CriticaLink | Lacan: The Mirror Stage | Terms


Collaborating with Breuer, Sigmund Freud first identified the operations of the unconscious and outlined the practice of psychoanalysis in his work with women suffering from a disorder known as hysteria. Hysterics experience pain, paralysis, or numbness (neurasthenia) in a part of the body that is not affected by any organic disease. The term is derived from the Greek word for "womb"; early medicine attributed the pain of hysteria to the displacement of the womb and its movement to other parts of the body. Throughout its history, hysteria has been generally associated with women. Both Freud and Lacan categorize hysteria among the neuroses.