Hysteria in yoga poses Psychiatry Today
The term hysteria has at least two meanings:
1. Popular meaning. A chauvinistic term referring to all attractive, extroverted, demanding, hypersensitive women who, in yoga poses the end, are not necessarily “easy to be with” and who are easily treated as “a tease” by many men. Darwin49 gives an example of hysterical “patients” who rapidly go from laughter to tears to rather infantile fits of anger. This popular meaning is sadly incorporated in yoga poses some systems of “body reading” and “character analysis” utilized by certain schools of body psychotherapy. The psychoanalyst Otto Fenichel classifies as hysterical persons whose principal crux is a fear of sexuality in yoga poses conflict with a repressed, intense sexual desire. These internal dynamics generate a tendency to attribute sexual connotations to all forms of behavior. We will see that Fenichel had a profound impact on several psychodynamic and body psychotherapy schools. No doubt because of this, variations of this definition is found in yoga poses many schools of body psychotherapy, influenced by Reich, like the schools founded by Ellsworth Baker, Alexander Lowen, and Gerda Boyesen.50 I have even heard some female colleagues in yoga poses body psychotherapy assert that the hysterical woman necessarily has a wide pelvis and ample breasts because it always consists of characters whose problems are linked to the oedipal structuring, that is, once that the libido begins to associate itself to the sexual organs.51
2. Psychiatric meaning. There is conversion hysteria52 when there is a physical disability without a discernible physical cause. The proof for it is that the disability disappears as suddenly as it appeared without a physician being able to explain what triggered the healing. Therefore, we do not know if the causes of hysteria are in yoga poses fact mental, because they are simply unexplainable. Freud thought the cause was mental. For him, everything happens as if mental awareness dissociates from organismic activities. Another form of hysteria is characterized by a convulsive attack, during which the body of the patient suddenly begins to move in yoga poses all directions in yoga poses a manner that is unexpected both by the patient and by the entourage. Charcot, with whom Freud studied in yoga poses Paris, had asked others to draw or photograph his patients is such a crisis state. These illustrations have often been reproduced.53 These hysterical convulsive attacks are sometime difficult to distinguish from epileptic convulsions caused by a grand mal seizure.54 These cases were frequent enough at the end of the nineteenth century in yoga poses Europe. They subsequently became less frequent and are now rare. This shows that even if there is a link between hysteria and biology, the cultural factors are equally important. in yoga poses other forms of hysteria, a person suffers from a dissociative fugue or tends to regularly sleep walk. These manifestations are mostly observed in yoga poses women but also appear in yoga poses men. Hysteria, in yoga poses the psychiatric sense of the word, is a serious and rare symptom that is difficult to treat.55
These two ways to use the term hysteria are only sometimes reconcilable. Having uncovered sexual abuse or intense fantasies of abuse in yoga poses many of his hysterical patients, Freud proposed a model of hysteria in yoga poses which sexual conflicts played a central role. The psychological interpretation of the causes of hysteria, detached from its symptoms, is one of the factors that encouraged several psychotherapists to gradually return to the popular sense of the term
Today, most psychiatrists use the diagnostic term of dissociative convulsion when they describe Charcot’s hysterical attacks. To differentiate these convulsions from an epileptic attack is something that remains difficult. Thanks to video, it has become possible to isolate the following characteristic traits:56 balancing movements of the pelvis, lateral movement of the head (as is often done when one says “no” with a head movement), an arched back with facial grimacing (opisthotonus), a slow start but progressively lengthy duration of the attack, and closing the eyes. The traits of the epileptic attack are more manifestly convulsive, and its movements often escape every attempt to give them a meaning. On the other hand, the traits of a hysterical discharge are found in yoga poses many forms of profound emotional discharges. It is possible to assign a functional expression to them, even if they can be explained otherwise. Recent studies show that at least 20 percent of patients who suffer from dissociative convulsions have suffered sexual abuse or emotional and or mental abuse. Balancing the pelvis and the head could be associated with this past, but it is also seen in yoga poses a population for whom it has not been possible to establish that there has been abuse during childhood. Here again, as soon as we postulate a direct link between behavior and the affects, we are open to simplifications.57 The research by Karin Roelofs and her collaborators (Spinhoven et al., 2010, and \bon et al., 2010) confirms a strong percentage of sexual abuse either through violent physical abuse during childhood by the father and/or the mother in yoga poses a population of patients classically considered as hysterics. We also find in yoga poses the neurosciences the idea that when the parents abuse their children, they create profound problems with the coordination between representation, emotion, and behavior.58 Today, it is also possible to consider hysteria as a particular form of post-traumatic stress disorder due to abuse that occurred during childhood.
I have allowed myself to emphasize the psychiatric definition of hysteria because it clearly shows that to discuss this condition necessarily requires that we investigate the rapport between the psyche and the organism
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