- Add more info to make into an article
# The History of Anxiety & Hysterical Paroxysm: The Rise of the Vibrator
%% [[hysteria was the first mental disorder attributable to women]] %%
%% [[symptoms of hysteria]] %%
Hysteria was the first mental disorder attributable to women where symptoms included chronic anxiety, irritability and abdominal heaviness.[^1][^2]
%% [[hysteria was originally believed to be caused by spontaneous uterus movement]] %%
%% [[the name hysteria is derived from the Greek word hystera which means uterus]] %%
It was was originally believed to be caused by spontaneous uterus movement with the name hysteria being derived from the Greek word 'hystera' which means uterus.[^3]
%% [[in 19th-century Britain, women suffering from chronic anxiety were prescribed pelvic finger massage]] %%
In 19th-century Britain, women suffering from hysteria and chronic anxiety were prescribed pelvic finger massage...
%% [[the only consistent effective treatment for hysteria was pelvic massage]] %%
> "The only consistently effective remedy was a treatment that had been practised by physicians for centuries, consisting of a "pelvic massage" – performed manually, until the patient reached a "hysterical paroxysm", after which she appeared miraculously restored."[^4]
%% [[the hysterical paroxysm was never regarded as an orgasm as there was no penetration]] %%
However the hysterical paroxysm was never regarded as an orgasm as there was no penetration taking place. And only penetration was considered sexual.
%% [[treating hysteria was a lucrative business]] %%
Treating hysteria at this time was a lucrative business. After all, it afflicted up to 75% of the female population.
%% [[doctors took no pleasure from treating hysteria]] %%
But you must not assume that doctors took pleasure from treating this condition, "on the contrary, according to medical journals, most complained that it was tedious, time-consuming and physically tiring" writes Decca Aitkenhead.
%% [[the vibrator was invented by victorian doctors as a medical device for bringing female patients to orgasm]] %%
It was this tiresome act that led to the invention of the vibrator by victorian doctors as a medical device for bringing female patients to orgasm.
> "Their invention was regarded as a reputable medical instrument – no more improper than a stethoscope – but became wildly popular among Victorian and Edwardian gentlewomen, who soon began buying vibrators for themselves."
%% [[hysteria was believed to be caused by sexual frustration]] %%
So could it be that hysteria was in fact caused by sexual frustration as Aitkenhead points out?
%% [[some argue that hysteria has always been endometriosis in disguise]] %%
Or was it, as [[Vagina Obscura by Rachel E. Gross|Rachel Gross notes in her book Vagina Obscura]], endometriosis in disguise?[^5]
> "Some scholars argue that hysteria, far from being a made-up disease, has always actually been endometriosis in disguise. “If so, then this would constitute one of the most colossal mass misdiagnoses in human history, one that over the centuries has subjected women to murder, madhouses, and lives of unremitting physical, social, and psychological pain,” write the Nezhat brothers, three endometriosis surgeons from Iran, in a 2012 paper. “The number of lives that may have been affected by such centuries-long misdiagnoses is staggering to consider.”
%% [[hysteria was finally delete from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980]] %%
Either way, Hysteria was finally deleted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980 but by then the vibrator was seen as more than just a medical device.
[^1]: [[(Tasca et al., 2012)]] Tasca, C. _et al._ (2012) ‘Women and hysteria in the history of mental health.’, _Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health_, 8, pp. 110–9. Available at: [https://doi.org/10.2174/1745017901208010110](https://doi.org/10.2174/1745017901208010110).
[^2]: [[(Aitkenhead, 2012)]] Aitkenhead, D. (2012) ’The buzz: how the vibrator came to be. The Guardian’, Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/sep/07/how-the-vibrator-caused-buzz
[^3]: [[(Bailey, 1966)]] Bailey, P. (1966) ’Hysteria: The History of a Disease.’. Archives of General Psychiatry, 14, 3, 332. Available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730090108024](http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730090108024)
[^4]: [[(Aitkenhead, 2012)]] Aitkenhead, D. (2012) ’The buzz: how the vibrator came to be. The Guardian’, Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/sep/07/how-the-vibrator-caused-buzz
[^5]: [[Vagina Obscura by Rachel E. Gross]] Gross, R.E. 2022, Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage, W. W. Norton Company.