paroxysm \PAIR-uhk-siz-uhm\, noun:
1. (Medicine) A sudden attack, intensification, or recurrence of a disease.
2. Any sudden and violent emotion or action; an outburst; a fit.
Paroxysm is from Greek paroxusmos, from paroxunein, "to irritate, provoke or excite (literally to sharpen excessively)," from para-, "beyond" + oxunein, "to sharpen, to provoke."
Mrs. Bumble, seeing at a glance that the decisive moment had now arrived, and that a blow struck for mastership on one side or another, must necessarily be final and conclusive, dropped into a chair, and with a loud scream that Mr. Bumble was a hard-hearted brute, fell into a paroxysm of tears.
-- Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist