In some cases a shockingly cold hose was used to spray patients down. 2014. 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. Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. 1) Rachel P. Maines, The Technology of Orgasm (2001): Study of how "vibrator" developed as a treatment for female hysteria. 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. 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. 1860. Another very obscure form of treatment for hysteria during the 1800s is that of “Mesmerism.”. In layman's terms, hysteria is often used to describe behavior that seems excessive and out of control. Treatment of Hysteria. [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). Proper education should be provided and a married patient should be taught to enjoy a normal relationship. George Mason University. [29], Today, female hysteria is no longer a recognized illness, but different manifestations of hysteria are recognized in other conditions such as schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, conversion disorder, and anxiety attacks.[30]. physical welfare is of primary importance. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. 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. Treatment for Female Hysteria The prescription to this disease in was intercourse. [6], Through the Middle Ages, another cause of dramatic symptoms could be found: demonic possession. Eventually, physicians would use the hand-held electric vibrator as it was quicker and prevented muscle aches and pains. [1] It is no longer recognized by medical authorities as a medical disorder. Tasca, Cecilia, Mariangela Rapetti, Mauro Giovanni Carta, and Bianca Fadda. [18] One American physician expressed pleasure in the fact that the country was "catching up" to Europe in the prevalence of hysteria. Treatment . The common treatments for female hysteria also reflect the gender relationships of the times when the "condition" was prevalent. 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. 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 “. [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. Charcot's use of photography, and the resulting concretization of women's expressions of he… As mentioned in earlier posts, the Victorian era still mainly associated hysteria with women, and therefore most forms of treatment related to them, and not men. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. A healthy, well-functioning body is best able to keep. The aim of homeopathic medicine for hysteria is not only to treat hysteria but to address its underlying cause and individual susc… Painkillers for symptoms of backache, body-ache, headache etc. [1] In extreme cases, the woman may have been forced to enter an insane asylum or to have undergone surgical hysterectomy. Some believe that other physicians started to apply the vibrator for the treatment of hysteria, but this claim is under dispute, with Lieberman and Schatzberg writing that Maines "fails to cite a single source that openly describes use of the vibrator to massage the clitoral area". 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". [5] He also denied that the womb could "move from one place to another like a wandering animal". “Women and Hysteria in the History of Mental Health.”Clinical Practise and Epidemiology in Mental Health: CP and EMH. Skip to main content Accessibility help We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites. 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. 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. Although this treatment is now recognized as mere suggestion, it did help in the development of hypnosis (Tasca et al., 114). This decline has been attributed to many factors. April 4th 2016. Remedies for Hysteria Hysteria Treatment Using Jambul. 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). 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. 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. Many doctors find these patients irritat­ing. Engraving of Mesmerism, 1794. [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. The Behavioural Treatment of Hysteria - Volume 134 Issue 2 - Julian Bird. He thought that hysteria may have been related to the unconscious mind and separate from the conscious mind or the ego. Fortunately, a reliable, socially acceptable treatment appeared., ven 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. Jean-Martin Charcotargued that hysteria derived from a neurological disorder and showed that it was more common in men than women. Hysteria Treatment Using Lettuce: Lettuce is considered valuable in treating hysteria. Other cures for female hysteria included bed rest, bland food, seclusion, refraining from mentally taxing tasks (like reading) and sensory deprivation. 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. Female Hysteria was once considered a medical diagnosis for a long time and patients were treated actively with proper medication and other management techniques. Alvarado, Carlos S. “Nineteenth-Century Hysteria and Hypnosis: A Historical Note on Blanche Wittmann.” Australian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. ( Log Out /  Do not eat a meal less than an hour before going to bed 4. But there are certain principles that can be followed. One of the more popular methods of curing hysteria during the era is that of hypnosis. [3] As diagnostic techniques improved, the number of ambiguous cases that might have been attributed to hysteria declined. [8] If the patient was married, this could be completed by intercourse with their spouse. Victorians didn't invent the vibrator", "A failure of academic quality control: The Technology of Orgasm", "The History of Hysteria: Sexism in Diagnosis",, Historical and obsolete mental and behavioural disorders, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 7 January 2021, at 14:02. Starr, Karen E. and Lewis Aron. The preferred treatments, however, was still married intercourse, as well as vaginal massaging techniques. Web. However, for