Hysteria colloquially means ungovernable emotional excess.[1] Generally, modern medical professionals have abandoned using the term "hysteria" to denote a diagnostic category, replacing it with more precisely defined categories, such as somatization disorder.[2] In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association officially changed the diagnosis of "hysterical neurosis, conversion type" to "conversion disorder".


While the word hysteria originates from the Greek word for uterus, hystera (ὑστέρα), the word itself is not an ancient one, and the term "hysterical suffocation" – meaning a feeling of heat and inability to breathe, was instead used in ancient Greek medicine. The Greeks believed that the uterus moves through a woman's body, eventually strangling her and inducing disease.[3] This suggests an entirely physical cause for the symptoms but, by linking them to the uterus, suggests that the disorder can only be found in women.[4]

Historically, hysteria was thought to manifest itself in women (female hysteria) with a variety of symptoms, including: anxiety, shortness of breath, fainting, insomnia, irritability, nervousness, as well as sexually forward behaviour.[5] These symptoms mimic symptoms of other more definable diseases and create a case for arguing against the validity of hysteria as an actual disease, and it is often implied that it is an umbrella term for an indefinable illness.[4] One of the early definitive works on hysteria was Paul Briquet's study involving 400 hysterical patients from 1849 to 1859.[6]

Other Languages
العربية: هستيريا
asturianu: Histeria
беларуская: Істэрыя
български: Хистерия
bosanski: Histerija
čeština: Hysterie
dansk: Hysteri
Deutsch: Hysterie
ދިވެހިބަސް: ހިސްޓީރިޔާ
eesti: Hüsteeria
Ελληνικά: Υστερία
español: Histeria
Esperanto: Histerio
euskara: Histeria
فارسی: هیستری
français: Hystérie
Gaeilge: Histéire
한국어: 히스테리
հայերեն: Հիստերիա
हिन्दी: हिस्टीरिया
hrvatski: Histerija
íslenska: Sefasýki
italiano: Isteria
עברית: היסטריה
қазақша: Истерия
kurdî: Hîsterî
Кыргызча: Истерия
македонски: Хистерија
Bahasa Melayu: Histeria
Nederlands: Hysterie
नेपाली: हिस्टेरिया
日本語: ヒステリー
norsk: Hysteri
polski: Histeria
português: Histeria
română: Isterie
русский: Истерия
shqip: Histeria
සිංහල: මායා රෝගය
Simple English: Hysteria
slovenčina: Hystéria
српски / srpski: Хистерија
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Histerija
suomi: Hysteria
svenska: Hysteri
Tagalog: Histerya
Türkçe: Histeri
українська: Істерія
Tiếng Việt: Hysteria
文言: 癔病
中文: 歇斯底里