From Paralysis to Fatigue: A History of Psychosomatic Illness in the Modern Era

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9780029286654: From Paralysis to Fatigue: A History of Psychosomatic Illness in the Modern Era

This fascinating history of psychosomatic disorders shows how patients throughout the centuries have produced symptoms in tandem with the cultural shifts of the larger society. Newly popularized diseases such as "chronic fatigue syndrome" and "total allergy syndrome" are only the most recent examples of patients complaining of ailments that express the truths about the culture in which they live.

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Shorter shows how psychosomatic symptoms are related to cultural conditions. In the repressive Victorian period, such symptoms were generally hysteria and paralysis. In the permissive society, they took the form of enervation and languor.

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Edward Shorter
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