Homeopathy for Hysteria
Hysteria is a diagnostic label applied to a state of mind, one of unmanageable fear or emotional excesses. The fear is often centered on a body part, most often on an imagined problem with that body part (disease is a common complaint). People who are "hysterical" often lose self-control due to the overwhelming fear.t is a neurotic disorder characterized by a wide variety of somatic and mental symptoms resulting from dissociation, typically beginning during adolescence or early adulthood and occurring more commonly in women than men.
Hysteria, in its colloquial use, describes unmanageable emotional excesses. People who are "hysterical" often lose self-control due to an overwhelming fear that may be caused by multiple events in one's past that involved some sort of severe conflict; the fear can be centered on a body part or, most commonly, on an imagined problem with that body part.
Hysteria can be described as a type of psychoneurosis (minor mental health problem) causing emotional excitability, such as fear or panic, and disturbance of the sensory, motor and psychic functions of humans. It is described as an overwhelming and unmanageable excitable behavior and has no organic basis.
Medically, the term hysteria is no longer used. The disorder is broadly divided two: somatization disorder and histrionic personality disorder. The father of medicine – Hippocrates gave hysteria its name, as he thought it was limited to women and was somehow connected to the movements of the uterus (wandering uterus); in Greek the word for uterus is ‘hystera’.
Causes of Hysteria:
- Past trauma
- Undue stress
- History of abuse
- Another theory proposed to be a cause of hysteria is repression of sexual or aggressive behavior, which could have brought on a conversion disorder
- Sexual repression
- Excessive idleness
- Heredity factors
- Family history of nervousness
- Faulty emotional training
- Mental strain
- Prolonged sickness
- Brain tumor
Conversion symptoms: Almost any organ disease symptom can be simulated on an hysterical basis; e.g., symptoms mimicking the illness of a deceased relative. A variety of sensorimotor symptoms have been considered to be specific to and characteristic of hysterical neurosis. Weakness and paralysis of muscular groups are common; spasms and abnormal movements, less frequent. The motor disturbances are usually accompanied by altered sensibility, especially those involving touch, pain, temperature, and position sense.
One type is the conversion disorder, in which a patient usually complains of a physical illness that has no medical cause. The other type is the dissociative disorder, in which the patient experiences interruptions in his memory, consciousness, and his awareness of his surroundings. Both types are said to have a common cause: a repressed or suppressed psychological or emotional experience that manifests itself in a physical manner.
Between the two types of hysteria, the conversion disorder is said to be more common.
Common symptoms include pain and inability to use a body part, such as not being able to lift one’s arms. A specific symptom called “astasia-abasia” refers to the patient’s inability to stand or sit up, but oddly enough, the person can easily move his legs when in a relaxed position, like lying down. In some cases, there is also an inability to use a sensory organ, such as blindness or deafness, or even a predomination of a certain sensation, such as constantly hearing a certain sound. When pain is not involved, partial paralysis or weakness can also be experienced.
One important criterion for diagnosing a conversion disorder is that the patient is not “faking it,” or just making up the pain. He actually feels the pain as real, although medical exams cannot find a proper cause for the pain. The physical symptoms also create difficulties in social and emotional well-being of the patient. Some disorders under conversion hysteria are body dimorphic disorder, hypochondriasis, and pain disorder.
Dissociative phenomena: A variety of altered states of consciousness may result from the dissociative process. In somnambulism, the patient appears to be out of contact with his environment, is seemingly unresponsive to external stimuli, and in many cases appears to be living out a vivid, hallucinated drama, often the memory of some past emotionally traumatic event. In amnesia, the most common form of dissociative hysteria, the patient typically has a complete loss of memory for all past events covering a period of several hours to several weeks.
Symptoms and Signs of Hysteria:
Histrionic personality disorder is one of many personality disorders. People who fall into this category are socially a success, but a failure at inter-personal relationships. They tend to dress and be provocative and talk about their emotions in an exaggerated fashion. They are usually shallow, self-centered and unhappy when they are not the center of attention.
Somatization disorder is a rare psychological condition where the individual has a long list of medical complaints but upon examination and investigation, no medical cause can be attributed to it. Symptoms include various aches, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, sexual complaints like low libido and erectile dysfunction.
Some of the common symptoms are mentioned below:
- Partial paralysis
- Temporary blindness or tunnel vision.
- Sensory disturbances like heightened sense of sight, smell, touch and taste.
- Involuntary movements like eyeball rolling inwards contracted facial muscles.
