Mad, Bad, and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors by Lisa Appignanesi

This is the story of how we have understood extreme states of mind over the last two hundred years and how we conceive of them today, from the depression suffered by Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath to the mental anguish and addictions of iconic beauties Zelda Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. From Mary Lamb, sister of Charles, who in the throes of a nervous breakdown turned on her mother with a kitchen knife, to Freud, Jung, and Lacan, who developed the new women-centered therapies, Lisa Appignanesi’s research traces how more and more of the inner lives and emotions of women have become a matter for medics and therapists. Here too is the story of how over the years symptoms and diagnoses have developed together to create fashions in illness and how treatments have succeeded or sometimes failed. Mad, Bad, and Sad takes us on a fascinating journey through the fragile, extraordinary human mind.

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