The Hysterical Woman
Since the Doctor informed me that I'm showing symptoms of anxiety, I've been thinking a lot about how I feel being a woman with what I have been told is something 'psychological' rather than 'physical'.
My first problem is attitudes towards conditions such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and so forth. Particularly when the sufferer is a woman. I've been told to take some time off work (as a student teacher) and my initial worry was how 'anxiety' would be viewed my by placement college. Would I be taken seriously? Or would I just be viewed as a woman who's taken on too much and got themselves emotionally worked up? Because this was my fear. That anything related to being stressed, emotional, run-down, tired and so forth, is also associated with being female. That all these feelings are consequences of being female. Just how, if I'm feeling a bit irritable or weepy I am immediately told I must be having my period. This is the idea that I call the hysterical woman. That woman are merely viewed by society as more prone to that which appeals to the emotions.
So this lead onto my second thought - the general history/treatment of women with conditions such as depression and so forth. I think of Girl, Interrupted and The Bell Jar - about times when women were admitted to mental hospitals and underwent shock treatment for symptoms which are now more accepted.
I really went to look further into this and I think I will research this for my next article. I really would welcome your thoughts and feelings on this (anonymously if you prefer).m