Yellow: The Color of Postpartum Depression

Decent Essays
Women have long felt the emotional, psychological and physical effects of child bearing. Before modern medicine, these mental struggles were said to be nothing more than nervousness. In The Yellow Wallpaper a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gillman, the narrator is a young woman who has recently given birth, during the late 19th century. After giving birth she has fallen victim of postpartum depression. When a woman becomes pregnant her body immediately starts to produce hormones in excess. These same hormones that help a woman through pregnancy can cause psychological detriment postpartum. Her husband, who is a doctor, tells her, it is nothing more than nervousness. Narrator states, “John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfies him.” If postpartum depression symptoms are not taken care of it can result in a complete mental illness and can lead to suicidal tendencies. Dr, Rui Campos and her colleagues discuss the findings of their study in their article Neediness and Depression in women. What they found was that most women have mental illness as a result of a hormonal imbalance, their own self-worth and the environment in which they live. The narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper is kept contained in a room. Her husband believes that with rest and time alone she will get better. Instead of improving, her mental clarity worsens as a result of no treatment, and being held hostage in a room, and while alone she lives
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