|• Main||• Contacts|
Lloyd Jones, "Chlorosis: The Special Anaemia of Young Women,"
1897; also numerous reports to the British Medical Association,
published in the _British Medical Journal_. There was an
interesting discussion of the theories of chlorosis at the Moscow
International Medical Congress, in 1898; see proceedings of the
congress, volume in, section v, pp. 224 et seq.).
We may thus, perhaps, understand why it is that hysteria and
anaemia are often combined, and why they are both most frequently
found in adolescent young women who have yet had no sexual
experiences. Chlorosis is a physical phenomenon; hysteria,
largely a psychic phenomenon; yet, both alike may, to some extent
at least, be regarded as sexual aptitude showing itself in
extreme and pathological forms.
 _Genese et Nature de l'Hysterie_, 1898; and, for Sollier's latest
statement, see "Hysterie et Sommeil," _Archives de Neurologie_, May and
June, 1907. Lombroso (_L'Uomo Delinquente_, 1889, vol. ii, p. 329),
referring to the diminished metabolism of the hysterical, had already
compared them to hibernating animals, while Babinsky states that the
hysterical are in a state of subconsciousness, a state, as Metchnikoff
remarks (_Essais optimistes_, p. 270), reminiscent of our prehistoric
 Professor Freud, while welcoming the introduction of the term
"auto-erotism," remarks that it should not be made to include the whole of
hysteria. This I fully admit, and have never questioned. Hysteria is far
too large and complex a phenomenon to be classed as entirely a
manifestation of auto-erotism, but certain aspects of it are admirable
illustrations of auto-erotic transformation.
 The hysterical phenomenon of _globus hystericus_ was long afterward
attributed to obstruction of respiration by the womb. The interesting case
has been recorded by E. Bloch (_Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift_, 1907, p.
1649) of a lady who had the feeling of a ball rising from her stomach to
her throat, and then sinking. This feeling was associated with thoughts of
her husband's rising and falling penis, and was always most liable to
occur when she wished for coitus.
 As Gilles de la Tourette points out, it is not difficult to show
that epilepsy, the _morbus sacer_ of the ancients, owed much of its sacred
character to this confusion with hysteria. Those priestesses who, struck
by the _morbus sacer_, gave forth their oracles amid convulsions, were
certainly not the victims of epilepsy, but of hysteria (_Traite de
l'Hysterie_, vol. i, p. 3).
 Aretaeus, _On the Causes and Symptoms of Acute Diseases_, Book ii,
 It may be noted that this treatment furnishes another instance of
the continuity of therapeutic methods, through all changes of theory, from
the earliest to the latest times. Drugs of unpleasant odor, like
asafoetida, have always been used in hysteria, and scientific medicine
to-day still finds that asafoetida is a powerful sedative to the uterus,
controlling nervous conditions during pregnancy and arresting uterine
irritation when abortion is threatened (see, e.g., Warman, _Der
Frauenarzt_, August, 1895). Again, the rubbing of fragrant ointments into
the sexual regions is but a form of that massage which is one of the
modern methods of treating the sexual disorders of women.
 _Les Demoniaques dans l'Art_, 1887; _Les Malades et les Difformes
Page 2 from 5: Back 1  3 4 5 Forward