Hysteria - Science topic
Hysteria is a historical term for a chronic, but fluctuating, disorder beginning in early life and characterized by recurrent and multiple somatic complaints not apparently due to physical illness. This diagnosis is not used in contemporary practice.
Questions related to Hysteria
Two basic types of reactions were designated by Ernst Kretschmer as "biological radicals": “Totstellreflex” (feigning death) and “Bewegungssturm” (motion storm), published in 1923: "Hysterie, Reflex und Instinkt", Thieme, Leipzig), sometimes also called “hysterical hypokinesis and hyperkinesis” (Svorad, D:.AMA Arch Neur Psych 1957;77(5):533-539).
Thanatosis in spiders and insects, “playing possum, can often work”, serving as a protection strategy and “changing with external or internal conditions”. (Map of Life - University of Cambridge: http://www.mapoflife.org/topics/topic_368), see attachment.
Ich would like to know more about this fascinating phenomenon.
We live in an age of fear. The hysterical responses to the coronavirus corroborate a whole range of additional fears: fear of the implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, fear of growing older, fear of loneliness, fear of death, fear of an uncertain future. Everybody is affected but there are hardly any meaningful attempts to deal effectively with these fears.
In my theoretical and practical work on Emotional Intelligence, I have learnt that the most effective way of dealing with fear is to face it. Precisely! We must learn to face our fears.
Most people believe that our emotions should not be indulged. But the current hysteria about buying up tons of toilet paper and gallons of hand sanitizer can be explained as an effect of trying to suppress our emotions, particularly our fears. As a result, we are in danger of losing what is most precious: friendships and human connections.
It is high time to think of productive ways of managing our fears: if we learn to admit openly that we are terrified of losing everything that makes life worth living, we can create new ways of connecting with other human beings. As a result, we are able to deal better with the things that worry and frighten us.
The symptoms described by Freud were : episodic episodes of "psychosomatic" dyspnea, cough, afonia (without a medical explanation and then " conversion" symptoms ) but also : depression, " hysterical "
social withdrawal, and "taedium vitae" ( i.e. for the modern " emptiness" ? )
Could one use the Deborah number to model quantitatively a collective behavior change, and measure the rate of change of behavior? Can one use the Deborah number to represent start-up success expectation, or behavior unsteadiness, before reaching a new steady state? For example, to predict and improve the successful penetration of a new collective idea, such as a new business model?
The question is asked in the context I presented earlier in this forum , the new theory of physics of fluids applied to collective behavior (called PFCB theory).
In the physics of fluids, the Deborah number is nondimensional, and was named after the Prophetess Deborah. In the Book of Judges, she said, “The mountains flowed before the Lord”. The original definition was given by Reiner , writing verbatim,
“Deborah knew two things. First, that the mountains flow, as everything flows. But, secondly, that they flowed before the Lord, and not before man, for the simple reason that man in his short lifetime cannot see them flowing, while the time of observation of God is infinite."
Then, Reiner found useful to define a nondimensional number, called the Deborah number, as De = time of relaxation/time of observation.
Today, De is defined as λ / T, where T is a characteristic time for the deformation process (e.g., the time of observation of the change), and λ is still the relaxation time. In other words, one inherently assumes today that the material must be experiencing a deformation over this time, and the simplicity of Reiner's definition remains valid .
Thus, in terms of PFCB , at low Deborah numbers we would expect more potential for collective behavior (i.e., more fluidlike), unless the collective is in steady-state (e.g., even though De is zero in such case).
To induce change in a collective, such as a new business model, it seems to work better to disrupt the previous collective behavior first, or use a disruptive force that manifests itself, to then apply the change desired. It should be harder to change a society while that society is stable at a previous behavior. In business terms, it should work better actively (or, to wait) to disrupt first ...and then innovate.
Cheers, Ed Gerck
 Reiner, M., “The Deborah number”. Phys. Today. 17, p. 62, 1964.
 Poole, R. J. (2012), The Deborah and Weissenberg numbers. The British Society of Rheology, Rheology Bulletin. 53(2) p. 32-39, and
Forms of collective behavior include electrons, photons, elections, crowds, mobs, panics, terrorism acts, disaster behavior, rumors, mass hysteria, moral panics, and fads and crazes, which can be spontaneous or not. An example of stimulated (non-spontaneous, organized) collective behavior is of a social movement, designed to bring about or resist change in society.
Could collective behavior, as defined above, be modelled, mutatis mutandis (making necessary alterations while not affecting the main point at issue), by the physics of fluids? Do you know of any reference or project in this area?
For example, the viscosity of a fluid is a measure of its resistance to gradual deformation by shear stress, expressing its resistance to shearing flows, where adjacent layers move parallel to each other with different speeds. It is known that gels or fluids that are thick, or viscous, under static conditions will thin (less viscous), stay the same, or thicken more over time when shaken, agitated, sheared or otherwise stressed, with time-dependent behavior (memory) or not, as described in physics of fluids. This behavior can be quite sudden, cumulative, and at first-sight surprising or catastrophic.
NOTE: This new theory of physics of fluids applied to collective behavior is hereafter more simply called "PFACB theory" or "PCB Theory".
Does any history of psychiatry in australia include references to Jean-Martin Charcot's work in hysteria? Was his nosology practiced in Australia.? Was it directly sourced or was it filtered through the work of Hughlings Jackson or others?
Decades ago hysteria was excluded from the official diagnostic manuals and dismembered in several categories. However, from a psychodynamic point of view, it is a model of psychic functioning, and as such, present in the daily clinical practice as the basis of pathological events, both psychic and somatic. From psychoanalysis, it is understood that any psychic symptom should be approached in its fundamentals, rather than in their outward manifestations, and that the disregard of those hysterical grounds contributes to mistaken clinical strategies with losses for both the patient and therapist. And you, how do you understand this question?