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The danger of hysteria

Updated on April 9, 2012

Dust in the Wind

Christian Psychology Symbol
Christian Psychology Symbol

A psychoneurosis

This writer has worn many hats over the years as my profile describes.

One of those hats was counselor/psychologist and in that capacity much was learned and experienced.

Of special interest to me has always been the psychological phenomenon of hysteria.

Psychologically speaking, hysteria as a phenomenon is a psychoneurosis marked by emotional excitability.

More simply defined, it is behavior exhibiting overwhelming or unmanageable fear or uncontrollable emotion and frustration; a sense of hopelessness yet with feeling and determination.

The problem occurs when a mind or minds conditioned in hysteria begin to produce hysterical results.

In short, it is quite evident that the study of hysteria can be very interesting.

In fact, having been so amazed by this phenomenon, my doctoral dissertation was written on the topic entitled, *“The Psychological Aspects of Glossolalia in Contemporary Society” which investigates the hysterical phenomenon of the charismatic movement within churches; primarily from the 1970’s.

As such, without trying to sound arrogant, this writer is somewhat of an authority on the subject of hysteria.

My feeling about this matter is admittedly strong and probably somewhat biased due to long term exposure over the years as a professional counselor to those having been effected or influenced by hysteria.

My decision to write this article has not come lightly. It has taken much thought, consideration and prayer as whether or not it would even be worth writing or simply a waste of this writer’s time and those who might read.

Let me state from the onset that this writer in no way is attempting to belittle or degrade anyone’s writing or opinions on HubPages.

It is rather to point out some of the weaknesses and unreliable information which often accompanies the many comments on HubPages.

The basis of my decision to write this article is based on nearly two weeks of observation of HubPage articles.

Most of these articles (with all due respect) were filled with extreme emotion, anger, frustration, obvious anxiety, inaccuracies, misinformation and unfortunately some disinformation.

This series of hysterical articles began and developed as the result of one or two writers on HubPages discovering their poems and/or articles appeared on other web or blog sites.

Unfounded Fear
Unfounded Fear

Hysteria Poll

Do you think you have ever been influenced by hysteria?

See results
Writer at work
Writer at work

A frenzy of unfounded fear

These Hubbers then began an email and/or commenting campaign of literally yelling the proverbial “fire” in a crowded theater alarming dozens (and by now possibly hundreds) of Hubbers sending them into an absolute frenzy of unfounded fear, anger and frustration.

As stated at the onset of this article, “the problem occurs when a mind or minds conditioned in hysteria begin to produce hysterical results”.

The minds of numerous Hubbers have been so conditioned by the constant past two weeks of hysterical input, that they seem unable to put it down.

There continues to be hysterical articles written on this topic. These articles keep this cycle of hysteria going with ongoing incorrect and misinformation which feeds a building and dangerous neurosis within the HubPage (as well as other Blogs) community.

This is very sad and completely irresponsible.

It has been reported in some of the comments this writer has read; as well as some direct emails received, that a few writers have actually become physically ill forcing some even to bed.

Just like yelling “fire” in a crowded theater can endanger lives physically, so too, the needless and senseless alarming of others with unfounded information and comments can endanger others emotionally or even physically.

In a recent article in HubPages, this writer addressed the matter of writer responsibility with regard to the use of humor but that responsibility carries over to many areas including the use of correct information.

Again, this article is not an attempt to challenge what many Hubbers have written concerning the alleged theft of their Hubs; that would no doubt continue to inflame the current hysterical environment.

The point this writer/counselor is attempting to make is, “Stop it already!” Enough is enough.

The current and continued writing about closing down other web sites, the posting of obscene photos of innocent children giving the finger and utilizing the comments section of HubPages for the purpose having aggressive arguments with other Hubbers (as well as making idle threats against other writers and publishers) is akin to inciting a riot.

As a Doctor of Psychology let me urge those of you caught up in this entanglement of hysterical weave to please stop, take a breath, get your mental focus and if need be, even stop writing for a while.

My concern here is not the theft of anyone’s writings here.

With respect to the very good writing that many Hubbers have on HubPages, there are no James Pattersons, Daniel Steeles, Emily Dickensons or Ralph Waldo Emmersons on here that this writer/editor/counselor has read. Those writers were and are protected and all of this would be meaningless to writers of that quality.

My concern is the emotional damage this has done to many good writers on the Hub.

The bottom line is as writers, critics, commenters, we need to stop and think before we speak.

We must remember that what we write could inadvertently cause permanent long term emotional damage to those we call friend.

