Nominated for the 2012 Distinguished Publication Award of the Association for Women in Psychology!
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.
"Ussher writes persuasively and clearly, using nuggets of examples to provoke thought. ... This was a fascinating and evidence-based book, which never claims to be representing two sides of a debate. I think Ussher might argue that her side of the argument needs more airtime in the psychiatric climate it is being voiced in, and perhaps she is right." -- Lucy Maddox, Chartered Clinical Psychologist, London, UK, in The Psychologist "This book is beautifully written and the arguments powerful and sophisticated, whilst at the same time accessible. The author's mastery in research and writing are clearly evident. The book is destined to become a 'classic' text in feminist psychology. A pleasure to read!" -- Michelle Lafrance, Department of Psychology, St. Thomas University, Canada "This book is a compelling, hard-hitting and illuminating analysis of the social cultural, historical and economic forces producing the madness of women. It is a powerful illustration of a long-standing feminist view -- that the personal is political." -- Ann Weatherall, School of Psychology, University of Wellington, New Zealand