Treatment of hysteria throughout history has included music, thermal water, good nutrition, marriage, leeches, electric currents, isolation, rest, hypnosis and more recently psychotherapy, CBT, transcranial magnetic stimulation or pharmacotherapy. A modern moral treatment of hysteria is exposure therapy and/or could include simple and understandable language, suggestion and persuasion, with regular follow up and where appropriate group or family members 1

“If we shadows have offended, this (and all is mended), that you have but slumb’rd here, while these visions did appear”

1.Broussolle, E., Gobert, F., Danaila, T., Thobois, S., Walusinski, O., & Bogousslavsky, J. (2014). History of physical and ‘moral’ treatment of hysteria. Frontiers of neurology and neuroscience, 35, 181–197.

Puck: V ii 56, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. Illustration by Michael Goodman, available at: