NOT IN OUR HEADS
I empathize with Jennifer Brea and her quest (“My Doctor Said I Was Hysterical, Not Sick. Was It Because I’m a Woman?” December 31) to find a “real” diagnosis for her hysteria. As a nurse for 42 years I could write a book about the diagnoses — “it’s a virus, it’s all in your head, it’s busy mother syndrome, etc.” — that cut short the lives of many women or greatly reduced their quality of life.
Mary Mazzarella / Andover
During an otherwise amazing summer abroad three decades ago with an anthropology program, many of my fellow travelers and I got the “flu.” We were given a diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) that was then changed to situational depression. It took seven more years to find out about ME/chronic fatigue syndrome. It is time to stop, think, and act so that this hidden epidemic is stopped.
Loetta Vann / Silver Spring, Maryland
I once had a great doctor who told women that if you wake up from a sound sleep with a pain, it was probably real. Don’t dismiss it as hysteria.
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