Social Deviation and Mental Illness

Modern psychiatry has moved past the diagnosis of Hysteria as a mental disorder today. This disease used to be thought to originate from women’s unpredictable reproductive organs. Their “floating wombs” in their bodies caused women’s brains and behaviors to change. They could be extremely emotional, unpredictable, irrational, or experience other unexplainable symptoms. Society really governed what was seen as normal behavior and what was mental illness, so if you were a woman who deviated from social norms, you could have been seen as mentally ill. This short video from PBS features historians discussing the history of Hysteria throughout the centuries.

Mysteries of Mental Illness | Hysteria.