*This is only an Abridged Version of My Doctoral Dissertation


©Copyright 2012 by Dr. Lee Outlaw, Lee W. Outlaw III and Drtruthman. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used for re-distribution, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dr. Lee Outlaw, Lee W. Outlaw III and Drtruthman with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All rights reserved. Any violation or infringement of this copyright notice will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.


Mass hysteria

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    • Goody5 profile image


      8 years ago from Bohville, USA, Just below the Mason-Dixon line in the land of the pleasant living

      Since you left me a link Drtruthman, I just had to swing on by and check this hub out. Great hub, and I like how I could listen to dust in the wind while reading along. something I'd like to add along with not yelling Fire in a crowded theater, is you also never want to yell Movie in a firehouse full of firemen. Years back I used to work in a movie theater, and the company code word for fire was Mr.Strife :)

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thanks teaches12345, I really don't think anyone has anything to worry about. I appreciate the read and thoughtful comment. Thanks so much. Lee

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for the encouragement and the advice on the recent hub issues. I hope that we will soon see justice from this illegal activity that has plagued the net.

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      You nor anyone else have anything to apologize for; especially not to me. You and I as published authors have been legitimately plagiarized long before this most recent event. As I said in the article, I was concerned with the emotional well being of the blogging community in general. All of us want our work to be the best it can be and we don't want anyone staking their claim to it. The problem here was the "conditioning of people's minds". This hysteria event happened so remarkably fast, it is worthy of an academic paper of its own. In all my years of counseling I have never seen anything move so quickly just by printed word. Just amazing. I saw kind, gentle poets turn into near vultures which was totally out of their character and it was obviously detrimental to their mental and emotional well being. You were simply as a fellow poet like many here, just trying to come to the defense of fellow poets; that's commendable. I along with one other person on Hub are just trying to calm the the whole thing down which I think it is actually starting to do. Thanks for the read and the thoughtful comment as always. God bless, Lee

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      I appreciate the read and the comment. However, I think you might have missed the point. I was not labeling anyone; only the resulting event. I see this same kind of situation very often on many blogs and not just with regard to the copyright situation. My apologies to you if I offended you with my article; that was not my intent. As to my copyright, well my work is genuinely copyrighted. A quick copyright is filed daily. For me it is basically a force of habit as a journalist but I am well aware that my work can and will undoubtedly be taken, copied and utilized. I have had news paper articles I have written which have appeared in numerous print and on line news papers and most give me and my paper credit but last October, I had a leading reporter from the LA Times steal 90% of an article I did as an assignment for my paper on Internet Friendship and he gave neither myself or the paper credit. The attorneys deemed it wasn't worth the time or money to suit even though there were 4 legally binding Copyrights on the article. there was never a retraction or apology given by this well known reporter writer and they do it all the time. My copyright as filed OPENLY allows the use of my work and ENCOURAGES giving me credit. But you might notice the ********************above and below. That is a trick I learned from a computer tech; it plays with the web crawlers AI mind and confuses the search engines use and will usually force those seeking to steal to pass right on by. So YES you will be more difficult to find via a search but you will be less likely to have your work stolen. Also, it usually takes 2 to 3 tries for DIGG or other search or social networks to find your work. Good luck on the filing.

    • profile image

      Susan Joyner-Stumpf 

      8 years ago

      As always Dr Lee...your article is thought provoking.....i am again forced to look in the mirror and see one of the admittedly guilty parties of recent hysteria. A recent event of which i was uninformed until you explained it made me realize i need to take a step back and trust more those in charge of my body of work as an author. i am to blame for my part of the hysteria in jumping the gun before i knew all the facts. please accept my apology.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 

      8 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Well I notice you have a copyright notice at the bottom of your page. So I guess you care a little if someone steals/copies it. I think some discussion of the matter is necessary and appropriate. I admit I was a little shocked to see an exact duplicate of my hub including the photos it had taken me weeks to get just right. But I don't think I was hysterical. If others had not shared their experiences I would not have known what to do. As it is I have filed the necessary paperwork and moved on. I think most of us are emotionally resilient enough to deal with this. I'm not sure calling people hysterical will calm them down though.

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thanks Michele, I always appreciate your read and comments. I do hope allot more people read this. I am very concerned especially about the emotional condition this has done to so many on here. I hope this helps. Thanks for voting UP also. God's blessing on you, Lee

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thanks Debbie, I appreciate the read and the comment but most of all I hope and pray this will calm this matter way down. God's blessings on you, Lee

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      8 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Excellent hub, and interesting. I hope more people read this. Voted you up!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      8 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Very good and very interesting..dr, lee.debbie


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