Female Hysteria: Pseudoscientific Mental Disorder

Sunday, 22 July 2012 0 comments

Female Hysteria: Pseudoscientific Mental Disorder
One of the craziest mental disorder in this weird world. It is quite apparent, however, that psychiatry has been used to stigmatize and control people on many occasions since its inception, especially nonconformists, free thinkers and those at odds with authority.


Hysteria was a common diagnosis for feisty and disobedient women, dating back to Ancient Greece. Greek philosophers, including Hippocrates and Plato, viewed the womb as a living creature that wandered through a woman’s body, often causing disease. In fact, the word “hysteria” is derived from the Greek word for uterus (hysteria). Insomnia, nervousness, irritability, loss of appetite, fluid retention, muscle spasms and many other symptoms were said to result from the wandering womb. Though hysteria was a common diagnosis for nuns, virgins and widows throughout the Middle Ages, the disease truly exploded in 19th century America and Europe, creating a huge market for vibrators, douches and similar devices. One physician, in 1859, even claimed a quarter of all women suffered from hysteria, while another compiled a 75 page list of hysteria symptoms, only to state it was still incomplete. The most common prescriptions for hysteria were, of course, sex and masturbation, sometimes performed by the doctor himself, until the patient experienced “hysterical paroxysm” (orgasm).

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