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treatment of hysteria

on Jan 19, 2021

Freud developed psychoanalysis in order to help patients that had been diagnosed with hysteria reduce internal conflicts causing physical and emotional suffering. George Mason University. Electronic. Almost every form of treatment somehow relates to the maternal roles that women play. [9][11] It was thought to purge the uterus of any built-up fluid, and semen was thought to have healing properties, 'In this model ejaculation outside the vagina was conducive to uterine disease, since the female genitalia did not receive the health benefits of male emission. Lack of marriage was also thought to be the cause of most melancholy in single women, such as nuns or widows. In fact, he found that many of his female patients imitated the seizures of epileptic patients in an attempt to seek attention (Ross, 277). [17], According to Pierre Roussel and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, femininity was a natural and essential desire for women: "Femininity is for both authors an essential nature, with defined functions, and the disease is explained by the non-fulfillment of natural desire. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for hundreds of years in Western Europe. The Behavioural Treatment of Hysteria - Volume 134 Issue 2 - Julian Bird. Saul, Jennifer M. “On Treating Things as People: Objectification, Pornography, and the Invention of the Vibrator.” Hypatia. We use the word not with any scientific precision, but because it is the name most commonly given to a kind of enthusiasm that has degenerated into habitual nervous excitement. 8 (2012): 110-119. Doctors would sometimes apply an electrical charge to the woman’s genitals as well (Starr and Aron, 374). Hysteria Treatment Using Lettuce: Lettuce is considered valuable in treating hysteria. [23] Maines stated that her theory of the prevalence of masturbation for hysteria and its relevance to the invention of the vibrator is a hypothesis and not proven fact. Dating back to 1900 BC in ancient Egypt, the first descriptions of hysteria within the female body were found recorded on the Kahun Papyri. [5][13] Feminist social historians of both genders argue that hysteria is caused by women's oppressed social roles, rather than by their bodies or psyches, and they have sought its sources in cultural myths of femininity and in male domination. Victorian treatments for hysteria. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Women of the era were often urged to keep small bottles of smelling salts within their handbags for them to smell if they felt a “hysterical paroxysm” come upon them (Tasca at al., 113). Hysterical Men: Gender and American Medical Discourse, 1840-1898. Drugs like antidepressants or anxiolytics can be tried if depression or anxiety co-exists. French neurologist, Jean-Martin Charcot, who is considered to be the father of neurology, studied a variety of patients with hysteria at the Salpetriere hospital (Ross, 277). [1] Although Maines's theory that hysteria was treated by masturbating female patients to orgasm is widely repeated in the literature on female anatomy and sexuality,[19] some historians dispute Maines's claims regarding the prevalence of this treatment for hysteria and its relevance to the invention of the vibrator, describing them as a distortion of the evidence or that they are only relevant to a very small group. [19], Frederick Hollick was a firm believer that a main cause of hysteria was licentiousness present in women. [5] His treatments included scent therapy and sexual intercourse, but also rubbing in ointments to the external genitalia; this was to be performed by midwives, not physicians. Having done so the man's strong and vigorous intercourse alleviated the frenzy. In layman's terms, hysteria is often used to describe behavior that seems excessive and out of control. Since the causes of hysteria are both physical and. If the doctor believed that the female was gaining pleasure out of the treatment, it was immediately stopped (Starr and Aron, 377). "', In the 1980s, feminists began to reclaim hysteria, using it as a symbol of the systematic oppression of women and reclaiming the term for themselves. Hysteria was a term was used to characterize a number of psychological symptoms such as blindness, loss of sensation, hallucinations, suggestibility, and highly emotional behavior. One such treatment is that of the “gentle massage.” The doctor would gently rub the woman’s genitals, inducing a sudden attack or spasm, referred to as a “paroxysm.” Nowadays, we recognize that these so-called “paroxysms” were actually orgasms. There were various forms of “genital massage,” ranging from the manual massage, where doctors apply pressure on the woman’s clitoris with their fingers, to hydrotherapy, where the doctors apply pressure using water (Starr and Aron, 373-374). One of the more popular methods of curing hysteria during the era is that of hypnosis. [8] If the patient was married, this could be completed by intercourse with their spouse. “Sexual Trauma at the Salpetriere.” Journal of Psychohistory. Giovanni Matteo Ferrari da Gradi cited marriage and childbearing as a cure for the disease. Cases of hysteria have commonly occurred in both males and females but, among females the number is far greater particularly in the age group of 14 to 25 years. