In the 1870s Charcot diagnosed these three women with hysteria. Hustvedt’s detailed descriptions of them allow modern psychiatrists to delve into the women’s pathology and speculate about their actual diagnosis. “Bizarre mood swings in which she would laugh one minute and cry the next,” for example, suggests a patient with an affective disorder. Others, who were possessed “demonically,” most likely experienced a psychotic illness. One of Charcot’s muses, who would “mortify her flesh by cutting her arms and amputating her nipple,” was likely suffering from borderline personality disorder.