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MEDICINE and “The Yellow Wallpaper”

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1 MEDICINE and “The Yellow Wallpaper”
Presentation by: Michelle Gayer Andrew Hittig Stephen Reid

2 What will cure you?

3 Medicine What diseases can you think of are related to the conditions that the narrator is experiencing? What are some of the symptoms that the narrator is experiencing?

4 Diseases related to Narrator
Delusional Disorder Dementia Post-Pardum Depression Obsessive Compulsive Nervousness

5 A story about a woman supposedly suffering from post-partum depression
Written as journal entries Husband, who is a doctor, moves the family to the country so his wife can get better Prescribed “rest-cure” The wife begins to obsess and hallucinate about the ornate yellow wallpaper in the master bed room. Claims there is a woman trapped behind the paper, crawling around the floorboards. Due to her isolation, the woman has a mental breakdown, becoming the woman in the wallpaper.

6 Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Story Fact or Fiction many found it unbelievable to write a story as crazy and detailed In 1913, Charlotte Perkins Gilman put rumors to rest and admitted to having suffered post-partum depression like the main character, prescribed rest-cure unlike the character, Gilman stopped the “treatment” before going crazy Wrote the short story to show how the “rest-cure” was actually driving women to insanity and to show Dr. S. Weir Mitchell was a quack Charlotte Perkins Gilman Dr. Weir Mitchell

7 Post-Partum Depression
after giving birth, a woman loves her child, but is convinced she will not be a good mother Caused by unbalances in hormones Very few women suffer psychotic post-partum episodes Infanticide usually caused by hallucinations to kill the baby or the baby is thought to be possessed In 2001, Andrea Yates drowned her five children while supposedly suffering from Post-Partum depression

8 Post-Partum Depression
Main character keeps herself from her baby “It is fortunate Mary is so good with the baby. Such a dear baby! And yet I cannot be with him, it makes me so nervous.” If the main character would have been in contact with her baby, would she have harmed it? Andrea Yates pictured with her husband and five children, shortly after the birth of the youngest.

9 Dr. Weir Mitchell and the “Rest-Cure”
Main character and Gilman are prescribed the “Rest-Cure” Used to “cure” hysteria in women Preached seclusion and total control over the woman’s daily activities Visitors must be cleared Charlotte Perkins Gilman learned from experience, the “rest-cure” made women even more insane

10 Dr. Weir Mitchell and the “Rest-Cure”
“I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus--but John says the very worst thing I can do is to think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad.” Tells the reader that she is starting to feel restless being cooped up and controlled all day.

11 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric disorder, specifically, an anxiety disorder. OCD is manifested in a variety of forms, but is most commonly characterized by a subject's obsessive drive to perform a particular task or set of tasks, compulsions commonly termed rituals.

12 Instances Compulsive Obsessive Escaping the yellow Color Yellow
Yellow Wallpaper Woman Outside Freedom Compulsive Escaping the yellow Tearing down the paper

13 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Quotes
“It is the strangest yellow, that wall-paper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw -- not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things.” Notice she mentions yellow three times, seemingly repetitively – she is obsessive

14 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Quotes
“Then I peeled off all the paper I could reach standing on the floor. It sticks horribly and the pattern just enjoys it! All those strangled heads and bulbous eyes and waddling fungus growths just shriek with derision!.” She is compulsive about getting the paper off of the walls

15 Parts Obsessions are thoughts and ideas that the sufferer cannot stop thinking about. Compulsions refer to actions that the person performs, usually repeatedly, in an attempt to make the obsession go away.

16 Media Howard Hughes suffered from OCD. Several instances of the movie The Aviator reflect his actions concerning the disease. In these scenes he thinks that the men in suits and white gloves are after him – which leads him during his gas-turbine discussion to repeat “the way of the future”

17 Delusions Yellow is everywhere!!

18 Characteristics of Delusional Disorder
Mental illness Person is usually functional and does not show any oddities except for the delusions. Person usually sees imaginary objects or hallucinations Usually linked with Schizophrenia, and dementia.

19 “there are so many of those creeping women, and they creep so fast.”
She sees women that “came out of the wall” Clearly hallucinations Shows signs of having a delusional disorder Treatment by John was suppose to get rid of the “slight hysterical tendenc” Instead treatment Fostered a delusional disorder, narrator imagines people who aren't there.

20 Why is she delusional? Three Basic Theories:
John the physician claims that the narrator has a “temporary nervous depression or a slight hysterical tendency” (born with disorder) The narrators oppressive husband, John, treats her as a child and takes away all her liberties The fact of being locked up in a room that is all yellow just drove her crazy. What do you think?

21 Discussion After reading this story, how big of an impact do you think your environment has on your mental and physical health?

22 Works Cited page…
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins; “Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper;”

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