Hysteria is an exaggerated emotion characterized by cognitive, somatic, emotional, and behavioral components. These components combine to create an unpleasant feeling exhibiting overwhelming or unmanageable fear, a state of uncontrolled excitement, anger. Hysteria often occurs without any underlying cause or an identifiable trigger.
In Homeopathy Hysteria is looked upon as a neurotic disorder presenting varied somatic and mental symptoms because of dissociation commonly beginning during adolescence or early adulthood and occurring more often in women than men.
Earlier before the 19th century, Hysteria was believed to be associated only with women, it was thought that hysteria a type of personality disorder is linked to a uterus or womb, and was believed that only women could suffer from it. However, it was discovered later that men could also suffer from such a personality disorder.
The exact cause of Hysteria is still not understood however according to psychologists few factors can predispose one to suffer from such personality disorder such as genetic traits which are passed from parents to children, environmental factors such as child witnessing the constant fights between parents, loss of loved one, chronic serious sickness of a family member which leads to an anxious state of mind.
Symptoms of Hysteria:
1) Somatic: Tremors, twitching, muscular tension, backache, headache, feeling of constriction in the chest, fatigue.
2) Autonomic cardiovascular: Palpitations, missed beats.
3) Gastrointestinal: Dry mouth, dysphagia, epigastric sensations (butterflies in the stomach), flatulence, and diarrhoea.
4) Respiratory: Shortness of breath, tachypnoea.
5) Genitourinary: Urinary frequency increased, loss of erection, menstrual disturbances.
6) Skin: Flushing and pallor, sweating, cold extremities.
7) Psychological: Constant worry, anxiety, irritability, difficulty in concentrating, apprehensive, feelings of dread, highly restless and inability to relax, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
8) Others: Insomnia, lack of appetite, loss of sexual libido.
Conventionally the treatment involves treating depression with antidepressant medication, counseling, and psychotherapy.
Homeopathic medicines have often shown their efficacy in the treatment of Hysteria. Homeopathy is a holistic science wherein the selection of homeopathic medicines for hysteria is based upon individualization; it is based on each person’s unique way of expressing disease. There are several homeopathic remedies available for hysteria which are selected based on cause, physical and mental symptoms, sensation, modalities, and individual susceptibility.
Some of the important remedies which can be useful in the treatment of hysteria are discussed below.
1) Ignatia Amara:
Ignatia is one of the head remedies for Hysteria. It is suited to those subjects who show rapid alternations in happiness and disposition to weep or alternating emotional states. One who suffers from chronic grief, suppressed emotions with long-drawn sighs and much sobbing. Involuntary sighing is characteristic of Ignatia. Hysterical behavior is characterized by convulsions, twitching, jerking of groups of muscles. The patient experiences sensation of choking with marked constriction of the chest and profuse secretion of clear watery urine which has an indescribable odor. The patient laughs and cries alternately. Especially suited to women who suffer from headaches, trembling, sleeplessness, and excitement after the loss of children or husbands. She is unable to control herself, has a constant thought of neglecting her duties. She does foolish things of which she is so proud and thus exhibits them, laughs when she ought to be serious. She is crazy in her excitement. If this trouble recurs despite Ignatia, give Natrum muriaticum which is chronic of Ignatia. The patient is entirely absorbed in grief and exhibits fantastic illusions. The patient complained of “Globus hystericus” which is the sensation of a lump rising from stomach to throat as if one is choking, try to swallow it down but it constantly returns and it is worse by drinking water. The patient suffers from “Clavus hystericus” the sensation of the nail being driven in the head and is highly sensitive to external impressions.
It is suited especially to those who faint readily; “FAINTING” is the keynote of Moschus. The suffocative attacks of crying lead to fainting. Dr. Hughes says no remedy is as good as Moschus for such Hysteria condition. Like Ignatia exhibits uncontrollable laughter, alternating with sadness. It is indicated for hysterical hiccough and loud eructations. The patient has one cheek which is red and cold and the other is pale and hot. The sexual desire is increased and exhibits symptoms of Satyriasis and Nymphomania. It is indicated when the patient tends to scold and even the patient scolds himself into a fit. Moschus patients too show symptoms of Globus hystericus, profuse discharge of pale urine.
This remedy has few marked symptoms such as sleepiness, drowsiness, bloating sensation, dryness of mouth and faints easily from least effort. The patient has a poor memory, forgets past events. Forgets even what he/she was doing immediately before, if disturbed. Errors of perception, objects look larger than what they are but they begin to look normal if one starts to look at them steadily. The patients drop their heads and chin on the chest. Shows symptoms such as dryness of mouth and throat, palpitation. The patient experiences a dry nervous hysterical cough with the oppression of the chest.
Globus hystericus is pronounced by pressure in the oesophagus, tightness of the throat. The patient experiences constant nausea and tendency with frequent swallowing. Hysterical colic is another important symptom of Asafoetida. The patient complains of the accumulation of gases in the abdomen, which passes upwards and causes oppressed breathing. Hysteria due to suppression of menses.
5) Lilium Tigrinum:
It is especially suited for hysterical women who can hardly speak any decent words. She is highly irritable, behaves insanely, and has religious melancholy. Hysterical behavior with imaginations of cardiac/heart affections. Constantly complain of bearing down sensation as if all the interior organs are dragging down.
Homeopathy is very well indicated and strongly recommend for Hysteria but the patient should avoid taking over-the-counter medicines and consult a qualified professional Homeopathic physician for the proper treatment who after a detailed case history can decide the right choice of Homeopathic medicines.
- Written by Dr.Mithila K, Associate doctor to Dr.Rajesh Shah, MD (Hom)