patients with perceived mental illness and hysteria a cold bath was given instead. [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. [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. In fact, doctors did not believe that pleasure had anything to do with it, as it was assumed that women were sexless creatures. Feature Image:, Second Image:, Third Image:, Fourth Image:, Fifth and Sixth Image: The most vehement negative statements associating feminism with hysteria came during the militant suffrage campaign. Presupposition: hysteria as illness based on the "blockage" of certain fluids released upon orgasm; treatment as physically instigating orgasm in order to break through this "blockage" and initiate healthy "flow" of fluids. Almost every form of treatment somehow relates to the maternal roles that women play. ( Log Out /  To help hysterical patients it is essential to have sympathy for them. "', 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, Patriarchy, and the Invention of the Vibrator. Female Hysteria. 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. Another means of “treating” instances of hysteria was through mesmerism, an alleged psychosomatic therapy popularized by Franz Anton Mesmer, … Saul, Jennifer M. “On Treating Things as People: Objectification, Pornography, and the Invention of the Vibrator.” Hypatia. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for hundreds of years in Western Europe. Foul smells applied to the nose would drive it down, and pleasant scents at the vulva would attract it. [11][13] This would later lead to Freud's development of the Oedipus complex, which connotes femininity as a failure, or lack of masculinity. 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. [4] Uterine prolapse was also known. Change ). In this case, can help psychotherapy, belief, hypnosis. 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. Eventually, physicians would use the hand-held electric vibrator as it was quicker and prevented muscle aches and pains. physician Franz Mesmer, the treatment involves a mixture of hypnosis and “animal magnetism” in order to cure a woman of her hysterical behaviour. Regard for one’s. [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! 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). Exercise and outdoor games are also important. 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. The selection of homeopathic medicine for hysteria is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. [13] Charcot's use of photography,[14] and the resulting concretization of women's expressions of health and distress, continued to influence women's experiences of seeking healthcare. 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. As prescribed by a doctor can be applied restorative drugs. Create a free website or blog at 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. [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. 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. 8 (2012): 110-119. For women, “hysterogenic zones” near the ovaries were especially sensitive areas for convulsions and tremors (Alvarado, 27). For physicians, manual massage treatment was becoming laborious and time-consuming, and they were seeking a way to increase productivity. Giovanni Matteo Ferrari da Gradi cited marriage and childbearing as a cure for the disease. If pleasure was obtained from them then hysteria could be cured. Hysterical Men: Gender and American Medical Discourse, 1840-1898. It was thought that demoniacal forces were attracted to those who were prone to melancholy, particularly to single women and the elderly. [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. For instance, before the introduction of electroencephalography, epilepsy was frequently confused with hysteria. It is mental instability, fits of anger, anxiety; Things that actually happen when you get sick or hurt. [15] Though older ideas persisted during this era, over time female hysteria began to be thought of less as a physical ailment and more of a psychological one. 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. Mitchell believed hysteria was caused by overstimulation of the mind, which women could not tolerate because they did not have the capacity. 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). 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. 43.4 (2016): 277- 287. The American Psychiatric Association dropped the term hysteria in 1952. [25], With so many possible symptoms, historically hysteria was considered a catchall diagnosis where any unidentifiable ailment could be assigned. [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 account. [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. 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. 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. “Sexual Trauma at the Salpetriere.” Journal of Psychohistory. Victorian treatments for hysteria. [5] Especially among sex-positive feminists, who believe sexual repression and having it called hysteria is a form of oppression. Electronic. 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. ( Log Out /  Treatment of Hysteria Common Treatment of Hysteria Psychotherapy is generally the treatment of choice for histrionic personality disorder. Lack of marriage was also thought to be the cause of most melancholy in single women, such as nuns or widows. symptoms and treatment: What is hysteria? Some medical authors claim that the decline was due to gaining a greater understanding of the psychology behind conversion disorders such as hysteria. 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). Ross, Colin. Some physicians regarded all contraceptive practices as injurious to women for this reason. “Women on the Couch: Genital Stimulation and the Birth of Psychoanalysis.” Psychoanalytic Dialogues. 