Hysteria--a neurologist's view

Psychol Med. 1986 May;16(2):277-88. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700009090.


Hysterical symptoms are defined as complaints that are not fully explained by organic or functional neurological disease. Hysterical symptoms are common in neurological practice, accounting for about 1% of neurological diagnoses. Of those with neurological hysterical symptoms, about 80% will not have the hysterical personality, and about 80% will not have Briquet's hysteria. Some 60% will have a physical disease and perhaps as many as 50% will have recognizable psychiatric illness, particularly depression. Others may have unrecognized physical or psychiatric illness. Many hysterical symptoms may be understood in terms of abnormal illness behaviour.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Conversion Disorder / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dissociative Disorders / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysteria / diagnosis*
  • Hysteria / psychology
  • Male
  • Manuals as Topic
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sick Role
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis