epidemic hysteria

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Related to epidemic hysteria: mass psychogenic hysteria

mass hys·te·ri·a

1. spontaneous, en masse development of identical physical and/or emotional symptoms among a group of people, as seen in a classroom of schoolchildren;
2. a socially contagious frenzy of irrational behavior in a group of people as a reaction to an event.
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epidemic hysteria

The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

mass hysteria

The synchronous appearance in a group of individuals of signs and nonspecific physical symptoms of hysteria, for which no organic cause can be determined. It is transmitted among members of a group by “line of sight” and is more common in young females.

Clinical findings
Nausea, loss of consciousness, vertigo, headache, shortness of breath, fainting, screaming, shaking, crying, muscle weakness, hyperventilation; a general lack of symptoms in those sharing the same physical environment, but in a different timeframe—i.e., of temporal, and not spatial, significance.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Patterns of transmission of epidemic hysteria in a school.
In his 1992 book on epidemic hysteria, From Paralysis to Fatigue, Shorter recounts the similar history of a 19th-century syndrome called "spinal irritation," originally diagnosed by a handful of British doctors.
Outbreak of itching and rash: epidemic hysteria in an elementary school.

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