Definition of ‘Hysterical’ – 1961 ?

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Really ? According to the Certified LUMP ON THE PERFECT LOG ?

1960s Psychiatric Interview. Hysterical Personality ?

HYSTERICAL PERSONALITY DISORDER is no longer a part of the DSM, but it was in the 60s. From DSM-II: 301.5 Hysterical personality (Histrionic personality disorder) “These behavior patterns are characterized by excitability, emotional instability, over-reactivity, and self-dramatization.

This self-dramatization is always attention-seeking and often seductive, whether or not the patient is aware of its purpose. These personalities are also immature, self-centered, often vain, and usually dependent on others. This disorder must be differentiated from Hysterical Neurosis”

So regardless of whether one feels the diagnosis is justified or not, the term hysterical references the above definition, and not the lay meaning of “having a total meltdown” or extreme uncontrolled emotion.

THIS IS A TEACHING FILM PUBLISHED IN 1969, please consider the context. This case was specifically chosen to demonstrate key features of the Hysterical Personality.
The accompanying psychiatric summary:

“This is a married 27 year old woman. Notice how she usually averts her gaze downward, and her affected attitude in smoking. She has an air of indifference, yet there is a provocative manner about her. Her dress is casual, her hair is well coiffeured, and she frequently makes veiled comments in interview and tries to lead the therapist down the garden path.

This lady demonstrates a personality disorder which is characterized as a hysterical personality. This is evidenced in the interview by her manipulative manner, and her attempts to control the interview by saying such things as ‘now you talk’ or ‘you’ll have to get me started’. As well as by her somewhat dramatic and suggestive statements about what her father did to her, although there is nothing in the history to indicate this. Her attitude toward the interviewer has a seductive, controlling quality. Again, this person manifests a hysterical personality disorder” – See also “Hysteria: The Disturbing History” – CONT’D

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