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Hysteria

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In somnambulism, certain thoughts become so strong during sleep as to determine the person’s behavior. The person rises and carries out some act. Like multiple personalities, there is some dissociation of some sub-system within the personality which is expressed during sleep and for which nothing is remembered during the waking state. Multiple personalities are rare. It is as if several parts of personality have not been successfully integrated so they become separated or dissociated from each other and the person frequently shifts from one to the other. There appear to be several complete systems of personality with each system having distinct emotional and thought processes, different from each other.

When one personality is free and impulsive, another is inhibited and responsible. In conversion reaction, the person suffers from physical symptoms with o organic basis. It could be in the form of anesthesia (loss of sensitivity of some body part) where the person does not feel any pain or sensation in that part of the body. The symptom or deficit, after appropriate investigation, cannot be explained fully by a general medical condition, the direct effects of a substance, or as a culturally sanctioned behavior or experience. Other examples are: hysterical blindness, deafness, convulsions or inability to talk or swallow.

Though the person is unable to see, hear or feel there is no structural (organic) basis of disturbance. Commonly, the symptom takes a form inconsistent with the actual physical patterning of the nervous system. Cohen, Hilgard and Wendt (1933) found experimental proof that such disorders had psychological basis rather than neurological ones. In the classic glove anesthesia, the entire hand up to the wrist loses sensitivity as though covered by a glove.

The person feels nothing when struck with a pin or touched by an examiner. Sometimes, it may appear for time or it may change or occur in another part of the body. Psychoanalytic theory represents a set of elaborate assumptions about human behavior tht are quite complex and, due to their abstractness, often difficult to comprehend. Moreover, the theory has evolved throughout this century. In order to familiarize with psychoanalytic theory, it is best to know the Freudian concepts, including structures of the mind, ego defense mechanisms, levels of consciouness and psychosexual developmental stages. "Dissociative hysteria" is now

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