- Abnormal muscle contractions causing person to have unnatural positions, for e.g. the leg may be folded backwards.Heaviness in the limbs
- Severe cramps
- Strong feeling of ascending abdominal constriction
- Continual sighing
- Difficulty in breathing
- Constriction in the chest
- Feeling of a foreign body lodged in the throat
- Swelling of the neck
- Clenched teeth
- Generalized and voluntary tensing of muscles of locomotion
- Loss of consciousness
- Violent and tumultuous heartbeats
- No willpower
- Tendency towards emotional instability
Diagnosis of Hysteria:
The physician will take a thorough history of the symptoms causing concern to the person after which there will be a thorough examination. Investigations may be advised if a certain problem is suspected. If the examination and investigations are inconclusive, the physician may recommend a consultation with a psychiatrist or psychologist for further evaluation.
Some might feel that because there is no abnormal finding, the patient is faking it to just draw attention. But it is important to understand that the patient is disturbed, and wants the problem to go away.
- Routine investigations like blood, urine and stool tests as well as X-rays.
- An EEG is important to check whether the electrical activity of the brain is within normal limits.
- Blood levels of brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline can be done.
Conventional therapy offers little to treat those with hysteria. Drugs like antidepressants or anxiolytics can be tried if depression or anxiety co-exists. Painkillers for symptoms of backache, body-ache, headache etc. can be given for a short time.
Psychotherapy for Hysteria:
Psychotherapy is useful in encouraging the person to go through life daily with a positive attitude. Once the person develops coping strategies, his mind will stop converting the mental disturbance into a physical symptom, which is seen in somatization disorder.
Psychotherapy consists of a series of techniques for treating mental health, emotional and some psychiatric disorders. Psychotherapy helps the patient understand what helps them feel positive or anxious, as well as accepting their strong and weak points. If people can identify their feelings and ways of thinking they become better at coping with difficult situations.
Hypnotherapy for Hysteria:
The term "hypnosis" comes from the Greek word Hypnos, meaning "sleep." Hypnotherapists use exercises that bring about deep relaxation and an altered state of consciousness, also known as a trance. A person in a deeply focused state is unusually responsive to an idea or image, but this does not mean that a hypnotist can control the person's mind and free will. On the contrary, hypnosis can actually teach people how to master their own states of awareness. By doing so they can affect their own bodily functions and psychological responses.
Hypnotherapy is a kind of psychotherapy. Hypnotherapy aims to re-programmed patterns of behavior within the mind, enabling irrational fears, phobias, negative thoughts and suppressed emotions to be overcome
Homeopathic Treatment of Hysteria:
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility.
There are a wide number of homeopathic remedies that can help relieve the symptoms of hysteria. Each remedy depends on the type and severity of the symptoms. Homeopathy as special remedies for personality types and can be selected based on traits which helps patient improve nicely
Ignatia is the great homoeopathic remedy for Lagrande nevrose. In its provings it is a hysterical remedy. Briefly, its symptoms are great sensitiveness to external impressions. Patients laugh and cry alternatively; the face flushes on the slightest emotion; spasmodic laughter which oftentimes ends in screaming; the globus hystericus is present and so is the clavus hystericus which shows itself as a sharp pain, as if a nail were being driven into the top of the head. Thuja has the same pain in the frontal eminence. Both Thuja and Coffea have the same pain in the occiput. In Ignatia there is an emission of profuse, pale urine and this oftentimes relieves the headache. There are present in the Ignatia patient flatulent conditions and contortion of the muscles. The globus hystericus is found under a number of drugs, but Ignatia and Asafoetida have it the most prominent. The convulsive symptoms of Ignatia are as varied as the moods of the drug; there may be only a slight convulsive movement about the throat in drinking, or there may be severe spasms with clenched hands and blue face greatly resembling those of Cuprum. The return to consciousness is always accompanied by a sigh and a deep inspiration. Fear and grief are prominent symptoms of the hysteria of Ignatia; it is a long suffering grief and the patient is aggravated by the constant nursing of it. Another interesting and, one may say, hysterial point about Ignatia is the numerous contradictory items found in its pathogenesis. Thus we have headache relieved by stooping, soreness of the teeth better by eating, sore throat better from swallowing, fever without thirst and chilliness relieved by uncovering ; the cough is even contradictory, for the more the patient coughs the more he wants to cough, and it is only stopped by an effort of the will.
