Male Hysteria: Description and Symptoms

The concept of male hysteria has been modified through years of medical and psychological explorations. In 1886, the psychologist Sigmund Freud attempted to confirm the notion of male hysteria and designed a specific clinical picture of this disorder (Sabater, 2021). The concept of hysteria referred to women primarily, and it was difficult to understand that men could have hysterical symptoms as they are biologically deprived of women’s sexual organs. It is essential to examine male hysteria and know why it was classified as a mental disorder and why it became outdated.

Previously, many studies were published that contained descriptions of male hysteria. The first historical notion appeared in William Shakespeare’s play, where the main character, King Lear, behaved uncertainly (Sabater, 2021). Later, doctors were about to study the disorder and characterize it clinically. Therefore, male hysteria symptoms included extreme behavior, uncertainty in actions and motives, inclination to substances, for example, alcohol, and neurosis (Sabater, 2021). Accordingly, the disease was closely linked to gender stereotypes when men failed to act “like men were expected to act” (Muccio, 2018, para 4). Indeed, male hysteria was no longer recognized as a disease at the beginning of the twentieth century. Doctors admitted that hysteria was independent of any gender features.

DSM or psychology probably has to label diseases to help people, as cognitive sciences constantly evolve and discover new concepts. Moreover, perception depends on several factors, including self-stigma and public stigma (Evers, 2019). Some people tend to perceive people with mental disorders differently from those who do not have them. Therefore, attitude is a social construct that negatively makes people perceive their mental issues. Additively, psychologists should consider ethics in labeling mental disorders, as it can adversely impact the patient. When doctors reverse a previous diagnosis, it is essential to deliver the thought carefully to avoid unfavorable effects and reactions in patients.


Muccio, A. (2018). Representations of hysteria in men – sex, gender, and the history of medicine. Medium.

Evers, D. (2019). The stigma on labeling psychological disorders. Medium.

Sabater, V. (2021). Male hysteria: Does it truly exist? Exploring Your Mind.

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PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Male Hysteria: Description and Symptoms." April 7, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Male Hysteria: Description and Symptoms." April 7, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Male Hysteria: Description and Symptoms." April 7, 2023.