Hysteria In The Yellow Wallpaper

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The female narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” almost immediately tells the readers that she is “sick.” Being a physician of high standing, her husband diagnosed her condition as a temporary nervous depression with a slight hysterical tendency. He was not able to consider a more severe underlying mental disease that can result to more problems and complications when left unchecked. In her journal, she stated that she does not agree with the diagnosis and has her suspicions that the medical treatment needed for this type of diagnosis will not treat her. Having the correct medical diagnosis is crucial because once formulated, it will dictate the therapeutic actions that will be taken to treat the medical condition. The Yellow Wallpaper’s narrator had post partum depression. According to “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator suffers from a disease called neurasthenia. George Beard first used this term back in 1869 (Beard 217). This disease is also known as “nervous exhaustion” and heightened excitability. Neurasthenia has clear resemblances to hysteria and nervous disease. As a disease, neurasthenia may be identified not as a descendant but a relative of the two. It was back in 1869 that Neurasthenia was identified as a disease that displays fatigue, depression and extreme anxiety (Beard 217). During the nineteenth century, nervous disease transformed into a new disease called “hysteria.” The name hysteria came from the Greek word for uterus. This transformation positioned the

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