Hysteria: History and Critiques

Santosh K. Chaturvedi, Soumya Parameshwaran

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Hysteria, as a disorder, has been noted since ancient times, has been a condition difficult to understand, explain, and manage. As the ages have gone by, different explanations have been propounded, the most popular being the psychoanalytical explanations. However, the term hysteria went into disrepute and has been replaced by conversion and dissociation symptoms, which unfortunately, are rather inadequate. Hysteria is also considered a form of abnormal illness behavior, and current biological research is exploring the pathophysiology underlying hysteria. The varied presentations, course and outcome, make hysteria a rather charmingly difficult condition to treat. The revisions of the current diagnostic systems, International Classification of Diseases of the WHO, and the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders are likely to propose some clinically relevant modifications in the diagnostic criteria of what was once considered as Hysteria.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
Publication statusPublished - 26-03-2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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