from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A psychological disorder characterized by phobias, obsessions, compulsions, or excessive anxiety. No longer in scientific use.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Weakness, through exhaustion, of the mental faculties; mental exhaustion.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • By the term psychasthenia is understood a group of conditions in which the bodily symptoms, such as fatigue, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, etc., are either not so marked as in neurasthenia, or else are overshadowed by other, more distinctly mental symptoms.

    The Nervous Housewife

  • The paranoia reading was low for someone with the prisoner's apparent intelligence, nor had he scored high in psychopathic deviation, schizophrenia, hypomania, depression, hysteria, masculinity/femininity, psychasthenia, or social introversion.

    The Girls He Adored

  • He knew that Kameon thought he was finicky to the point of psychasthenia.

    Covergent Series

  • To repeat, neuroses, neurasthenia, psychasthenia, and the various forms of neuropathy and psychopathy are dysgenic factors.

    Woman Her Sex and Love Life

  • This is a remarkable showing when we consider the strain of the strange, long, dark winter campaign, and of these fourteen cases six were mental deficiency that were not detected by the experts at time of enlistment and induction, three were hysteria, two neurasthenia, and three psychasthenia.

    The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki Campaigning in North Russia 1918-1919

  • In this way they give rise to the symptoms which we meet in hysteria and psychasthenia -- fears, phobias, obsessions, and tics, like stammering.

    Introduction to the Science of Sociology

  • One finds the coward very commonly in the clinics for nervous diseases, and in some cases the formidable term of psychasthenia is merely camouflage for the more direct English word.

    The Foundations of Personality

  • Freud has delimited what he calls obsessional or compulsion neurosis (Zwangsneurosis), which is classed under psychasthenia by the French and under neurasthenia by others.

    The Journal of Abnormal Psychology

  • And yet when Déjérine lays stress upon the fact that badly organized moral hygiene conduces to the emotional preoccupations which lead to obsessions and which he regards as the essential characteristics of the neurasthenic constitution, he leaves no apparent distinction from the psychasthenia of Janet.

    The Journal of Abnormal Psychology

  • For the purpose of this discussion, it is not important whether psychasthenia arises purely from degeneration of structure, or from faults in the chemistry of the plasma which bathes the nerve structures, or whether it is a purely psychopathological condition to which the physical phenomena are secondary, as some would have us believe.

    The Journal of Abnormal Psychology


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  • We visit again poor Eugenia,

    An anchoress now in Armenia,
    Unable to stir
    From helpless longueur
    And locked in a deep psychasthenia.

    For more on the wretched Eugenia's woes see comments at neomenia and xenia.

    December 27, 2016

  • says "(no longer in technical use) a neurosis marked by fear, anxiety, phobias, etc."

    July 26, 2008

  • I HAVE that!

    July 26, 2008

  • psychasthenia – an incapacity to resolve doubts/uncertainties or to resist obsessions/compulsions that one knows are irrational

    July 26, 2008