Saul, Jennifer M. “On Treating Things as People: Objectification, Pornography, and the Invention of the Vibrator.” Hypatia. It is mental instability, fits of anger, anxiety; Things that actually happen when you get sick or hurt. 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). 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. Fortunately, a reliable, socially acceptable treatment appeared. [2], The history of hysteria can be traced to ancient times. When a patient could not be diagnosed or cured of a disease, it was thought that the symptoms of what would now be diagnosed as mental illness, were actually those of someone possessed by the devil. But there are certain principles that can be followed. 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). [4] Uterine prolapse was also known. 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. Having done so the man's strong and vigorous intercourse alleviated the frenzy. 37.1 (2009): 21-36. A physician in 1859 claimed that a quarter of all women suffered from hysteria, which is reasonable considering that one physician cataloged 75 pages of possible symptoms of hysteria and called the list incomplete; almost any ailment could fit the diagnosis. 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. For women, “hysterogenic zones” near the ovaries were especially sensitive areas for convulsions and tremors (Alvarado, 27). As a last resort, in the case of virgins or nuns, women considered to be suffering from hysteria would sometimes undergo “pelvic massage” manual stimulation of the genitals by the doctor until the patient experienced “ hysterical paroxysm “. [6], Through the Middle Ages, another cause of dramatic symptoms could be found: demonic possession. [11][9] Physician Abraham Zacuto writes in his Praxis Medica Admiranda from 1637, 'Because of retention of the sexual fluid, the heart and surrounding areas are enveloped in a morbid and moist exudation: this is especially true of the more lascivious females, inclined to venery, passionate women who are most eager to experience physical pleasure; if she is of this type she cannot ever be relieved by any aid except that of her parents who are advised to find her a husband. 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. 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. [11], Rachel Maines hypothesized that physicians from the classical era until the early 20th century commonly treated hysteria by manually stimulating the genitals of, i. e. masturbating, female patients to the point of orgasm, which was denominated "hysterical paroxysm", and that the inconvenience of this may have motivated the original development of and market for the vibrator. This decline has been attributed to many factors. Feminist writers such as Catherine Clément and Hélène Cixous wrote in The Newly Born Woman from a place of opposition to the theories proposed in psychoanalytical works, pushing against the notion that socially constructed femininities and hysteria are natural to being female. [27] Many cases that had previously been labeled hysteria were reclassified by Freud as anxiety neuroses. If the doctor believed that the female was gaining pleasure out of the treatment, it was immediately stopped (Starr and Aron, 377). [26], Sigmund Freud claimed that hysteria was not anything physical at all but an emotional, internal affliction that could affect both males and females, which was caused by previous trauma that led to the afflicted being unable to enjoy sex in the normal way. Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. However, if these methods did not work, the alternative and most extreme explanations would be of the supernatural torment of demons. [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. Mitchell believed hysteria was caused by overstimulation of the mind, which women could not tolerate because they did not have the capacity. [5] The idea stemmed from the belief that Hysteria was a kind of pre-feminist rebellion against the oppressive defined social roles placed upon women. [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). Exercise and outdoor games are also important. Even though it was categorized as a disease, hysteria's symptoms were synonymous with normal functioning female sexuality. Three kilograms of this fruit and a handful of salt should be put in a jug filled with water.The jug should be kept in the sun for a week. 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. [8] If the patient was married, this could be completed by intercourse with their spouse. What is hysteria? Lack of marriage was also thought to be the cause of most melancholy in single women, such as nuns or widows. Jean-Martin Charcot argued that hysteria derived from a neurological disorder and showed that it was more common in men than women. Other cures for female hysteria included bed rest, bland food, seclusion, refraining from mentally taxing tasks (like reading) and sensory deprivation. 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). This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. Hysterical women, who represented the great majority of cases, were cured by physical therapy (notably physio-, hydro-, and electrotherapy, and in some cases ovary compression) and 'moral' therapies (general, causal therapy, rest, isolation, hypnosis, and suggestion). [19], Frederick Hollick was a firm believer that a main cause of hysteria was licentiousness present in women. Engraving of Mesmerism, 1794. Tasca, Cecilia, Mariangela Rapetti, Mauro Giovanni Carta, and Bianca Fadda. Giovanni Matteo Ferrari da Gradi cited marriage and childbearing as a cure for the disease. Conventional therapy offers little to treat those with hysteria. "One does not need to be against womens suffrage," the London Times editorialized in 1908, "to see that some of the more violent partisans of that cause are suffering from hysteria. "[9] It was during the industrial revolution and the major development of cities and modern lifestyles that disruption of this natural appetite was thought to cause lethargy or melancholy, leading to hysteria. Avoid lying down after eating 3. Eventually, physicians would use the hand-held electric vibrator as it was quicker and prevented muscle aches and pains. [28] He was convinced that deep conflicts in the mind, some concerning instinctual drives for sex and aggression, were driving the behavior of those with hysteria. 