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November 1919

HYSTERIA IN THE LIGHT OF THE EXPERIENCE OF WAR

Author Affiliations

Physician and Neurologist to Guy's Hospital LONDON, ENGLAND

Arch NeurPsych. 1919;2(5):562-572. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1919.02180110072006
Abstract

The war afforded an opportunity such as had never occurred before for investigating hysteria in men. The lessons we have learned can be applied to the elucidation of many of the problems presented by the hysteria of civil life. In this paper I shall attempt to explain the new conception of hysteria which I have been led to adopt as a result of three years of intensive study of the war neuroses.

I begin by proposing a new definition of hysteria:

Hysteria is a condition in which symptoms are present, that have been produced by suggestion and are curable by psychotherapy.

This definition differs from all others in not recognizing an hysterical condition apart from the presence of definite hysterical symptoms. Charcot believed that hysteria manifested itself in two ways: by the symptoms that were obvious to the patient and about which he complained, and by physical and mental stigmata

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