Kemo D. (kemo_d7) wrote,
Kemo D.

  • Mood:


 Instant Paralysis with an Instant Cure
The word “hysteria” derives from the Greek word for womb, and for centuries the condition was thought to be a feminine affliction arising from bad uterine humors.

Women hysterics outnumber men six to one for reasons yet unknown. What is known is that the womb plays no role. 

Many neurological conditions, including migraine and multiple sclerosis, afflict women disproportionately. The ovaries and the hormones they produce or the double X chromosomes are more likely culprits.
Today hysteria is known by the more palatable but still inaccurate moniker “conversion disorder.” 

It manifests acutely in the form of blindness, paralysis, even coma, with no apparent organic disease.
Although many hysterics complain of mental distress, recent neurophysiologic evidence from PET scans and functional MRIs suggests that the malady may be akin to a seizure initiated by the frontal lobes, and so is a condition of the brain as well as the mind. Some people may have a vulnerability to this kind of response to stress.
Conversion paralysis is very different from willful malingering because the hysterical patients really believe they cannot move.
The solution’s impressive amber hue suggests to the patient that some “real medicine” is being administered. This is one aspect of hysterical paralysis that still smacks of a psychiatric origin: Patients must be convinced that they are being treated as if they have an organic disease. Simply telling them they are imagining things doesn’t work very well.
There is an old adage: Neurology is what you do while you are waiting for the films to be developed. Physicians rely too heavily on imaging machines.

Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)
Tags: psychology, science
Comments for this post were disabled by the author