One of the characterizing features of hysteria is the globus hystericus, or the sensation of a ball in the throat. Asafoetida has this symptom very prominently. It seems with this drug to be a sort of reversed peristalsis and it is especially the remedy if the nervous symptoms be in any way due to the checking of habitual discharges. Another important symptom of Asafoetida is the accumulation of flatus in the abdomen; it passes upwards and causes oppressed breathing. Owing to this the symptom is found that this ball-like sensation above referred to, starts from the stomach and rises to the throat , and it is naturally made worse by overeating and by motion. It is a bursting feeling, as if everything would come out of the mouth. Hysterical colic is, therefore, well met by Asafoetida. Magnesia muriatica has some of these symptoms; flatus collects and rises like a ball in the throat, almost preventing breathing; relieved by eructations. With Asafoetida the patient swallows continually to keep the lump down, and this gulping adds to the difficulty in breathing. There is a great deal of restlessness and anxiety with Asafoetida and a changeable mental condition. The muscles jerk and twitch. The entire system is over-sensitive. Hysterical convulsions due to suppression of discharges will often indicate Asafoetida. Predominance of the throat symptoms should lead one to think always of Asafoetida.
Fainting is the great keynote of Moschus. When hysterical attacks are found with fainting, other drugs may be indicated. Asafoetida may be indicated, Cocculus, Ignatia or Nux moschata, but in most cases Moschus will be the simillimum. It is especially the remedy for the paroxysm. The stimulation of tetanic spasms, the unconsciousness or frequent swooning will point to Moschus. Muscular twitching is present and violent spasm or constriction of the chest. She may even turn blue in the face, foam at the mouth and be chilly. Moschus, too, has a profuse discharge of pale urine, the globus hystericus, headache and flatulent symptoms. Oftentimes the fainting and loss of consciousness will apparently be due to the pressure of gas on the solar plexus of the sympathetic; violent eructations of gas occur in these cases and relieve. Uncontrollable laughter is also a symptom of Moschus, also the alternate moods of joyfulness and sadness. Sexual desire is increased and symptoms of Nymphomania or Satyriasis may be present. Hysterical attacks or hiccough may be met by Moschus, and in the loud eructations in nervous hysterical people it is said to be our best remedy. A mental condition of Moschus is a tendency to scold and the patient scolds himself into a fit. Palladium is another remedy for strong language and scolding. To sum up, Moschus is indicated by the fainting, by the suffocative attacks by the crying and laughing, globus hystericus, profuse pale urine, and by the sudden attacks of unconsciousness. Another remedy of an animal origin similar to Moschus is Castoreum, and this remedy also presents a long line of nervous symptoms. It suits in many instances the symptoms which precede hysteria such as an irritable weakness. Those who are on the borderland of hysteria may be benefited by Castoreum.
Among the animal remedies -- and they are all great produces of nervous symptoms -- the spider poisons stand first in the production of symptoms simulating hysteria. Perhaps the most marked of these is the Tarentula Hispana, not the Tarentula Cubensis, which is the carbuncle remedy, but the Spanish spider. This remedy is useful in hysteria; the paroxysms are apt to be feigned, and the patient has immoderate attacks of uncontrollable laughter. The most prominent symptom of the drug, however, is restlessness and trembling of the limbs; the patient is compelled to keep continually on the move. There is excessive hyperaesthesia, the spine is sensitive, the ovaries are sensitive, and there is apt to be nymphomania. It has been found useful in hystero-epilepsy, which, by the way, is quite a rare affection. Theridion and Mygale are two of the spider poisons which may be found useful in hysterical conditions; the great predominating sensitiveness to noise will call Theridion to mind, and the chorea-like twitchings will suggest Mygale. Tarentula will be easily recognized by the constant motion of the extremities, perhaps by the fact that music soothes, by a constrictive headache, and by the feigned fits of uncontrollable laughter. For great fidgetiness of the feet, thinks always of Zincum valerianate; it is our best remedy for this condition. It is a common symptom in hysterical condition where chronic uterine disease is present.
Platinum has an altogether different form of hysteria than of the animal poisons, and it is quickly and easily characterized by its haughty mental condition. Self-esteem is prominent, and she looks down on every one. There are also paroxysms of laughter, which are very loud and boisterous; in fact, oftentimes the condition borders on the maniacal. The genital organs are very sensitive; there is apt to be titillation, even nymphomania. It is in these genital cases that it finds its best use. Hysterical spasms will call for Platinum when caused by nervous excitement; there is present constriction of the esophagus and a suffocative feeling. Platinum may be easily distinguished from Ignatia by the mental condition above referred to. Ignatia is decidedly undemonstrative, while Platinum is absurdly supercilious. Melancholic conditions are also found under Platinum; the patient is morose and discontented, and has a disposition to weep. The extreme nervous condition makes her sleepless. Hyoscyamus must be compared with Platinum. It has nymphomania, but with more desire to uncover one's self. The proud mental condition of the drug will always distinguish it. Palladium is very similar to Platinum; in many respects it may be distinguished by lacking the haughtiness of Platinum and having a tendency to be continually "slighted."
