Postpartum Psychosis in the Yellow Wallpaper

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Post-Partum Psychosis and “The Yellow Wallpaper” “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, tells the story of a woman’s descent into madness as a result of postpartum psychosis. Postpartum psychosis is a condition that affects between one and two of every thousand live births. The condition of postpartum psychosis usually begins within two weeks of giving birth and sometimes within a matter of days. (“Depression”, 2009) Symptoms of postpartum psychosis are “delusions or strange beliefs, hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there), feeling very irritated, decreased need or inability to sleep, paranoia, rapid mood swings and difficulty communicating at times”. (“Postpartum Psychosis”, 2009) The…show more content…
This is not the last time that John’s views will be commented upon with some distain by the narrator. While the narrator recognizes the great care with which her husband is treating her she seems to constantly feel that she is being ungrateful. She calls herself out in her journal for being a “comparative burden” (Gilman) The room in which the narrator resides has a sturdy bed that is nailed to the floor. The narrator notes that there are bars on the windows and rings hooked into the wall. She wrongly assumes that this room was used as a nursery or gymnasium by the previous owners. As the reader, we are able to instill our own thoughts that this room was in fact built to house someone with a mental disorder. This begs the question of what the house really is, to contain such a room away from decent society. From the beginning of their tenure in the summer home, the narrator’s fixation on the wallpaper in her quarters is ever present. She states that it is the worst paper she had ever seen. It is dull with a vague pattern that follows no rules of how it is laid out. The color is “almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight’” (Gilman) The fixation and constant monitoring of the wallpaper falls under some of the symptoms that are present in postpartum psychosis. It is
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