The word hysteria comes from the Greek word for uterus, hystera (ὑστέρα). Historically, hysteria was thought to manifest itself only in women (female hysteria) with symptoms including: anxiety, shortness of breath, fainting, insomnia, irritability, nervousness, as well as sexually forward behaviour and a "tendency to cause trouble for others". It was believed that the uterus itself caused this female hysteria by moving around a woman's body putting pressure on other organs. Plato's dialogue Timaeuscompares a woman's uterus to a "living creature that wanders throughout a woman's body, blocking passages, obstructing breathing, and causing disease".
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