.

The most common hysterical disturbances of speech is - Aphonia, here the person is able to speak only in whispers. Mutism another type of speech disorder though rare. For psychoneurotic disorders the different treatment method suggested are chemotherapy, shock therapy; psychoanalytic and behavior therapy.

Facts and Tips about Hysterical neurosis

  • Hysterical neurosis is older name of conversion disorder or dissociative disorder. It is neurotic disorder which involves aggressive emotional occurrence and instability in sensory and motor functions.
  • Hysterical neurosis is one of the common mental disorder and percentage is high in the west.
  • In hysterical neurosis, emotional stress gets transformed into a physical symptom such as paralysis, sightlessness, incapability to speak or another abrupt unbearable problem.
  • The primitive symptoms of hysterical neurosis are headache, inflammation in the throat, sneezing, bitter feeling, trouble in breathing, coughing spell, vomiting etc.
  • Psychotherapy, stress management training is useful to reduce mental stress and physical or occupational therapy for physical symptoms is used in treatment of hysterical neurosis.

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