Postpartum Depression In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” is a clear vision of how women in the 1800’s to early 1900’s were treated and misdiagnosed before the discovery and acknowledgment of postpartum depression. Jane, the narrator, wife of John, and sister-in-law to Jennie, battles postpartum depression and mental illness isolated and alone. The psychological outbursts take place during a three week stay at a hereditary estate that is meant to serve as a place for Jane to rest and get well, but also somewhere for the family to stay while renovations take place in their home. As if postpartum depression and mental illness is not enough for Jane to overcome, she also possesses an extremely controlling husband who happens to be her physician. John and his sister have complete control over Jane. Her symptoms and treatment, eventually lead to a psychological breakdown. Jane has no control of her life, does not care for her son, and is sadly being treated for a “nervous condition,” which is only worsening her postpartum depression. Jane starts off by telling the reader that her…show more content…
She does not let it be seen but when left alone (which she requests often), Jane cries. Crying is a symptom of postpartum depression along with difficulty bonding with her baby and isolation. “Such a dear baby! And yet I cannot be with him, it makes me so nervous.” Jane does not isolate herself from her son by choice. Depressed mothers are often nervous they will hurt their baby just as Jane is. It is not uncommon for suffering mothers to have a loss of appetite, insomnia, or social isolation. Jane exemplifies all of these symptoms. “I am alone a good deal.” When her husband is out of town and her sister-in-law offers to spend the night, Jane refuses. “Half the time I am awfully lazy, and lie down ever so much.” Although Jane does not sleep at night, she is lazy during the day, yet another sign of her
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