BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Spring 2019

Date of Submission



Dr. Gulnaz Anjum, Associate Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


The aim of the present study was to trace the historical evolution and transition of the term hysteria, to its present counterpart somatoform and related disorders. It attempts to understand the specific history and trajectory of the DSM with respect to these two disorders. A historical account of this sort intends to understand the ways in which the document has shifted its theoretical perspective (i.e. school of thought) and how that has translated into its taxonomic choices regarding specific disorders. Edward Shorter’s two books mainly From paralysis to fatigue: A history of psychosomatic illness in the modern era (1993) and What psychiatry left out of the DSM-5: Historical mental disorders today (2015) are used as a theoretical framework to understand the ways in which the diagnostic categories alter with respect to the changing socio- cultural and historical contexts. Considering this assessment of the DSM, the present study attempts to understand the ways in which the DSM clusters broad patterns of behavior over time. The study uses patient cases from the nineteenth and twenty-first century to identify the range of symptoms that patients with psychosomatic illnesses present. Analyzing these patient accounts, alongside the DSM provided an insight into the ways in which the human condition, symptoms, and ailments have not radically altered, but the diagnostic criteria to categorize them, have changed considerably.



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