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Unformatted text preview: ing very illustrious men, such as Janet
and Marie, who paid the first scientific attention to the disease. Under their analyses hysteria was defined as a
mental disease in which certain symptoms appeared prominently.
1. Charcot especially paid attention to what are known as the attacks. The hysteric patient (usually a woman,
and so we shall speak of the patient as "she") under emotional stress and strain, following a quarrel or a
disagreement or perhaps some disagreeable, humiliating situation, shows alarming symptoms. Perhaps she
falls (never in a way to injure herself) to the floor and apparently loses consciousness, closes her eyes, rolls
her head from side to side, moans, clenches her fists, lifts her body from the floor so that it rests on head and
heels (opisthotonic hysteria), shrieks now and then and altogether presents a terrifying spectacle. Or else she
twitches all over, weeps, moans, laughs and shouts, and rushes around the room, beating her head on the
walls; or she may lie or stand in a very dramatic pose, perhaps indicating passion or fear or anger. The attacks
are characterized by a few main peculiarities, which are that the patient usually has had an emotional upset or
is in some disagreeable situation, that she does not hurt herself by her falls, that consciousness is never
completely abolished and fluctuates so that now she seems almost "awake" and then she seems almost in a
complete stupor, and that the expression of emotion in the attack is often very prominent. These symptoms are
readily differentiated from what is seen in epilepsy.
 The French writers of the school of Babinski deny that the above symptom and even the majority of the
following have a real existence in hysteria. The English, American and German neurologists and the rest of
the French school describe hysteria substantially as I am here describing it.
2. The hysteric paralyses which are featured in all the literatures of the world are curious manifestations and...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11