Hysterical or Hysterical?

by Jan on August 3, 2009

Hysterectomy and hysterical. Any correlation between these words?  I dug in and found something that seems to explain the female condition, well, mine at least.

The word “hyster” originates from the greek and latin language and actually means, “of the womb“, which fully explains the root for the word,  hysterectomy. Why then would the same root word be attached to hysterical? Hmmmmm. Check this out from the Online Etymology Dictionary:

hysterical Look up hysterical at Dictionary.com
1615, from L. hystericus “of the womb,” from Gk. hysterikos “of the womb, suffering in the womb,” from hystera “womb” (see uterus). Originally defined as a neurotic condition peculiar to women and thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus.Hysterics is 1727; hysteria, abstract noun from hysteric, first recorded 1801 as a medical term.

Could there be any better explanation for menopause? Could our womb/uterus be any more dysfunctional during this time?

Why is it some days we menopausal women wake up and feel like road kill that didn’t die? Or like we are ready to drop kick the next idiot that happens to glance our way? Often I feel like I never do wake up and I am sleep walking through the entire day.

But the worst is when everything feels like a crisis… when in fact my husband just put the forks in the wrong drawer. Hysterical…of the womb when the womb ain’t workin’ right. Menopause affords us many opportunities to practice this word.

I can understand at an intellectual level the shifts and imbalances of hormones during this mid life process. At an emotional level, is a whole different box of chocolates and occasional carb-overload.

When the emotions take over, all mental and bodily functions stand at attention and march at command. It’s powerful. Thank God it does pass.

The word hysterical also means funny. I like that definition much better. So the next time I can’t find my keys and after hours of searching discover them in my husbands coat, I’m going to practice the funny hysterical and laugh from the top of my head all the way down to my menopausally dysfunctional uterus. Will report back…

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