Mental Health 3 MIN READ 134 VIEWS October 18, 2023

Mass Hysteria: What It is and How It Affects the Old Age Group

Mass hysteria is a social phenomenon characterised by clusters of symptoms that suggest a psychogenic disorder. It is also known as epidemic hysteria, mass psychogenic illness, and mass sociogenic illness. However, there is no physical basis for these symptoms; rather, they are the result of emotional distress. 

Mass hysteria may have mental roots but it often manifests in the form of true bodily symptoms and extreme emotional anguish. This effect may be caused by a number of things, including social pressure, stress, and groupthink.

Mass hysteria occurs when a large number of people share an irrational dread that quickly becomes overwhelming. So, let’s have a look at hysteria symptoms and signs and treatment for better understanding. 

Mass Hysteria Symptoms 

Many persons within a group will show signs of this phenomena since it impacts groups of people. Hysteria symptoms include:

  • People may say they’re experiencing constant or extremely painful headaches.
  • Nausea and vomiting are common side effects that some people experience.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting have been reported by some people.
  • Some people may suffer trembling or shaking that they can’t stop.
  • Some people may have rapid or shallow breathing and a feeling of suffocation.
  • Some people may feel a discomfort in the chest or have the impression that their heart is racing or thumping.
  • Disturbances to the senses include tingling, numbness, and even momentary loss of sight or hearing
  • Some people have reported feeling weak or unable to use specific muscles as one of the very common hysteria symptoms and signs.

Causes of Mass hysteria

Listed below are some of the most common hysteria causes:

1. Groupthink

When people in a group automatically agree on a course of action without thoroughly considering the evidence, a psychological phenomenon known as “groupthink” emerges. 

Despite its common use in the realms of commerce, politics, and government, the psychological phenomenon known as “groupthink” is equally relevant to the study of mass hysteria and collective phobias. This is when extending help, particularly, old age help, is of utmost importance. 

2. Stress

Mass hysteria might be triggered by anything as simple as a stressful event. People often ascribe stress to a bodily or environmental origin when they are coping with difficult or overwhelming events. 

As a result, exposure to collective trauma may result in the onset of psychogenic symptoms and note that helping old people at that time is really crucial.

3. Pressure from Society 

Mass hysteria symptoms might also be influenced by peer pressure. Others may experience conscious or unconscious social pressure to conform when a large number of others around them are displaying the same symptoms. 

When individuals worry that the rest of their community is unwell, they could start focusing too much on their own symptoms and misattributing them to the epidemic.

How to Treat Mass Hysteria and Help the Elderly Dealing with It? 

There is currently no approved therapy for epidemics of psychogenic disease. Therapy for conversion disorder, together with reassurance and sympathetic recognition of symptoms, is typically effective. In cases of widespread hysteria, experts advise taking a similar course of action and helping old people.

In a nutshell, the physical symptoms you’re experiencing may often be alleviated by locating and dealing with the root cause of your stress.

A professional counsellor would never tell you that your symptoms are “all in your head.” They will help you identify potential causes of your mass hysteria symptoms of stress and anxiety. Learning and practising new techniques to deal with persistent stress is another benefit of therapy. It proves to be an effective method of old age help.

If you’re suffering from the same symptoms as other individuals, taking some time away from them will help you relax and speed up your recovery.

This goes beyond just keeping a patient isolated from others who may be experiencing similar symptoms. This includes avoiding articles and social media postings about individuals who are having similar symptoms of mass hysteria. The internet and social media may frequently make your anxiety and physical issues worse.


Mass psychogenic illness has not been well explained by science; yet, most professionals believe that it is possible for anybody to experience it, particularly during times of great stress or emotional upheaval.

Living through crisis after crisis may certainly create the anxiety that is frequently at the heart of public panic. That’s why it’s crucial to get help if your anxiety is severe or ongoing, and to take additional measures to safeguard your mental and physical health.

If you can find ways to reduce the stress in your life you may be less likely to have a negative psychological reaction to really intense emotions.

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