The British Journal of Psychiatry
Observations on the evolution of the hysterical symptomatology.
C Stefanis, M Markidis, G Christodoulou

Abstract

A retrospective study of the records of 17,571 psychiatric patients who attended the out-patients department of Eginition Hospital in Athens during three two-year periods (1948-50, 1958-60 and 1969-71) revealed a statistically significant decrease in the frequency of patients diagnosed as suffering from hysteria, a statistically significant decrease in the relative frequency of patients with hysterical fits and with mental conversion symptoms, and a statistically significant increase in the relative frequency of patients with mixed conversion symptoms. The findings confirm the notion that hysteria is still a 'woman's disease', although a statistically significant increase in male participation was noted. The significance of the above findings for the understanding of certain aspects of hysteria is discussed.