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Hysterical Syncope

more about Hysterical Syncope


Blacking out, passing out, fainting



  • Transient (temporary) loss of consciousness after an emotional experience
  • Fainting from emotional upset, such as might follow an accident or a fall in a child.

  • Light-headed feeling
  • Visual disturbance
  • Loss of the normal muscle tone, causing inability to maintain an upright posture.

  • One theory is that circulating blood pools in the periphery after a sudden dilation of blood vessels, and the diminished blood flow to the brain causes loss of consciousness.
  • Stimulation of the vagus nerve can lead to bradycardia (slow heart beat), with a fall in blood pressure, producing the same effect.

  • No one characteristic makes this diagnosis conclusive, but its occurrence in close proximity to an emotional event makes it likely.
  • The exclusion of medical causes of syncope and the exclusion of Seizures makes this diagnosis more likely.

  • This tends to occur in emotionally driven individuals.

  • The patient should be gently lowered to the ground and placed in the supine (lying face upward) position, so that he will not be injured in the act of falling.  Loosen any tight clothing around the neck.
  • Turn the head to one side, so that the person will not choke on vomit if he vomits.

  • None, ordinarily

  • A physician evaluation will help distinguish this from other causes of loss of consciousness.

  • Vasovagal syncope, such as occurs after blood drawing, is similar and possibly shares the same mechanism.




more about Hysterical Syncope


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