KJ Steele: 86 Reasons Why You May Have Been Committed to an Insane Asylum in the Late 1800s: #6 – Hysteria

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The Bird BoxAre You Insane? No? Well, you just might be by the time we get to the end of the list. 86 reasons why you may have been committed to an Insane Asylum in the late 1800s.

Reason #6 – Hysteria
Today’s reason for committal again seems to be one big, frightening, catch-bucket that would have provided a myriad of vague ailments to justify a person’s incarceration into the asylum.

According to Wikipedia, symptoms could range from faintness, nervousness, sexual desire, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in the abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.
Sounds suspiciously like a list of PMS symptoms to me. Today these symptoms might have you curled up on the couch with your favorite chocolate bar for sympathetic support. Back in the late 1800s however, they could have seen you hauled off for a hysterectomy or even provided a viable reason for your committal into an asylum.


KJ Steele author photo

KJ Steele is the author of two novels. Her latest, The Bird Box, is available now. Visit her website for more.

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On April 16, 2015
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