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Excess, ungovernable emotion / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Hysteria is a term used colloquially to mean ungovernable emotional excess and can refer to a temporary state of mind or emotion.[1] In the nineteenth century, female hysteria was considered a diagnosable physical illness in women. It is assumed that the basis for diagnosis operated under the belief that women are predisposed to mental and behavioral conditions; an interpretation of sex-related differences in stress responses.[2] In the twentieth century, it shifted to being considered a mental illness.[3] Many influential people such as Sigmund Freud and Jean-Martin Charcot dedicated research to hysteria patients.[4]

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An 1893 depiction of a woman with hysteria

Currently, most doctors practicing medicine do not accept hysteria as a medical diagnosis.[5] The blanket diagnosis of hysteria has been fragmented into myriad medical categories such as epilepsy, histrionic personality disorder, conversion disorders, dissociative disorders, or other medical conditions.[5][6] Furthermore, lifestyle choices, such as choosing not to wed, are no longer considered symptoms of psychological disorders such as hysteria.[5]