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February 1980

The Oklahoma Complex: A Common Form of Conversion Hysteria

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Dr Caplan) and Psychiatry (Dr Nadelson), Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston. Dr Caplan is now with Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago.

Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(2):185-186. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330140043016

• Hysteria is not a homogeneous illness. Some patients with symptoms of apparent neurological dysfunction develop a disability because they cannot cope with life's demands. This article calls attention to several hysterical patients who share similar histories. Treatment by a nonpsychiatric physician in these three cases consisted of simple emotional support and easing of responsibilities, ie, saying no for the patient. Recognition of the psychological state of some patients with hysterical symptoms, and administration of treatment that eases environmental stresses, can be effective.

(Arch Intern Med 140:185-186, 1980)