Hysteria – Wandering Wombs, Toxic Semen & Exorcisms


When you think of hysteria, what comes to mind? Melancholia, anxiety, frigidity. It’s a problem that can be solved, says Doctor Dalrymple from the Netflix feel good movie, Hysteria.

Until 1952, female hysteria was a valid diagnosis for women exhibiting the following symptoms: insomnia, anxiety, shortness of breath, sexual desire, frigidity or lack of sexual desire, irritability, fainting, a general air of independence, raucous behaviour and even infertility. Holy cow! I must have hysteria!

In today’s episode I’ll talk about the first hysteric, the Queen of Hysterics Blanche Wittman, wandering uteruses, excorcisms, Freud (of course), the Salem Witch Trials, and mass hysteria including the War of the Worlds alien invasion, meowing nuns and the dancing epidemic.

And did I mention polenta poultices? Oh, and Trump…

And I’ll ask if we should just retire the word.

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Sound engineering and original music by Jeff Willis. You can find his tunes on Spotify and iTunes

Produced by Jo Vraca. You can find my books on Amazon