Are hysterical seizures more than hysteria? A research diagnostic criteria, DMS-III, and psychometric analysis

Am J Psychiatry. 1982 Jul;139(7):926-9. doi: 10.1176/ajp.139.7.926.


In a double-blind study the authors compared severity of psychopathology and personality organization in three groups of patients: those with organic (neurogenic) seizures alone (N = 11), those who exhibited both neurogenic and psychogenic ("hysterical") seizures (N = 13), and those with pure psychogenic ("hysterical") seizures (N = 13). Patients with neurogenic seizures were found to have alcoholism, anxiety disorder, and minor affective disorder. Patients with mixed and psychogenic seizures had more severe psychopathology, including major affective disorders and major character pathology. Patients with mixed and psychogenic seizures also had a markedly higher incidence of suicide attempts and past history of psychiatric treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Borderline Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy / psychology
  • Humans
  • Hysteria / diagnosis*
  • Hysteria / psychology
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Research