So what did hysteria look like? Symptoms of the illness included partial paralysis, hallucinations, and nervousness. The term is thought to originate from ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, who associated these symptoms with the movement of a woman's uterus throughout different locations in the body. Ancient thinkers believed that a woman's uterus could travel freely through different areas of the body, often resulting in different symptoms and ailments based upon its travels. The term hysteria itself stems from the Greek hystera , which means uterus.