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Fin de Sicle Europe during focused on European cultural intellectual social and political history from the last decade of the nineteenth century through the First World War In this period sometimes later called la belle poque Europeans enjoyed unparalleled power prosperity and cultural creativity Yet beneath the vertiginous surface and the promise of unlimited progress many experienced a mounting sense of crisis a sense that European culture was degenerating and perhaps coming to an end Moreover cultural approaches to history can provide new insights in political social and intellectual history That is exactly what happened during the nineteenth century on the culture of hysteria and the beginnings of psychoanalysis As we read nineteenth century medical literary and cultural texts with contemporary analogues one may ask why hysteria flourished in that time and place Thus this essay will focus primarily on the culture of hysteria and provide explicit detail on it as well as tracing the diagnosis to the beginnings of psychoanalysisThe nineteenth century was an era of great advances on medicine and public health Hysteria became one of the centralized illnesses in Europe during that era Many questioned hysteria and through time answers became available So what exactly is hysteria and where did it derive from Jan Goldstein in The Hysteria Diagnosis and the Politics of Anticlericalism in Late Nineteenth-Century France describes how hysteria is one of the oldest disease entities in the canon of Western medicine The term originated from ancient Greek physician Hippocrates who associated the symptoms with the movement of a womens uterus Its chief symptoms from classical antiquity on were always convulsions and spasmodic seizures but also included partial paralysis hallucinations and nervousness Moreover the illness was labelled as a mental disorder However there are and were various definitions of hysteria The Hippocratic School identified hysteria in the fifth century BC and gave it its graphic name etymologically derived from the Greek for uterus and denoting the belief that
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