The management of chronic hysteria: a review and double blind trial of electrosleep and other relaxation methods

A. Scallet, C. R. Cloninger, E. Othmer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    13 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    The effectiveness and mode of action of electro sleep therapy in chronic hysteria was evaluated in a double blind trial with a 1 month followup. Matched groups of hysterics were treated with central electrical stimulation and relaxation, peripheral electrical stimulation and relaxation, or relaxation only. Autogenic training exercises were used initially to standardize the relaxation instructions for all the patients. Central electrical stimulation has no specific benefit for hysteria. Rhythmic peripheral stimulation does increase the effect of verbal suggestions to relax initially but has no long term advantage over relaxation alone. Regular brief periods of relaxation can improve the mood and diminish the anxiety level of psychiatric outpatients with hysteria but have no persistent benefit for sleep disturbance or hypochondriasis. The best treatment of depression in chronic hysterics was found at followup to be relaxation without electrostimulation. Specialized somatic and psychotherapeutic methods have no advantage over treatment with low doses of anxiolytic drugs, reassurance, suggestion, and regular periods of relaxation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)347-353
    Number of pages7
    JournalDisease of the Nervous System
    Volume37
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Dec 1 1976

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