Deeply disheartening though it may be, the practice of labeling women "crazy" is alive and well today, and its roots are deep. As in, it's-been-happening-for-thousands-of-years-and-has-been-pretty-well-tolerated-by-most-of-society deep. Hysteria was the first mental disorder attributed to women and only women -- a catch-all for symptoms including, but by no means limited to: nervousness, hallucinations, emotional outbursts and various urges of the sexual variety more on that below. To make clear how far we've come in our understanding of women's mental health, and how far we have yet to go, here's a little trip down memory lane -- a tour of just seven of the weirdest things so-called "experts" used to believe about female hysteria. You know, in addition to it being an actual thing that existed. Ah, those pesky wombs -- never staying still, always stirring up problems. According to a comprehensive history of female hysteria compiled by researchers from the University of Cagliari in Italy, Egyptian texts dating as far back as BC argued that hysterical disorders were caused by women's wombs moving throughout their bodies. The ancient Greeks believed it, too. In the 5th century BC, Hippocrates i. Thomas Sydenham was an influential British physician who lived from the mid- to lates, and clearly thought that crazy ladies were wandering around everywhere.
At the time, before ISIS had conquered Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, the attack evoked outrage but not hysteria. But this time I can plainly hear, through the rush of words, the faint rattle of hysteria that bespeaks a screw loose somewhere. There was no instruction, no direction—there was an overwhelming stampede and hysteria. Even for Daniel Radcliffe, the rumor mill has reached Elevatorgate-levels of hysteria. I thought this was an appropriate observation and still do, despite the hysteria my saying so has ignited on the right. And Hallet lost even the coherence of hysteria and simply shrieked. No hysteria , or I will empty the water bottle on your laces! By evening Mrs.
To save this word, you'll need to log in. Wartime hysteria led to many unfair accusations of treachery. The spreading of the disease caused mass hysteria in the village. See More Recent Examples on the Web Historian Michael Bell has been investigating local vampires for over 30 years and stated that the public hysteria almost invariably occurred in the midst of savage tuberculosis outbreaks. Defend the police? Send us feedback. See More First Known Use of hysteria , in the meaning defined at sense 1 History and Etymology for hysteria New Latin, from English hysteric , adjective, from Latin hystericus , from Greek hysterikos , from hystera womb; from the Greek notion that hysteria was peculiar to women and caused by disturbances of the uterus Keep scrolling for more Learn More about hysteria Share hysteria Post the Definition of hysteria to Facebook Share the Definition of hysteria on Twitter Time Traveler for hysteria. See more words from the same year From the Editors at Merriam-Webster. The Dangerous Creation of "Limelight," Accessed 31 Aug.
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". Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for hundreds of years in Western Europe. In Western medicine hysteria was considered both common and chronic among women. The American Psychiatric Association dropped the term hysteria in Even though it was categorized as a disease, hysteria's symptoms were synonymous with normal functioning female sexuality.