Hysteria is a mental illness which occasionally misdiagnosed as a physical problem. This happens because it shows some physical symptoms such as paralysis of limbs, numbness or tickling sensation, headache and more severe symptoms like heart pain and unconsciousness.
Ancient Greek physicians have described hysteria as “animal inside an animal” which means a hysterical person often complains that something is moving inside his body.
Important facts about hysteria disorder:
- The first thumb rule is that it is not a physical problem. There is nothing wrong either in the body or brain.
- Hysteria is normally known as female hysteria because it is more common in female than male.
- The overflow of emotions can lead to hysteria.
- It is mostly female related disorder but can happen to male also.
- Females with the age group of 18-25 years and menopausal age, which is 45-55 years, are more prone to it.
- It is most common with middle-class families and very much uncommon in hard-working poor families like farmer and laborer families
- It is much uncommon in developed countries.
- A Roman physician named Galen had produced the theory which states that hysteria is more common with virgin/saint or widow women.
- In today’s textbook, most of the hysterical symptoms are described as anxiety attack, schizophrenia, neurosis, depression, etc.
Causes of hysteria:
- It has been found that hysteria is more common in women rather than men. The reason behind it may be the male-dominated society. Due to the male domination, emotions or desires of females are not listened. So the outburst of these suppressed and ignored emotions cause hysteria. A sick person always able to find attention that’s why a suppressed and depressed women’s subconscious mind pretend to be sick for seeking attention.
- Hysteria is common with middle-class families because in a middle-class family women have to behave in certain ways. Women are not allowed to freely express their desires. Whereas women of extreme lower class and upper class have these freedoms. These boundaries of do’s and don’ts build negative pressure inside the body, which results in hysterical Symptoms.
- Again hysteria is common in saint or widow women because, in human society, sex is prohibited for them. Sexual desire is a natural desire of living being. That’s forceful sacrifice of sex due to social boundaries cause hysterical symptoms.
- Heredity – Although hysteria is not a hereditary disease but, nervous family background and faulty emotional training of young individual can lead towards future hysterical behavior.
- All the above causes if happen with the man, he can also suffer from hysteria too. Depressed, suppressed and virgin man due to rules and regulation forced by the society can suffer from hysteria.
Following symptoms, most of the time happens in between the crowd, family function and social gatherings.
- Unusual fatigue
- Faintness or unconsciousness, which usually happens in the crowd.
- Sudden, wild and painful cry
- Unusual laugh
- Headache/ backache
- Numbness of extremities
- Feeling that something is inside the body
- Dual personality, different personality usually arises during family functions. Like possession with good or bad sprits. (devi aana, purvaj aana or bhut pret lagna)
- Mood swings and emotional instability
- Increased or decreased sexual desire
- Loss of appetite
- A tendency to cause trouble
Other known term for mass hysteria is collective obsession behavior. It is a phenomenon where a large number of people of a society behave in a hysterical manner due to threat or rumor. In medical science, it refers to the same physical symptoms with psychological reasons more than one person at the same time. Phenomena of Mass hysteria are common from the ancient world to today’s world. It is often related to supernatural activities. Some famous mass hysteria cases are:
- Cat nun (15th century) – Some nuns suddenly started to meow like a cat, eventually, other nuns also started meowing. This phenomenon ran from months and caused panic in church. Even some people related it with possession with the bad spirit.
- Nun bite (15th century) – One nun start biting her companions, eventually, other nuns also start biting of other nuns. This phenomenon ran from days to months and spread all over Germany, Holland to Italy.
- Dancing plaque (15th century) – Over 400 people starting dancing without taking rest. Some of them even died due to cardiac stroke, dehydration, and exhaustion.
Recent day’s cases of mass hysteria:
- Mumbai sweet water incidence (2006) – Residents of Mumbai claimed that water of Mahim creek suddenly turned sweet. Most of the people claimed it the miracle of God.
- Hindu milk miracle (1995 -2001-2006)- Hindu devotees believed that the statue of Ganesha is drinking milk. This rumor started from Mumbai based Sidhi Vinayak temple then spread all over India.
- Monkey man of Delhi (May 2001)- Reports came from New Delhi that big monkey-like creature is attacking humans. Some people claimed that they have seen that monkey like creature. But the picture of big monkey never came on camera or print media.
- Cut of hair (chhoti kaatna) (June-July 2017)- Lots of women complained some creature had cut their hair while sleeping. Rumor spread all over India. There are more than 200 cases of the haircut.
Today’s hysteria is not a medical term. All the symptoms which collectively known as hysteria is treated with a different approach. In a broader spectrum, symptoms are divided into two types, one is dissociative disorder and other is somatoform disorder.
Dissociative disorders are that type of psychological disorders which interrupt consciousness, identity, and memory. In common words, the dissociative disorder is where the person is confused with who is he, where he belongs and other things.
Somatoform disorders are the type of psychological disorders which manifest physical problems without physical origins, such as chest pain, numbness in extremities etc.
- Medical treatment- Medical treatment of it depends upon the type of dissociative and somatoform disorder. Medication for depression, anxiety and hallucination also used.
- Psychotherapy- An Austrian psychotherapist Dr. Freud provided a theory that ‘simply talking to the patient and listening to them reduces the significant number of hysterical attack. He named it talking cure. This therapy is one of best psychotherapy method and still in practice with the name of “talk therapy”, in respect to Dr. Freud.
- Ayurveda treatment: Hysteria has been described as smarounmad in samhita. When vaat raj and tam causes a disturbance in manovahini strotas it leads towards unmad. Here raj is decoded as the root cause of anxiety and tam is behind the depression. Manovah strotas is the emotional and mental disturbance. So according to Ayurveda, hysteria is the expression of mental- emotional disturbance which causes due to depression and anxiety. Treatment according to Ayurveda is the mood enhancer, confidence buildup and emotional stability.
Home remedies for hysteria:
- Honey– Honey is a good mood enhancer as well as provides maximum nutrition to the body. So make a habit of taking 2 spoons Honey with normal water in the morning.
- Lettuce (asparagus lettuce)- Take 50 ml juice of lettuce for 30 days on empty stomach. It does not directly treat hysteria but detoxifies the body and provides nourishment.
- Basil (Tulsi)– All types of basil provide mental relaxation. Smell of basil and tea of basil both causes mental relaxation.
- Ashwgandha ( withania somnifera or Indian ginseng)- Ayurveda uses this drug for nourishment and weight building. Proper nourishment of body decreases anxiety.
- Sarpgandha (rauvolfia serpentine) – It is anciently used to treat all types of mental condition. It decreases the mechanism of depression and causes sleep and relaxation.
Above article is only for information purpose. Please consult your physician or contact us before using any herbal and ayurvedic medicine. Not all metal problems result with hysteria so do not get towards the conclusion by reading the above article. Please feel free to contact us for any quires. Your massage, mobile number and email id will remain confidential.