In the nineteenth century, those who suffered with depression, anxiety, excitability, and/or inexplicable somatic complaints were diagnosed with hysteria. Hysteria occurred when there was a medical problem with no physical causation. Because hysteria occurred primarily in women, it was assumed to be restricted as a feminine predicament. In earlier centuries, the uterus was supposed as the cause of a woman’s mental or emotional stress. The word hysteria derives from the Greek word, hysteron, meaning uterus. When a woman experienced hysteria, it was due to her “wandering uterus.” In order for the female patient to be rehabilitated, she must be treated sympathetically in a restful and hygi...
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...nt from the patriarchal society. Women are confined within predisposed roles that they are expected to abide by. Such expectations can lead to depression or anxiety when the expectancies are not met. This then increases the number of female patients within a psychiatric institution. Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-paper” discloses that it is not the women at fault. Instead, it is the false labeling, patriarchy, and confinement that cause women to lose their sanity.
Abrams, M. H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. NY: Harcourt Brace, 1999. Print.
Barlow, David H., and V. M. Durand. "Chapter 1: Abnormal Behavior in Historical Context." Abnormal Psychology: An Integrative Approach. 7th ed. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.
Gilman, Charlotte P. "The Yellow Wall-paper." The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 7th ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2008. 1682-695. Print.
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