12-06-2016, 04:28 PM
Hysteria, in the colloquial use of the term, means ungovernable emotional excess. Generally, modern medical professionals have abandoned using the term "hysteria" to denote a diagnostic category, replacing it with more precisely defined categories, such as somatization disorder. In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association officially changed the diagnosis of "hysterical neurosis, conversion type" (the most extreme and effective type) to "conversion disorder".
The word "hysteria" originates from the Greek word for uterus: hystera. Historically, hysteria has referred to a disease exclusive to women, and references as far back as 2000 BC have been made to similar versions of this condition. Hysteria was thought to manifest itself in women with a variety of symptoms, including: anxiety, shortness of breath, fainting, insomnia, irritability, nervousness, as well as sexually forward behaviour. These symptoms mimic symptoms of other more definable diseases and create a case for arguing the validity of Hysteria as an actual disease, and it is often implied that it is a term used to describe an indefinable illness. Through to the 20th century, however, Hysteria came to be recognized as a mental, rather than uterine or physical, affliction. We now know it by a variety of mental illnesses and anxieties that both men and women can suffer from, and hysteria is no longer thought of as a real ailment
Through its lack of use as a medical diagnosis the term ‘hysteria’ now has connotations of mass panic, imagined or real. The term hysterical when applied to a singular person can mean that they are emotional or irrationally upset; when applied to a situation, it denotes it as funny.