Hysteria as a neurosis seems to have disappeared altogether from the psychiatric manuals; but there are articles here and there, particularly in the United States and France, which advocate the existence of hysteria as a psychosis. Hysterical psychosis is the clinical combination of a hysterical personality with a seemingly psychotic state. Looking back to nineteenth-century psychiatry, Katrien Libbrecht attempts to answer the question: Is there such a thing as a hysterical psychosis or are we dealing with hysteria exhibiting psychotic features?
Hysterical Psychosis is divided into three sections. The first part of the book carries the reader back to the second half of the nineteenth century, the heyday of the study of hysteria on the eve of the discovery of psychonanalysis. The second part of the book discusses the implications of the generalized impact of Bleuler's concept of schizophrenia during the interbellum period. The last section of the book deals with the current reemergence of hysterical psychosis from the 1960s to the 1990s.
Libbrecht provides a historical survey of the most important psychiatric and psychoanalytic references on hysterical psychosis, as well as a review of current research on the matter. She sheds new light on reasons for the disappearance of the diagnosis of hysteria rn the 1950s and the emergence of the notion of hysterical psychosis during the 1960s. Hysterical Psychosis is a landmark study that is essential for psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, medical practitioners, and historians of psychology.