the attention for any length of time upon a subject is absent. So also regard for accuracy, and the energy necessary to ensure it in any work that is undertaken, is deficient. The emotions are excited with undue readiness and when aroused are incapable of control. Tears are occasioned not only by pathetic ideas but by ridiculous subjects and peals of laughter may incongruously greet some tragic announcement, or the converse may take place. The ordinary signs of emotion may be absent and replaced by an attack of syncope, convulsion, pain or paralysis. Perhaps more constant than any other phenomenon in hysteria is a pronounced desire for the sympathy and interest of others. This is evidently only one of the most characteristic qualities of femininity, uncontrolled by the action of the higher nervous centres which in a healthy state keep it in subjection. There is very frequently not only a deficient regard for truthfulness, but a proneness to active deception and dishonesty. So common is this, that the various phases of hysteria are often assumed to be simple examples of voluntary simulation and the title of disease refused to the condition. But it seems more reasonable to refer the symptoms to impairment of the highly complex nervous processes which form the physiological side of the moral faculties (Quain's Dictionary of Medicine, 1902).
“It is not uncommon to find hysteria in females