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June 18 , 2007

The Madness Of Women


Why are women more likely to be positioned or diagnosed as mad than men?

If madness is a social construction, a gendered label, as many feminist critics would argue, how can we understand and explain women's prolonged misery and distress? In turn, can we prevent or treat women's distress, in a non-pathologising women centred way? The Madness of Women addresses these questions through a rigorous exploration of the myths and realities of women's madness.

Drawing on academic and clinical experience, including case studies and in-depth interviews, as well as on the now extensive critical literature in the field of mental health, Jane Ussher presents a critical multifactorial analysis of women's madness that both addresses the notion that madness is a myth, and yet acknowledges the reality and multiple causes of women's distress. Topics include:

  • The genealogy of women's madness - incarceration of difficult or deviant women
  • Regulation through treatment
  • Deconstrucing depression, PMS and borderline personality disorder
  • Madness as a reasonable response to objectification and sexual violence
  • Women's narratives of resistance

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of psychology, gender studies, sociology, women's studies, cultural studies, counselling and nursing.

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