In the framework of the "ReThinking Identities" exhibition, the Museum of Cycladic Art organised an online talk titled "Emotional conflicts and bodily protests". The talk took place online on the 30th of March 2023 by Dr Chryssanthi Papadopoulou.
What somatic symptom disorders (SSDs) occurred in young women passing from puberty to sexual maturity in Ancient Greece and the late 19th century Europe? What were the somatic responses to motherhood and to the irretrievable loss of their maidenhood?
This online talk is delivered in English and presents classical Greek, female somatoform disorders, as these are described in the Hippocratic texts, vis-a-vis hysteria in fin de siècle Vienna and Paris. It examines the sociocultural contexts that gave rise to these female maladies, as well as to their medical (mis)diagnoses and proposed treatments. It demonstrates the doctors’ limited understanding of the various, dissimilar desiderata of their patients, and by extension of the numerous, unalike causes of these disorders. It finally shows how several women sufferers instinctively opted for finding ways of curing themselves.