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. [2], The history of hysteria can be traced to ancient times. In the mid-19th century, Silas Weir Mitchell created the “rest cure” as a treatment of hysteria. [13], New theories relating to hysteria came from pure speculation; doctors and physicians could not connect symptoms to the disorder, causing it to decline rapidly as a diagnosis. Do not eat a meal less than an hour before going to bed 4. [5] Especially among sex-positive feminists, who believe sexual repression and having it called hysteria is a form of oppression. Even though it was categorized as a disease, hysteria's symptoms were synonymous with normal functioning female sexuality. He performed a variety of experiments on the women there, most specifically hypnosis, and concluded that hysteria stemmed from the central nervous system, and had nothing to do with the uterus. Water massages as a treatment for hysteria, ca. To help hysterical patients it is essential to have sympathy for them. [18] One American physician expressed pleasure in the fact that the country was "catching up" to Europe in the prevalence of hysteria. “Women and Hysteria in the History of Mental Health.”Clinical Practise and Epidemiology in Mental Health: CP and EMH. Another means of “treating” instances of hysteria was through mesmerism, an alleged psychosomatic therapy popularized by Franz Anton Mesmer, … Treatment of Hysteria. [13] Though these earlier studies had shown that men were also prone to suffer from hysteria, including Freud himself,[5] over time, the condition was related mainly to issues of femininity as the continued study of hysteria took place only in women. Jean-Martin Charcot argued that hysteria derived from a neurological disorder and showed that it was more common in men than women. It was thought that demoniacal forces were attracted to those who were prone to melancholy, particularly to single women and the elderly. Even Charcot, who openly notes that hysteria is not an illness of the uterus, believes that a woman’s ovaries are still sensitive “hysterogenic zones.” Basically, it would appear as if even scientific theory and development was still emphasizing the importance  woman’s maternal role in Victorian society. 1) Rachel P. Maines, The Technology of Orgasm (2001): Study of how "vibrator" developed as a treatment for female hysteria. Over the course of the early 20th century, the number of patients of female hysteria sharply declined, and today it is no longer a recognized illness. The Globus Hystericus or Globus sensation does not require any treatment but it is always intended to have prevention. Charcot's use of photography, and the resulting concretization of women's expressions of he… Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. [6], While in the Hippocratic texts a wide range of women were susceptible – including in particular the childless – Galen in the 2nd century omitted the childless and saw the most vulnerable group as "widows, and particularly those who previously menstruated regularly, had been pregnant and were eager to have intercourse, but were now deprived of all this" (On the Affected Parts, 6.5). Ross, Colin. The management of hysterical patients is difficult. Fortunately, a reliable, socially acceptable treatment appeared. Furthermore, the term hysteria, once the focus of intensive treatment efforts and research, can scarcely be found in modern mainstream psychiatric literature. 43.4 (2016): 277- 287. [6], Through the Middle Ages, another cause of dramatic symptoms could be found: demonic possession. [3] Charcot's theories of hysteria being a physical affliction of the mind and not of the body led to a more scientific and analytical approach to hysteria in the 19th century. Hysteria is curable in nearly all cases. Collini, Sara. Change ). No one method can be recommended unqualifiedly. During this treatment, physicians would often interpret the woman’s cries of pleasure as cries of pain (Starr and Aron, 377). Doctors would sometimes apply an electrical charge to the woman’s genitals as well (Starr and Aron, 374). Foul smells applied to the nose would drive it down, and pleasant scents at the vulva would attract it. Hysteria, Patriarchy, and the Invention of the Vibrator. Victorians didn't invent the vibrator", "A failure of academic quality control: The Technology of Orgasm", "The History of Hysteria: Sexism in Diagnosis", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Female_hysteria&oldid=998888327, Historical and obsolete mental and behavioural disorders, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 7 January 2021, at 14:02. Mesmer identified a fluid within the body, of which he named “animal magnetism.” He believed that the magnetic action of the hands upon the diseased part of the body could treat the patient by interacting with the fluid (Tasca et al., 114) Basically, his theory suggests that the body gives off some sort of invisible force that can be manipulated