The English word ‘hysteria’ comes from the Greek word hystera, which means “uterus.” In ancient times, physicians like Hippocrates and Aretaeus believed that a woman’s uterus could move out of place and float within the body. So according to ancient Greek cultural beliefs, this “wandering womb” condition led to several illnesses among women such as choking, sleepiness, loss of speech, vertigo, knee problems, headaches, problems with the veins in the nose, heartburn, pulse irregularities, and death.
Obviously, physicians no longer believe that: (a) a woman’s uterus floats within the body and, (b) hysteria is a condition limited only to women. Anyone can experience and/or suffer from hysteria; that is, anyone may behave or react in an extreme or uncontrolled way because of fear or anger.
- Here in the Philippines, many are getting hysterical at the rise of “extra-judicial killings.” Both the guilty and innocent nervously ask, “Who’s safe?”
- In many parts of the world, certain groups are on the verge of hysteria because of acts of terrorism and senseless killings in their communities.
- Poverty, domestic violence, infidelity and loneliness are some causes of hysteria in many homes.
Despite all the progress and technological advances we are experiencing, the world is increasingly becoming a dangerous place to live in. I am not an alarmist. I am not a prophet of doom. The Lord Jesus Christ told us to expect this. He told his followers, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” But to protect them from experiencing hysteria, he assures them: “But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Are you fighting a battle that you can’t seem to win? A sickness perhaps? Bullying? Financial hardships? Whatever your trouble is, you do not have to succumb to hysteria. Help is readily available through Jesus. He is inviting you:
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
I hope you accept his invitation. I just did.