Valeriana is a remedy largely used in the allopathic school for hysteria, and forms one of the main props of their treatment. As a remedy for hysteria in the homoeopathic sense it has some useful symptoms. As under Tarentula, the patient must keep continually on the move; but exertion causes headache, and the slightest pain causes fainting. There is a sensation as if something warm were rising from the stomach; this causes a difficulty of breathing; there is also present fear, tremulousness, and palpitation. With Valeriana there is a general state of nervous excitement; the patient is apt to be joyous, lively, and talkative. A tendency to flushes of heat is often present. It has also the globus hystericus, and there are many pains simulating rheumatism. Nervous agitation is its most marked symptom, and this together with warm sensation rising from the stomach should distinguish. The alternations of mood which are prominent with the remedy should not be overlooked. It seems to be the remedy for the hysterical habit.
This is also one of our good remedies in hysteria. It is especially adapted to nervous hysterical people who change rapidly from grave to gay, but its great distinguishing features are its sleepiness, its bloating, and its dryness of the mouth. It has also attacks of fainting, the patient is exhausted from the least effort. There is a continued constant nervous tension differing from Ignatia in that the latter is paroxysmal. The symptoms of bloating, which usually occur after eating, will call to mind Lycopodium and Carbo vegetabilis, but both these remedies lack the hysterical element of the Nux moschata bloat. Nux moschata also has a dry, nervous, hysterical cough, oppression of the chest and fainting fits. Inclination to faint is quite common with the drug. “In hysteria, particularly the globus hystericus, few medicines act more promptly.
This remedy has a few marked symptoms which indicate its usefulness in hysteria. It is especially the remedy in hysterical convulsions with spasms of the glottis. There is excessive irritability of the mind and body with vascular excitement, semi-stupor with languor and prostration. There is a feeling of a lump in the throat which cannot be swallowed, and there is a copious flow of pale nervous urine. Gelsemium is adapted to both male and female, and corresponds especially to the hysteria of the later class. The rigid os so characteristic of Gelsemium is usually found in hysterical women who suffer from great nervous excitement, hence the usefulness of that remedy in this condition. Great numbness of the extremities, also fear and apprehension; however, languor and malaise are nearly always present. Sulphur has copious discharge of watery urine at the termination of her spasms. This, however, is a common hysterical symptom, and little reliance can be placed on it as a guide to the remedy. Vesical irritability with constant desire to urinate in hysterical patients is well met by Gelsemium.
The hysterical symptoms of Pulsatilla are quite prominent. It has a constriction in the throat, something there seems to impede speech. There is a constant change in the feelings and symptoms of the patient, and here we have again the profuse watery urine. Like Ignatia, there is melancholia, sadness, and weeping; but the Ignatia patient weeps in solitude, while the Pulsatilla patient gushes out her grief anywhere, and seeks sympathy and consolation and seems to be made better by it. The open air, of course, relieves the Pulsatilla patient. Menses are scanty, and the patient complains of constant chilliness. Hysterical attacks at puberty may indicate Pulsatilla. Fainting fits are common, and there is apt to be suppression of menses as leading up to the nervous attacks. Sepia, too, is a prominent remedy for hysteria associated with uterine symptoms but it is easily distinguished by the general symptoms. Apis has hysteria at puberty, with amenorrhea and awkwardness; patient drops things, is clumsy.
Belladonna may be a remedy in hysteria when there is much boisterous excitement, red flushed face, dilated pupils, and the general symptoms of the drug. There is a rush of blood to the head during the spasmodic attacks and a wild look. Hyoscyamus has the desire to uncover and go naked, due perhaps to hyperaesthesia of the skin, the silly laughter and the muscular jerkings; and Stramonium may have its turn when the patient is full of absurd fancies, loquacity, etc., but these remedies are among the infrequent ones in the treatment of hysteria.
Walk Around: The act of walking is surprisingly calming. Staying in one place makes it easier for your thoughts and symptoms to run wild. Ideally, you need to try to get walking to help stimulate blood flow, improve breathing, and create natural distractions that come from the sensations of walking.
Call Someone: Talking to someone on the phone can actually be very beneficial for decreasing hysteria. In some cases it can be even better than talking to someone in person, because in person some people feel more embarrassed and pressured about their anxiety while on the phone that embarrassment tends to decrease. Talking to someone on the phone takes a surprising amount of brain power, which means that you're taking your mind off of your anxiety while also listening to a calming voice on the other end of the phone.
Yell: Sometimes letting that emotion out is very important, and sometimes the best way to do that is to let out a great, loud yell. It's a way of accepting your emotions and stimulating your blood and energy. Obviously you should make sure that no one is around (otherwise you may scare someone), but letting out a good, loud yell can make you feel better.