The Nature of Hysteria Hardcover – 7 Dec 1995
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From the Back Cover
This book is about the nature of medicine's oldest and most controversial disease, hysteria, and why it has been the source of so much deception and uncertainty. Following a short account of the history of hysteria, the author approaches the subject by way of its psychological rather than its clinical appearances and looks into the background of hysteria in myth. Niel Micklem argues that it is the 'myth' of hysteria that has set the changing patterns of this disease over a period of nearly four thousand years. Sex and suffocation have always been prominent in this myth, which bears a striking likeness to aspects of the Myth of Eleusis; but equally striking is the unexpected and highly significant difference between these myths. Contrasting the two throws light on the nature of hysteria and its protean elusiveness. The focus of attention in this book, therefore, is not on what the signs and symptoms say about hysteria, but on the image of hysteria and what that has to say about the signs and symptoms. The results are revealing as to why hysteria is the cause of so much controversy and why it is something more than we understand by the word illness.
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