Mass hysteria revisited

S. Balaratnasingam, Aleksandar Janca

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    23 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Purpose of review Instances of mass psychogenic response have occurred throughout history, and across population groups; however, the present-day threat of terrorism and biological warfare is expected to enhance societal vulnerability to epidemics of such events. This paper provides a brief review of the current state of knowledge regarding the conceptualization, diagnosis, and management of mass psychogenic response.Recent findings Various terms are nowadays used to denote mass hysteria, such as 'mass psychogenic illness' and 'mass sociogenic illness'. Recent studies investigating personality types predisposed to mass hysteric reactions are inconclusive with a range of results found. Cognitive models of this condition have been effective in promoting empowerment and adaptation among vulnerable individuals. The actions of governments, medical communities, and the media are pivotal in the management of mass hysteria.Summary The diagnosis of mass hysteria remains contentious, and the mechanisms underlying its perpetuation are similarly ambiguous. The prevalence of 'threat' within the modern sociocultural climate is likely to increase the incidence of the condition, and this could result in serious implications for health services. A holistic approach entailing the collaboration of various public sectors performing a range of preventive activities will be required to contain future mass psychogenic reactions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)171-174
    JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
    Volume19
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Fingerprint

    Hysteria
    Biological Warfare
    Terrorism
    Public Sector
    Climate
    Population Groups
    Health Services
    Personality
    History
    Incidence

    Cite this

    Balaratnasingam, S. ; Janca, Aleksandar. / Mass hysteria revisited. In: Current Opinion in Psychiatry. 2006 ; Vol. 19. pp. 171-174.
    @article{c5e6933defb245a7bdad0af73339d738,
    title = "Mass hysteria revisited",
    abstract = "Purpose of review Instances of mass psychogenic response have occurred throughout history, and across population groups; however, the present-day threat of terrorism and biological warfare is expected to enhance societal vulnerability to epidemics of such events. This paper provides a brief review of the current state of knowledge regarding the conceptualization, diagnosis, and management of mass psychogenic response.Recent findings Various terms are nowadays used to denote mass hysteria, such as 'mass psychogenic illness' and 'mass sociogenic illness'. Recent studies investigating personality types predisposed to mass hysteric reactions are inconclusive with a range of results found. Cognitive models of this condition have been effective in promoting empowerment and adaptation among vulnerable individuals. The actions of governments, medical communities, and the media are pivotal in the management of mass hysteria.Summary The diagnosis of mass hysteria remains contentious, and the mechanisms underlying its perpetuation are similarly ambiguous. The prevalence of 'threat' within the modern sociocultural climate is likely to increase the incidence of the condition, and this could result in serious implications for health services. A holistic approach entailing the collaboration of various public sectors performing a range of preventive activities will be required to contain future mass psychogenic reactions.",
    author = "S. Balaratnasingam and Aleksandar Janca",
    year = "2006",
    doi = "10.1097/01.yco.0000214343.59872.7a",
    language = "English",
    volume = "19",
    pages = "171--174",
    journal = "Current Opinion in Psychiatry",
    issn = "0951-7367",
    publisher = "Lippincott Williams & Wilkins",

    }

    Mass hysteria revisited. / Balaratnasingam, S.; Janca, Aleksandar.

    In: Current Opinion in Psychiatry, Vol. 19, 2006, p. 171-174.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Mass hysteria revisited

    AU - Balaratnasingam, S.

    AU - Janca, Aleksandar

    PY - 2006

    Y1 - 2006

    N2 - Purpose of review Instances of mass psychogenic response have occurred throughout history, and across population groups; however, the present-day threat of terrorism and biological warfare is expected to enhance societal vulnerability to epidemics of such events. This paper provides a brief review of the current state of knowledge regarding the conceptualization, diagnosis, and management of mass psychogenic response.Recent findings Various terms are nowadays used to denote mass hysteria, such as 'mass psychogenic illness' and 'mass sociogenic illness'. Recent studies investigating personality types predisposed to mass hysteric reactions are inconclusive with a range of results found. Cognitive models of this condition have been effective in promoting empowerment and adaptation among vulnerable individuals. The actions of governments, medical communities, and the media are pivotal in the management of mass hysteria.Summary The diagnosis of mass hysteria remains contentious, and the mechanisms underlying its perpetuation are similarly ambiguous. The prevalence of 'threat' within the modern sociocultural climate is likely to increase the incidence of the condition, and this could result in serious implications for health services. A holistic approach entailing the collaboration of various public sectors performing a range of preventive activities will be required to contain future mass psychogenic reactions.

    AB - Purpose of review Instances of mass psychogenic response have occurred throughout history, and across population groups; however, the present-day threat of terrorism and biological warfare is expected to enhance societal vulnerability to epidemics of such events. This paper provides a brief review of the current state of knowledge regarding the conceptualization, diagnosis, and management of mass psychogenic response.Recent findings Various terms are nowadays used to denote mass hysteria, such as 'mass psychogenic illness' and 'mass sociogenic illness'. Recent studies investigating personality types predisposed to mass hysteric reactions are inconclusive with a range of results found. Cognitive models of this condition have been effective in promoting empowerment and adaptation among vulnerable individuals. The actions of governments, medical communities, and the media are pivotal in the management of mass hysteria.Summary The diagnosis of mass hysteria remains contentious, and the mechanisms underlying its perpetuation are similarly ambiguous. The prevalence of 'threat' within the modern sociocultural climate is likely to increase the incidence of the condition, and this could result in serious implications for health services. A holistic approach entailing the collaboration of various public sectors performing a range of preventive activities will be required to contain future mass psychogenic reactions.

    U2 - 10.1097/01.yco.0000214343.59872.7a

    DO - 10.1097/01.yco.0000214343.59872.7a

    M3 - Review article

    VL - 19

    SP - 171

    EP - 174

    JO - Current Opinion in Psychiatry

    JF - Current Opinion in Psychiatry

    SN - 0951-7367

    ER -