The hysterical personality means an infantile personality plus ‘something extra’. This ‘extra’ which complements the infantilism of hysteria, are determined by the following constellation of factors: (1) an immature, underdeveloped, emotional personality with a feeble identity; (2) due to the relatively great need for warding off emotional influences, the personality is more vulnerable to emotional stress; (3) a predisposition to deficient repression, leading to insufficient mental defence; (4) an auxiliary auto-regulation in the form of states of lowered consciousness and convulsions or fits, to keep the overwhelming emotional influences outside his awareness. Freud elucidated the dynamic relationships in an impressive way; he described all that can be called neurotic in hysteria. But we know that hysteria encompasses more than various types of neurosis, and can also manifest itself in psychotic and psychopathic-like patterns of behaviour.

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