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. What most physicians in their ardor have left untouched and untreated is the hysterical psyche which gave rise to the symptom which has incapacitated the patient. Despite Victorian doctor’s acknowledgement of hysteria as an illness that can affect both men and women, the general consensus was that it still primarily affected women. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_hysteria, https://thepenningtonedition.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/victorian-remedies-of-course-its-safe/. symptoms and treatment: What is hysteria? Female Hysteria. If pleasure was obtained from them then hysteria could be cured. [9] After the 17th century, the correlation of demonic possession and hysteria were gradually discarded and instead was described as behavioral deviance, a medical issue.[10]. For centuries, female hysteria was a common medical diagnosis, with women forced to undergo treatment simply for having shown signs of shortness … 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). 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. The Behavioural Treatment of Hysteria - Volume 134 Issue 2 - Julian Bird. 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. It was a widely held belief that if hysteri… Furthermore, the term hysteria, once the focus of intensive treatment efforts and research, can scarcely be found in modern mainstream psychiatric literature. Do not eat a meal less than an hour before going to bed 4. Starr, Karen E. and Lewis Aron. Although this treatment is now recognized as mere suggestion, it did help in the development of hypnosis (Tasca et al., 114). Treatment . Doctors would sometimes apply an electrical charge to the woman’s genitals as well (Starr and Aron, 374). 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. can be given for a short time. He thought that hysteria may have been related to the unconscious mind and separate from the conscious mind or the ego. Another very obscure form of treatment for hysteria during the 1800s is that of “Mesmerism.” 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. In layman's terms, hysteria is often used to describe behavior that seems excessive and out of control. [5], Outdated diagnosis and treatment for patients with multiple symptoms of a neurological condition, Middle Ages, Renaissance, and the early modern period, Relationship with women's rights and feminism, manually stimulating the genitals of, i. e. masturbating, "Women and hysteria in the history of mental health", "Hysteria, Feminism, and Gender Revisited: The Case of the Second Wave", "Fantastically Wrong: The Theory of the Wandering Wombs That Drove Women to Madness", "Galen and the Widow: Towards a history of therapeutic masturbation in ancient gynaecology", "Doctors masturbating women as a cure for hysteria/'Victorian vibrators, "No, no, no! [11][13] This would later lead to Freud's development of the Oedipus complex, which connotes femininity as a failure, or lack of masculinity. In some cases a shockingly cold hose was used to spray patients down. [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. Treatment of Hysteria Common Treatment of Hysteria Psychotherapy is generally the treatment of choice for histrionic personality disorder. "', 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. [1] In extreme cases, the woman may have been forced to enter an insane asylum or to have undergone surgical hysterectomy. ( Log Out /  Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. [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. ( Log Out /  The selection of homeopathic medicine for hysteria is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. It was thought that demoniacal forces were attracted to those who were prone to melancholy, particularly to single women and the elderly. The aim of homeopathic medicine for hysteria is not only to treat hysteria but to address its underlying cause and individual susc… [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. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The Globus Hystericus or Globus sensation does not require any treatment but it is always intended to have prevention. [5] Especially among sex-positive feminists, who believe sexual repression and having it called hysteria is a form of oppression. Feature Image: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_hysteria, Second Image:   https://thepenningtonedition.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/victorian-remedies-of-course-its-safe/, Third Image: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_hysteria#, Fourth Image:  http://www.saracollini.org/hystericalmen/19cent.html, Fifth and Sixth Image: http://www.saracollini.org/hystericalmen/19cent.html. For instance, before the introduction of electroencephalography, epilepsy was frequently confused with hysteria. Another very obscure form of treatment for hysteria during the 1800s is that of “Mesmerism.”. There were many reasons for its decline. Regard for one’s. During this treatment, physicians would often interpret the woman’s cries of pleasure as cries of pain (Starr and Aron, 377). Physicians thought that the stress associated with the typical female life at the time caused civilized women to be both more susceptible to nervous disorders and to develop faulty reproductive tracts. 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