Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Of Hysterics

How true that while distress, trauma and dysfunctional behavior are still very common, the term "hysteria" to describe the condition is no longer popular.

Hysteria seemed to be a vanished 19th-century extravagance useful for literary analysis but surely out of place in the serious reaches of contemporary science.

There is something quaint and antiquated about the word though the idea is now represented by a range of euphemisms that are meant to be more politically correct and gender neutral.

Unofficially, a host of inoffensive synonyms for “hysterical” have appeared: functional, nonorganic, psychogenic, medically unexplained.

Clearly, killing the messenger has not helped.

Throughout that cloud of shifting nomenclature, people have kept getting sick. “The symptoms themselves have never changed,” said Patrik Vuilleumier, a neurologist at the University of Geneva. “They are still common in practice.”


Ek Umeed said...

Dear Heartcrossings:

I recently discovered your blog, and I must say that I am very impressed. Your blog is "one of a kind," and I do not say that either with subtle derision or lightness. Instead, the remark stands as the highest form of compliment I have paid anybody on the blogging scene.

Your postings have an intellectual flair; and they carry a rich writing style that is uniquely your signature. Nonetheless, I must confess that I enjoyed reading your blogs on the subject matter of relationships and "desi" culture the most; perhaps because I was able to identify with what you had written on those topics, I wanted to ask you to write more on the same whenenever you next get the chance and/or feel the inclination.

Ek Umeed :)

Heartcrossings said...

Ek Umeed - Thank you for stopping by and your generous comments on my writing. I do have a series in mind on relationships viewed from a distance. Watch this space :)