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. [19], Frederick Hollick was a firm believer that a main cause of hysteria was licentiousness present in women. Avoid or minimize the intake of spicy, greasy and fatty foods 2. However, if these methods did not work, the alternative and most extreme explanations would be of the supernatural torment of demons. In the mid-19th century, Silas Weir Mitchell created the “rest cure” as a treatment of hysteria. Doctors would sometimes apply an electrical charge to the woman’s genitals as well (Starr and Aron, 374). He dispelled the beliefs that hysteria had anything to do with the supernatural and attempted to define it medically. There is much history to the definition and diagnosis of hysteria.Explore the beginnings of hysteria in Greece through animal magnetism, vibrators, and, finally, shell shock in World War I. . Charcot also believed that the body contained “hysterogenic zones,” that when touched would activate spasms or convulsions (Collini). Note “Prevention is better than cure”, there is a recommended diet for Globus patient such as the following; 1. Yes, uterine or gynecologicals massage was exactly what you think it … Drugs like antidepressants or anxiolytics can be tried if depression or anxiety co-exists. [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. He dispelled the beliefs that hysteria had anything to do with the supernatural and attempted to define it medically. [2], The history of hysteria can be traced to ancient times. "[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. Water massages as a treatment for hysteria, ca. [5], While most Hippocratic writers saw the retention of menstrual blood in the womb as a key problem, for Galen even more serious was the retention of "female seed". 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. Female hysteria was once a common medical diagnosis for women, which was described as exhibiting a wide array of symptoms, including anxiety, shortness of breath, fainting, nervousness, sexual desire, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in the abdomen, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, (paradoxically) sexually forward behaviour, and a "tendency to cause trouble for others". [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. 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). [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. No one method can be recommended unqualifiedly. The Globus Hystericus or Globus sensation does not require any treatment but it is always intended to have prevention. [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. Furthermore, the term hysteria, once the focus of intensive treatment efforts and research, can scarcely be found in modern mainstream psychiatric literature. [11] If a woman was unmarried, or widowed, manual stimulation by a midwife involving certain oils and scents was recommended to purge the uterus of any fluid retention. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Electronic. [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. 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. Management of Hysteria. In the 18th century, hysteria slowly became associated with mechanisms in the brain rather than the uterus. If the doctor believed that the female was gaining pleasure out of the treatment, it was immediately stopped (Starr and Aron, 377). Self-treatment such as masturbation, was not recommended and was also considered taboo. 21 (2011): 373-392. ( Log Out /  [24], During the early 20th century, the number of women diagnosed with female hysteria sharply declined. Freud developed psychoanalysis in order to help patients that had been diagnosed with hysteria reduce internal conflicts causing physical and emotional suffering. [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. ', There was continued debate about whether it was morally acceptable for a physician to remove excess female seed through genital manipulation of the female patient; Pieter van Foreest (Forestus) and Giovanni Matteo da Grado (Gradus) insisted on using midwives as intermediaries, and regarded the treatment as the last resort.[12]. While hysteria was reframed with reference to new laws and was new in principle, its recommended treatment in psychoanalysis would remain what Bernheimer observes it had been for centuries: marrying and having babies and in this way regaining the "lost" phallus. The Victorian era saw a wide variety of cures and treatments for hysteria, some of which were extremely bizarre. Electronic. What is hysteria? [26] Sigmund Freud was fascinated by cases of 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. Electronic. Hysteria is curable in nearly all cases. 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. For centuries, female hysteria was a common medical diagnosis, with women forced to undergo treatment simply for having shown signs of shortness … [16], George Beard, a physician who cataloged an incomplete list including 75 pages of possible symptoms of hysteria,[17] claimed that almost any ailment could fit the diagnosis. Dating back to 1900 BC in ancient Egypt, the first descriptions of hysteria within the female body were found recorded on the Kahun Papyri. 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. [5] The standard cure for this "hysterical suffocation" was scent therapy, in which good smells were placed under a woman's genitals and bad odors at the nose, while sneezing could be also induced to drive the uterus back to its correct place. 21.2 (2006): 45-61. [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. [9] At the time female patients sought medical practitioners for the massage treatment of hysteria. [5] The concept of a pathological "wandering womb" was later viewed as the source of the term hysteria,[6] which stems from the Greek cognate of uterus, ὑστέρα (hystera), although the word hysteria does not feature in ancient Greek medicine: 'the noun is not used in this period'. Since the causes of hysteria are both physical and. Although this treatment is now recognized as mere suggestion, it did help in the development of hypnosis (Tasca et al., 114). [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.