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i was searching for 19th century photographs, and i came across this website of which i find utterly interesting. its title, Women’s History Then & Now : Women’s Mental Illness.

you can go to this website for more info on the subject.

i find these few mental illness as being downright interesting and decided to post some here in my blog. for future reference or sort. idk.

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Anorexia- The Fasting Girls

Anorexia, though prominent for many years prior, was officially recognized Fashionas
a disease in 1873 (Ussher 77). It flourished during the nineteenth century as women wished to exemplify their femininity. In denying food, a woman could truly be passive and become a weightless accessory for her husband. The physical and spiritual ideal of anorexia also became a status symbol for many women. Working class women had to eat in order to have energy to work. Thus, only middle to upper class women could afford to be anorexic. Cures included being admitted to an asylum where women rested and were excessively fed.

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Spinsters and Lesbians

Spinsters and lesbians were considered a threat to society during the nineteenth century as these women chose an alternative lifestyle. They went outside the social norms of women as passive housewives, and instead made their own decisions. They were thought to be mentally ill, as doctors claimed being without continued male interaction would cause irritability, anaemia, tiredness, and fussing. These women were also controlled by the term “frigid” which was used to describe them. Women did not want to be “frigid” and thus married to avoid becoming labeled this manner (Ussher 81). Those who were admitted to the asylum for being a spinster or a lesbian were submitted to forced marriages by family members or even encouraged sexual encounters where patients were sexually abused or raped under the care of their doctors (Ussher 81). It was assumed these women could be cured by repeated sexual interaction with men.

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Nymphomania (hypersexuality)


The idea of nymphomania developed during the Victorian era. One-third of all patients in Victorian asylums suffered from this mental illness. It was described as an irresistible desire for sexual intercourse and a “female pathology of over-stimulated genitals” (Goldberg 80). Nymphomania included much more than a simple sexual drive, however, as it was also associated with a loss of sanity. It was described as an “illness of sexual energy levels gone awry, as well as the loss of control of the mind over the body” (Goldberg 86) and included women who allowed their bodies to become subject to uncontrollable movement as nymphomaniacs “threw themselves to the floor, laughed, danced, jumped, lashed out, smashed objects, tore their clothes, grabbed at any man who came before her” (Goldberg 89). It was also believed that those who suffered from this madness would, without treatment, eventually become a raving maniac, robbed over her mind (Goldberg 87). Gyno ExamA woman could be placed in an asylum for nymphomania if she was promiscuous, bore illegitimate children, was a victim of an assault or rape, was caught masturbating, or suffered from man-craziness, a term used during this time period to describe flirtatiousness. When a woman was brought to the asylum, she was subject to a pelvic exam where the doctor claimed she had an enlarged clitoris the size of a penis. Upon later inspection if the clitoris had returned to its normal size, she would be released and deemed cured. Cures for nymphomania included separation from men, bloodletting, induced vomiting, cold douches over the head, warm douches over the breasts, leeches, solitary confinement, strait-jackets, bland diet, and occasional clitorectomies.

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for these and more, go to the website.

8 mad rant(s):



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  1. Shine said...

    Very informative, though I doubt that all of them are mental problems, some seem genetical to me.

    And I find it unreasonable that feminists thinks that every problem in the world is caused by men.  

  2. Kwatra said...

    True that.  

  3. TOTallyTOT said...

    Oooh, interesting! Only I can't open the link laa..Is it my browser or is anybody else experiencing the same prob?  

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  5. viagra online said...

    I like the information published. Something than I still don't understand is way people when watch 2 gays are discriminated by the society, and 2 lesbian are more acceptable.  

  6. Anonymous said...

    Not all problems of women are cause by men; not all problems of men are caused by women. This author is trying to enlighten people of how women were wrongly treated 150+ years ago. That's all. Oh, and "genetical" isn't a word.  

  7. buy kamagra said...

    I don't thing that's an ill. We need more information about all this, and also if we're submitted the knowledge about all this. I think we can't ignore this point.  

  8. Cheap Pharmacy Online said...

    Yes! Very informative, though I doubt that all of them are mental problems, some seem genetical to me.  


 

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