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Hysteria is violent physical disorder of psychic origin. It is a type of neurosis. There are several types of hysteria: conversion hysteria and dissociative hysteria. Hysteria mainly affects young women. It usually develops in particular personalities, such as a constant need to be appreciated by those around, a tendency to be overly dramatic, exuberant, egocentric, or intolerant to frustration.


The symptoms of hysteria are generally of two orders: firstly, symptoms expressed chronically by the patient ranging from sensory disturbances to paralysis, localized muscle pain, joint or other pain, sensory disturbances such as loss of visual field, and the hearing of nonexistent sounds. Secondly, there are episodic and brutal symptoms such as malaises, seizures, movements resembling seizures, tetany, and phobias generating panic attacks. The first symptoms are subjective and the latter are often very loud and disturbing.


The diagnosis of hysteria is difficult to make since the physical symptoms can often be linked to a pathology of organic origin. The combination of a number of subjective symptoms with no apparent cause is determined by examination and is an argument that can be highly suggestive of hysteria.


The treatment of hysteria is primarily based on a psychotherapeutic care. The success of the therapy is related to the quality of the relationship between the therapist and the patient.