• Diagnosis of Mental Illness in the Narrator of Charlotte Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" Using the DSM-5

      Fang, Wayne; Sadenwasser, Tim; Biological Sciences; English and Foreign Languages; Sadenwasser, Tim; Augusta University (12/10/2019)
      Charlotte Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" explores mental illness, freedom, and the faults of the rest cure by exploring the life of a wife who has been diagnosed with neurasthenia. With this story Gilman describes an increasingly common practice during her time, and how problematic it was for the individuals who were diagnosed. Through the wife's narration, Gilman shows how many women felt trapped since they were forced to undertake the rest cure due to one-sided relationship dynamics. Using this narrative of the wife's deteriorating mental health, Gilman argues for equality in relationships as well as better treatments for mental health. In this presentation, I will use the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as well as other scholarly sources to diagnosis the wife's mental illness. To do this, I will take the wife's narration and compare it to diagnostic criteria as presented in the DSM-5. By examining the narrator's thoughts and actions I will be able to examine the progression of her mental illness. Examining the wife's mental health can show how many women of her may have felt trapped. This in turn can explain how many women faced unequal power dynamics in their marriages.
    • Schizoaffective disorder depressive type in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Gilman

      German, Lindsey; Sadenwasser, Tim; English and Foreign Languages; Sadenwasser, Tim; Augusta University (12/10/2019)
      Charlotte Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a literary work of empowering women and serves to explore the human psyche upon women in the 19th century. The author wanted to create a story that brought people"s attention to the rest cure treatment, and how it was not beneficial for the mind. It actually has detrimental effects on one"s mind, because the rest cure isolates that person in a room with nothing to do but to essentially "go crazy." Therefore, the author wanted to warn people about this form of treatment through the downward spiral of the narrator's mental health in the story. In my presentation, I will use other literary references and descriptions given from the short story to show the audience evidence of the narrator's behavior with the character diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder depressive type. To do this, I plan on discussing the criteria of the diagnosis from the DSM-V and how these criteria are met in the short story. This criterion includes a major depressive episode and schizophrenic symptoms. She displays her depressive mood within the story by crying all day at nothing. She displays her schizophrenic symptoms when she experiences delusions, hallucinations, and social withdrawal. I also plan on discussing how the sociocultural factors involving the rest cure treatment given to the narrator and her relationship with her husband further diminishes her mental health. This mental instability that she experiences causes much distress in her life to the point where she could not take it anymore.
    • The Yellow Wallpaper: Obsessions, Compulsions, and Psychotic Episodes (Delusions)

      Morel, Nicole; Sadenwasser, Tim; College of Science and Mathematics; English and Foreign Languages; Sadenwasser, Tim; Augusta University (12/13/2019)
      The Yellow Wallpaper is a short-story which takes place in 1885 about the perspective of a middle-class woman who has been diagnosed with Neurasthenia. The symptoms of Neurasthenia were often described as having, "headaches, indigestion, depression, and anxiety" (The Nerves of Men and Women,2007, para. 6). Her husband who was a practicing physician implemented the most common treatment for this illness: The Rest Cure. This treatment comprised of complete bed rest, air, and absolutely no form of activity (Neurasthenia Cures for Women, 2007). This diagnosis was later discredited by the medical community. In this paper, I display how his enforcement of this treatment escalated his wives' mental health. From examining the texts provided by the novel, this essay will create a diagnosis of the possible psychological disorder the main character was driven into. Specifically, her husband may have induced an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with an acute delusion episode. Afterwards, there will be an analysis on two other sources which will support this psychological diagnosis. The results display how The Rest Cure may have induced a psychological complication.