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Behav. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 496-517; doi:10.3390/bs5040496

The Classification of Hysteria and Related Disorders: Historical and Phenomenological Considerations

1
Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 6363 Forest Park Road, Dallas, Texas, TX 75390, USA
2
The Altshuler Center for Education & Research, Metrocare Services, 1380 River Bend Drive, Dallas, TX 75247, USA
Academic Editor: John Coverdale
Received: 12 August 2015 / Revised: 31 October 2015 / Accepted: 3 November 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Psychiatric Diagnosis Past, Present and Future)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [572 KB, uploaded 9 November 2015]   |  

Abstract

This article examines the history of the conceptualization of dissociative, conversion, and somatoform syndromes in relation to one another, chronicles efforts to classify these and other phenomenologically-related psychopathology in the American diagnostic system for mental disorders, and traces the subsequent divergence in opinions of dissenting sectors on classification of these disorders. This article then considers the extensive phenomenological overlap across these disorders in empirical research, and from this foundation presents a new model for the conceptualization of these disorders. The classification of disorders formerly known as hysteria and phenomenologically-related syndromes has long been contentious and unsettled. Examination of the long history of the conceptual difficulties, which remain inherent in existing classification schemes for these disorders, can help to address the continuing controversy. This review clarifies the need for a major conceptual revision of the current classification of these disorders. A new phenomenologically-based classification scheme for these disorders is proposed that is more compatible with the agnostic and atheoretical approach to diagnosis of mental disorders used by the current classification system. View Full-Text
Keywords: dissociation; conversion; somatization; borderline personality disorder; hysteria; diagnostic classification; Briquet’s syndrome; nosology; diagnostic comorbidity; mental disorders dissociation; conversion; somatization; borderline personality disorder; hysteria; diagnostic classification; Briquet’s syndrome; nosology; diagnostic comorbidity; mental disorders
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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North, C.S. The Classification of Hysteria and Related Disorders: Historical and Phenomenological Considerations. Behav. Sci. 2015, 5, 496-517.

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