Hysteria is a term derived from the Greek word for the uterus, hysterika. Throughout the ages, the term hysteria has been used to describe a range of illnesses and symptoms experienced by women, with the ancient Greeks and Romans attributing it as the cause of almost every female ailment.h

Women considered to have it exhibited a wide array of symptoms, including faintness, nervousness, sexual desire, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in the abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and a “tendency to cause trouble.