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Hysteria, possession states and pseudoseizures


R. Hanwella

University of Colombo, LK
About R.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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Hysteria has been described from biblical times. It has changed its name many times over the years. Possession states and pseudoseizures are subtypes of hysteria. With the two major diagnostic classifications, the DSM 5 and the ICD 10 separating hysteria into different subcategories with dissimilar names, the confusion for clinicians has compounded. Fortunately, the upcoming ICD 11 has taken a sensible approach describing all types of hysteria under one term; dissociative disorder. This term describes its underlying psychodynamic aetiology and will most likely be widely accepted.


The editorial discusses some of the historical roots of the term hysteria and its different names, definitions and clinical features, and their classification with guidelines for management.

How to Cite: Hanwella, R., 2022. Hysteria, possession states and pseudoseizures. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry, 13(2), pp.1–3. DOI:
Published on 31 Dec 2022.
Peer Reviewed


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