Skip to Content
Medical Term:


Pronunciation: his-te're-a

Definition: A term derived from the ancient Greek concept of a wandering uterus, denoting maladies involving physical symptoms that seem better explained by psychological factors. The concept of hysteria is historicaly differentiated into somatization disorder and conversion disorder, both of which are considered types of somatoform disorders in the DSM. The current ICD-10, however, places conversion disorder with dissociative disorders, not with somatoform disorders.

See: conversion, psychogenic, psychosomatic

[G. hystera, womb, from the original notion of womb-related disturbances in women]

© Copyright 2016 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.