Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Locking up women--the only real way to help them

Great, just great.

Far from being callous brutes, Victorian-era British husbands who declared their post-natally depressed spouses mad and had them locked up may have been doing them a favor, a scientist said on Tuesday.

Doctor Cath Quinn of Exeter University's Center for Medical History said the broad label of "puerperal insanity" applied to the supposedly mad mothers covered such a broad array of symptoms that it helped the women identify with each other and aided recovery.

By contrast, the multitude of different tags now attached to post-natal mental illness made sufferers more isolated and was therefore more likely to exacerbate the condition. "In losing the puerperal insanity label, we have lost something valuable that helps women today contextualize their experiences" she told reporters at the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (news - web sites).

Look, I don't disagree that women who suffer from post-partum problems often do so in isolation, but I hardly think locking them up with other sufferers is the only alternative. I hope that this scientist just imbedded this point into a larger, more intelligent theory on how sufferers of post-partum depression would be better served if there were more widespread social acceptance that it even exists. But whether she was or not, I sure as hell hope that the idea that lock in the home vs. lock in an institution are not our only two choices when dealing with new mother's relatively common mental health issues.

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Very cool post -- but I think you're missing a negative somewhere in your final sentence:

But whether she was or not, I sure as hell hope that the idea that lock in the home vs. lock in an institution are our only two choices when dealing with new mother's relatively common mental health issues.

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