From the Greek word for 'womb' because it was originally thought that the emotional disturbances it described were exclusively female and caused by disorders of the womb. There is no general agreement on the symptoms of hysteria though most authorities seem to regard dissociation as one defining characteristic. There are several recognized forms of hysteria, the most striking being conversion hysteria. Psychoanalysis regards all hysteria as neurosis, the product of unconscious conflict.

Webster Dictionary Meaning

1. Hysteria
- A nervous affection, occurring almost exclusively in women, in which the emotional and reflex excitability is exaggerated, and the will power correspondingly diminished, so that the patient loses control over the emotions, becomes the victim of imaginary sensations, and often falls into paroxism or fits.
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