to cure people of illness. Other than participating in sexual intercourse, it was thought that fumigating the body with special fragrances would supposedly draw the uterus back to its natural spot in the female body. ( Log Out /  Regard for one’s. [6] Hysteria was referred to as "the widow's disease", because the female semen was believed to turn venomous if not released through regular climax or intercourse. Yes, uterine or gynecologicals massage was exactly what you think it … Avoid lying down after eating 3. Hysteria seems like a term that applies to people who are being a little overly emotional, so it may surprise you to learn that it was once a common medical diagnosis. The preferred treatments, however, was still married intercourse, as well as vaginal massaging techniques. Exercise and outdoor games are also important. This treatment relates greatly to the early Greek theories of the “wandering uterus.” Some more drastic forms of treatment included cauterization of the genitals, and hysterectomy (Starr and Aron, 373). The rate of hysteria was so great in the socially restrictive industrial period that women were prone to carry smelling salts about their person in case they swooned, reminiscent of Hippocrates' theory of using odors to coerce the uterus back into place. Marriage, and regular sexual encounters with her husband, was still the most highly recommended long-term course of treatment for a woman suffering from hysteria. [20][21][22] In 2018, Hallie Lieberman and Eric Schatzberg of Georgia Institute of Technology challenged Maines's claims for the use of electromechanical vibrators to treat hysteria in the 19th century. French physician Philippe Pinel freed hysteria patients detained in Paris' Salpêtrière sanatorium on the basis that kindness and sensitivity were needed to formulate good care. However, for patients with perceived mental illness and hysteria a cold bath was given instead. He dispelled the beliefs that hysteria had anything to do with the supernatural and attempted to define it medically. [4], In ancient Greece, wandering womb was described in the gynecological treatise of the Hippocratic Corpus, "Diseases of Women",[5] which dates back to the 5th and 4th centuries BC. Another very obscure form of treatment for hysteria during the 1800s is that of “Mesmerism.”. In the 16th and 17th centuries, hysteria was still believed to be due to the retention of humour or fluids in the uterus, sexual deprivation, or by the tendency of the uterus to wander around the female body causing irritability and suffocation. There were many reasons for its decline. It was a widely held belief that if hysteri… [24], During the early 20th century, the number of women diagnosed with female hysteria sharply declined. Hysteria Definition The term "hysteria" has been in use for over 2,000 years and its definition has become broader and more diffuse over time. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Electronic. The 13th century Europe was no different in their definitions of hysteria, only now recommending that widows and nuns partake in the treatment of hysteria to balance the fluids and emotional stability of such individuals. [7] This was believed to be thinner than male seed and could be retained in the womb. There were various other forms of treatment during this era, including prescribing laudanum, an alcoholic solution containing morphine, and even horseback riding and train trips (Saul, 52). In the 18th century, hysteria slowly became associated with mechanisms in the brain rather than the uterus. To effectively eliminate the symptoms of hysteria in the first place, requires the elimination of the causes of the patient’s nervous excitement, and it is not easy. [4] Uterine prolapse was also known. Invented by German physician Franz Mesmer, the treatment involves a mixture of hypnosis and “animal magnetism” in order to cure a woman of her hysterical behaviour. Plato's dialogue Timaeus compares a woman's uterus to a living creature that wanders throughout a woman's body, "blocking passages, obstructing breathing, and causing disease". Treatment for Female Hysteria The prescription to this disease in was intercourse. Furthermore, the term was also used to describe the symptoms of hysteria, as in the “attack” or the “fit,” truly obscuring what was being done (Starr and Aron 377). So, when we speak of the treatment and cure of these patients, we wrongly say we have cured the hysteria; we have cured only the hysterical symptom. A cup of fresh juice of lettuce, mixed with a teaspoon of Indian gooseberry juice, should be given every day in the morning for a month, as a medicine in the treatment of hysteria. If marriage wasn’t an acceptable or possible treatment however, there was another technique of treatment for hysteria, prolapsed uteri and any gynecologicals problem really, rising in popularity in the late 17th century- uterine massage. The symptoms of hysteria can be found as early as 1900 BC in the Egyptian papyri (the actual word hysteria is derived from hystera, Greek for uterus). The American Psychiatric Association dropped the term hysteria in 1952. 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