Wednesday, 27 January, 2016 - 16:30 to 17:30

In the 19th century, hysterical symptoms such as paralysis and seizures became well known both to medical and non-medical audiences through the work of Charcot, Freud and Janet. There is a popular conception that these ‘florid’ types of hysteria died off in the 20th century and gave way to more sophisticated but vague forms of illness involving fatigue and pain. I will argue that the ‘disappearance’ of hysteria is really an illusion caused by lack of interest by the relevant doctors, rather than any change in the frequency of the condition. A historical perspective helps us to consider to what extent these disorders are intrinsic to the human condition or a product of the society they exist in.

Speaker: Dr Jon Stone (Western General Hospital, Edinburgh)

Refreshments at 4pm, seminar starts at 4.30pm.

This is an Edinburgh History of Medicine Group event, a collaboration between the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh.