Since there are many elements to what defined “hysteria” both then and now, its definition, diagnosis, and treatment has drastically changed especially over recent time.
Over two thousand years ago hysteria derived its namesake from a Greek guy, Hippopotamus MD who announced sometime around 400 BC that “hysterikos” meant that women were emotionally unstable due to their uterus wandering around their belly searching for children. Or something like that.
I would like to say that much of the medical world still doles out similar theories.
Interestingly, Greek for uterus is “hystera”. Another ancient Greek whose medical observations and ideas, many of which were considered INFALLIBLE for up to 1200 years afterward, was Galen. His principle of hysteria was that women who had symptoms of restlessness and anxiety were inflicted because of sexual deprivation.
Female hysteria was then treated in the 19th century (not that long ago) by doctors administering, yep, massages to the pelvic reigons of the afflicted ladies until the patients were freed from their stress. Doctors worldwide did a collective high-five when AC power was developed.
So…I liken these rationales to the way conditions like ADD and ADHD are diagnosed today.
There is no standard test for diagnosing attention deficit. None. No model or solid criteria documented that a person can base their behavior on to determine if they have such a conditon. NONE.
What’s considered “problem behavior” is a very general laundry list that could be attributed to many kids as symptoms of ADHD ranging from restlessness and lack of attention, to aggression and boredom.
It’s been reported that ADHD cases have risen over 500% in the last 10 years. Is there something new in the water or are kids chewing paint chips, huffing felt pens, hanging out by the power lines or what? Makes you wonder what’s been going on the last decade.
Makes me wonder if these doctors are in bed with some pill factories and they’re creating a global ailment so they can hawk more drugs to parents who can’t seem to find the answer to why their kids are all such keen manipulators who need people skills. Back in my day, ADHD was a kid who stayed after, or maybe repeated the 8th grade. Not a pill-munching little robot who has “chemical imbalances and needs his medicine”. Get him off the Playstation and get him outside, go play with bugs or chase girls or just loiter somewhere. Loitering is a very underrated method of social interaction.
Many people believe that ADHD is a fabricated condition. Mental diseases only seem to occur when doctors have no explanation for what’s happening. If a kid won’t sit still in class, talks out of turn, would rather draw pictures than pay attention, we just dope them and watch. Rhesus students.
Though I can imagine how much easier it is to park little Timmy in front the Cartoon Network when he’s chewing Ritalin.
Maybe if we listened to our kids, supported them and loved them, there might be a drop in the cases of ADHD and female hysteria. Maybe.
p.s. Before kids started taking so many drugs from the pediatrics ward, there were far less school shootings. Where’s the study on that?