Snoösphere: Transforming pathology into play
Anxiety has been a subject of medical scrutiny since the ancient Greeks. Definitions change as each era interprets it according to the dominant paradigms of the day. Anxiety can be compared in a social sense to the phenomenon of hysteria, a nineteenth-century medical condition that appeared at a time when science and medicine were beginning to define a secular body of disease. No longer were people possessed by the devil or in a state of religious rapture. Instead, their condition was medically diagnosed and pathologised as hysteria. By naming phenomena as symptoms in the canon of medicine, scientists created a socially constituted condition with which an increasing number of people (predominantly women) were identified.