We’ve taken the concepts from a T.V. program seen recently, where a psychologist from the university of Oviedo was analysing the significance of a supposed case of hysteria suffered by Ana Ozores, the protagonist in one of the major novels of the 19 th century, La Regenta.
The author _ Leopoldo Alas, sets the novel in the sad and boring town of Vetusta (Oviedo).The climate is humid with little sun and light during the year, although what most affects the young Ana, married to the Governor of Vetusta, is her husbands total indifference to her and the suffocating environment of a hypocritical and stagnant society. Like a plant that can’t grow freely, Ana has frequent “nervous crisis”, a condition that the medical science of the time diagnosed as “hysteria”.
The interpretation of the psychologist in the T.V. program who was analysing the novel is that the crisis of Ana Ozores would today be termed “depression” or “bi-polar disorder”, which are in fact caused by the problems of life, each persons individual life circumstances which, according to our psychologist, “can’t be cured by medicines”. The science of the time gives labels to the difficulties people have to face but in reality they are the same.
And this is the motive for our reflexion: how often behind an illness, such as depression, joint inflammation, persistent headache, nervous crisis, digestive upset etc., are the causes, problems of :- dissatisfaction , fear, frustration, deep sadness etc., _ in other words the problems of life? And if this is the case, wouldn’t it be beneficial for the person who is ill or those who are looking after them to investigate the hidden causes of the illness and try to change them? A conversation, a change in behaviour, a new activity, reflection and exercise …could well be more effective in these cases than any other remedy.