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March 1974

The Hysterical Personality: A Controlled Study

Author Affiliations

White Plains, NY
From the Department of Psychiatry, New York Hospital, Westchester Division, Cornell University Medical College, White Plains, NY. Drs. Slavney and McHugh are currently with the Department of Psychiatry, the University of Oregon Medical School, Portland.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(3):325-329. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760090041007

In this study a group of psychiatric inpatients with the diagnosis of hysterical personality (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, ed 2) was compared to a control inpatient population. The index patients were young women who differed significantly from the controls in several ways, especially the occurrence of depressive symptoms, with or without suicide attempts. On the other hand, important differences were not found in many areas thought by others to be of consequence.

Even though there was a high incidence of depressive symptoms, the index patients were not treated as if they were suffering from depressive syndromes primarily, but rather that their symptoms were expressions of traits of emotional instability and self-dramatization.

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