Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Yellow Wall-Paper- an interesting short story about Postpartum Depression by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The story depicts the effect of under stimulation on the narrator's mental health and her descent into psychosis. With nothing to stimulate her, she becomes obsessed by the pattern and color of the wallpaper.
You might wonder why this isn't being posted in my book review blog instead. It wasn't going to be, but the topic of this short story is much more along the lines of my personal blog.

I got this basically to just read The Yellow Wall-Paper and I highly recommend reading it. What I took away from it, and was validated by reading Chartlotte's essay "Why I wrote the Yellow Wall-Paper, wasn't that this was simply a story about a woman's decent into madness., but about a woman who was suffering post par-tum depression. Because of the time period her husband, the doctor,ignored and placed the label of "hysteria" upon her. Researching the author has found not only did she suffer from depression but also depression after the birth of her daughter and didn't care for the way women were treated.

The MC talks about not being able to deal with her baby and how she begins to hate everything she used to love and is tired all time. Her husband takes her to a house far away to "recover" but he's not actually treating her. He's making it worse by locking her away and not allowing her to really see people or do anything but sit around and stare out a window.

The MC's fascination with the awful wall paper is understandable, she has nothing else to do with her time and her mind in unwell.Her husband won't allow her any excitement or to even write in her journal. I have seen post- partum depression and it is scary, I have been lucky to not experience more than basic "baby blues" but I do suffer from depression and anxiety myself, the worst thing you can do is lock yourself away and give into the crazy thoughts in your mind.

This was an interesting, complicated and slightly horrific read. I took away a very sad but not uncommon ending, someone might take away something different.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 11 to 20% of women who give birth each year have postpartum depression symptoms. If you settled on an average of 15% of four million live births in the US annually, this would mean approximately 600,000 women get PPD each year in the United States alone. -

Depressed mood or severe mood swings
Excessive crying
Difficulty bonding with your baby
Withdrawing from family and friends
Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
Intense irritability and anger
Fear that you're not a good mother
Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
Severe anxiety and panic attacks
Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Btw- Women do commit suicide because of this condition it is serious. If you or a love ones have the signs of postpartum depression please get medical help or encourage help at once.

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