Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Hysteria: Clinical and Theoretical Perspectives

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9780192632548: Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Hysteria: Clinical and Theoretical Perspectives
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Patients with striking physical symptoms suggestive of a neurological disease, but no evidence of nervous system damage are typically labelled as suffering from "hysterical conversion". Despite claims that conversion disorders have disappeared from clinical practice, patients with conversion symptoms continue to present diagnostic conundrums to clinicians. The disorder accounts for 4% of all referrals to neurology services. This book covers aspects neglected by previous works on this controversial condition, moving away from traditional historico-sociological accounts towards neuroscientific theories about the causes and categorization of hysteria. Recent investigations using functional imaging and hypnosis are covered, as are the neuropsychological accounts inspired by them, alongside more traditional psychodynamic accounts. A section on medico-legal aspects is innovative and timely. The key causal role of life events is also addressed, along with the influence of military conflict and culture in shaping and modifying clinical presentations, and changes in physical manifestations of hysteria through the centuries. Contemporary Approaches to the Science of Hysteria, with contributions from a distinguished international team, representative of all interested specialty groups, aims to demonstrate that hysterical conversion remains clinically important, with potential for empirical research in both social and medical sciences, as well as offering a fertile source for advancing neuroscience.

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Professor Peter Halligan Rivermead Rehabilitation Centre Abingdon Road Oxford OX1 4XD Tel: 01865 790363/ 240321 Fax: 01865 200185 E-mail: peter.halligan@psych.ox.ac.uk Dr Christopher Bass Department of Psychological Medicine John Radcliffe Hospital Headington Oxford OX3 9DU Professor
John Marshall Neuropsychology Unit The Radcliffe Infirmary Woodstock Road Oxford OX2 6HE

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This book is a welcome addition to the literature on hysteria and provides a balanced and generally critical review of contemporary theories on classification, epidemiology, aetiology and management... This book can be recommended to all those interested in the bewildering yet fascinating hinterland between neurology and psychiatry. * British Journal of Psychiatry *

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Peter Halligan (editor), Christopher Bass (editor), John C Marshall (editor)
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