Discover more from The Power Couple by Roman Shapoval
Women are Hysterical
It's not "all in your head"
There’s no such thing as anxiety.
Stop blaming your mind and mental health for everything.
I like to first embrace what I can see and feel, mainly my body and heart.
Anxiety is “all in your head.”
“Women are hysterical.”
Women have “weak nerves.”
At least that’s what the captains of industry, and Sigmund Freud made many believe.
People actually had, and still have neurasthenia, meaning “weak nerves.”
You’ve probably never heard of this mystery illness.
Before you chalk it up to the land of witchcraft, let me take you on a stroll down electric memory lane, where all the streets never stop glowing, even if the mind wants to sleep:
In the early 1800s, hysteria described a neurological condition of the body, not the mind.
The “hystera” is Greek for uterus, and hysteria was a neurological disease that originated in the internal organs.
For centuries the term “nervous” meant “neurological”, pertaining more to the body than mind.
Nervous disorders included epilepsy, contractions, paralysis, tremors, cramps, alcoholism, loss of sensations, tetanus, and gout.
In the early 1800s, many illnesses were still being called hysterical, even when there was nothing wrong with the uterus.
When women had tremors, palpitations, or seizures, but the internal organs were not affected, they were called “nervous.”
A colleague of Thomas Edison, and budding New York City neurologist George Miller Beard, noticed this trend of increasing nervous disorders.
In 1869 Beard published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, where he came up with the term “neurasthenia”, which means “weak nerves.”
If there was nothing wrong with the organs, what was precipitating this “nervousness”?
In 1885, German physician Rudolf Arndt made a connection between neurasthenia and electricity.
He did this at the height of industrialization, for which he was greatly admonished by his fellows.
Arndt proposed that “electrosensitivity is characteristic of high-grade “neurasthenia.”
He also acknowledged that a large obstacle to acknowledging electrosensitivy was that the people who were less sensitive chalked up this study to the likes of superstition.
Let me paint a picture of what was happening at that time, which was a systematic electrification of the planet:
1839- Europe had magnetic telegraphs installed.
1844- US had first telegraph installed
1850- telegraph lines were under construction on every continent. Twenty-two thousand miles of wire had been energized in the US, four thousand through India, where “monkeys and swarms of large birds” were alighting on them.
1875- thirty thousand miles of submarine cable had destroyed the depths of the ocean, and seven hundred thousand miles of copper web over the surface of the earth, enough to encircle the globe thirty times. 
All of the great physicians of that time, and centuries before, ascribed to the fact that our bodies had an electric current. Once disturbed, our other systems would go astray.
Industry had their way however, and did a better job of marketing their solutions that were seen as progress, over the “backward” philosophies of vitalists such as Newton and Galvani, who maintained there was an etheric vital force in each organism.
(Robert Becker proved that this vital “life force” does in fact exist, in his book The Body Electric, 1985.)
The most important observations made by the 19th century medical community regarding neurasthenia were that it:
1) Spread along routes of the railroads and telegraph lines
2) Affected both men and women, rich and poor
3) Sufferers were often weather-sensitive
4) Sometimes resembled the common cold or flu
5) Ran in families
6) Increased likeliness of allergies and diabetes
7) Lowered tolerance for alcohol and drugs
8) Seized most commonly people in the prime of their life- 15 to 50yrs.
Then came the magic umbrella word to cover up industry’s pollution- anxiety!
In 1894 Sigmund Freud invented the term anxiety nervosa for these symptoms:
Heart Palpitations, chest pain
Shortness of breath, asthma
Nausea and vomiting
Numbness and tingling
All of the cases of neurasthenia, which were concerned with the nerves of the body, were now classified as a mental disease.
Environmental illness caused by a toxic environment isn’t given as much credence to this day due to Freud, who blamed its symptoms on out-of-control emotions and disordered thoughts.
It is all in our head, because we allowed the thought that “we’re bad” to be planted!
If all of this seems out of the blue, you’re living under the rock called the US. In the International Classification of Diseases, code F 48.0 is for neurasthenia. This code was removed in the US version.
Most of the world still recognizes neurasthenia as one of the most frequently diagnosed diseases, usually indicating chronic toxicity.
Physicians in these other countries take into consideration the effects of our environment and external stimuli, and have a holistic approach, vs our magic-pills.
We hear it all the time: “mind is body.” That’s it?
What bridges the mind and body?
If the bridge is out, how can we find a foothold in our daily lives of stress?
We can meditate, exercise, and eat well, however isn’t it easier to remove the toxin, rather than adding more to the equation?
In my study as a building biology advocate, I say yes.
I know that our bodies have a DC electric current that needs to be cultivated and nourished.
I know that less is more.
I know the power of the Earth that supports us.
I know the power of the breath that keeps us.
I know the power of the Sun that fuels us.
Come, grab my hand, as I take you over the nervous bridge into illumination…
 Firstenberg, Arthur. The Invisible Rainbow: 2017
 Highton 1851, pp. 151-152
 Firstenberg, Arthur. The Invisible Rainbow: 2017