Monday, November 7, 2011

The Only Cure for "Female Hysteria" is Kind of Creepy

So I was reading the wiki on "Female Hysteria," a condition in the 1800s that was sort of a catch all "woman be trippin!" diagnosis. It's about to get medically creepy.

'Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the 19th century. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and "a tendency to cause trouble".[1]'

And the cure is...

"Since ancient times women considered to be suffering from hysteria would sometimes undergo "pelvic massage" — manual stimulation of the genitals by the doctor until the patient experienced "hysterical paroxysm" (orgasm).[1]"

Wait, so the cure was your doctor double-clicking your mouse? That used to be a job? Well, it couldn't have been a major thing, maybe one or two a-

"Rachel P. Maines has observed that such cases were quite profitable for physicians, since the patients were at no risk of death, but needed constant treatment."

So in the 1800's, Doctors could set up practices that specialized in diddling your wife? Then they got to CHARGE you for it?

'The only problem was that physicians did not enjoy the tedious task of vaginal massage (generally referred to as 'pelvic massage'): The technique was difficult for a physician to master and could take hours to achieve "hysterical paroxysm."'

Lucky for Doctors, there probably wasn't any competition-

"Referral to midwives, which had been common practice, meant a loss of business for the physician.[1]"

Except for the hot wife-on-midwife action (for which I'm assuming the husband would still be charged.)

OK if that didn't violate the exact WORDING of the Hypocratic oath, it's gotta at least violate the spirit.

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