Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Studies on Hysteria

The dark side of Freud’s legacy

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 21 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1606
  1. Sarah C Vaughan, general practitioner1
  1. 1Bristol BS16 6PG
  1. nannyogg{at}

    Lucas’s review of Breuer and Freud’s Studies on Hysteria does not mention its most damaging legacy—namely, the widespread belief that all symptoms that elude diagnosis are psychosomatic in origin.1 This assumption has caused untold frustration and distress to patients who, on top of having illnesses that elude medical diagnosis, have …

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