Examples Of Postpartum Depression In The Yellow Wallpaper

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“THE YELLOW WALLPAPER”: MENTAL ILLNESS AND ITS TREATMENTS Postpartum depression is defined as, “a mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth… [and can cause] feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it difficult for them to complete daily care activities for themselves or for others.” Today postpartum depression is a mental illness that is widely known, but in the late 1800’s when Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper,” postpartum depression was not known. In fact, Charlotte Perkins Gilman herself “experienced a severe depression and underwent a series of unusual treatments for it… [that] is believed to have inspired her best-known short story ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’” In this “best-known short story,” one can find a theme, of mental illness and its treatments, within the main character and her experiences throughout the story.…show more content…
The women’s husband, John, is “a physician of high standing,” misdiagnoses her with hysteria and treats her with rest. This treatment “confines her to a room in an isolated country estate,” that John rented for the purpose of her treatment. John “expressly forbids her to do any work in the form of writing, her chosen occupation,” even though his wife “believe[s] that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do [her] well.” John does not listen to the thoughts and opinions of his wife, but instead believes that because he is a “physician of high standing,” he knows what it best for his wife’s condition and how to cure her. John is driven by statistics and refuses to acknowledge his wife’s opinions of her mental state, room choice, visitors, and even being able to write as legitimate. His lack of acknowledgment of his wife’s concerns ultimately contributes to her mental stability and her decent into
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