Analysis Of Scholinski's The Last Time I Wore A Dress

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Mental illnesses have a high prevalence amongst the United States population. Each year, tens of millions of individuals suffer and are affected by mental illnesses (National Institute of Mental Health, 1). These illnesses range from anxiety disorder, eating disorders, major depression, personality disorder, and many more. Yet, with the existing knowledge, mental providers and professionals, and the DSM-5, mental illness remains a growing mystery to the public. Literature has played a significant role in how mental illnesses are defined, their characteristics, and the portrayal of those who are mentally ill to the public eye. From memoirs on mental illness such as Susanna Kaysen 's Girl, Interrupted to Daphne 's Scholinksi 's The Last Time I…show more content…
In relation to Davis ' "Constructing Normalcy: The Bell Curve, the novel, and the Invention of the Disabled Body in the Nineteenth Century," Daphne Scholinski 's memoir The Last Time I Wore A Dress highlights the idea anything outside of what is seen as normal is seen as an illness, particularly in her case, a mental illness. In The Last Time I Wore A Dress, Scholinski recounts her experience in a mental hospital for three years, and the events surrounding her institutionalization. Growing up, Daphne deals with a careless mother, an abusive father, and the battles with finding her identity as a female. The fact that Daphne does not resemble the typical female has caused her to stand out. Her psychiatrist diagnoses her with Gender Identity Disorder, which Daphne believe is her main reason behind being in a mental hospital, as well as many other disorders. However, Scholinski greatly highlights the fact that not acting like what is seen an appropriate female is what has affected her the most, and her misbehavior and substance abuse is a result of others suggesting that acting outside of what is normal for a girl is an issue. Additionally, Scholinski demonstrates the gender bias that plays a part in diagnosing mental illness. Because Daphne is a female, she expresses how her gender has an impact on evaluating one 's mental health. Her gender was the main focus when diagnosing her, and overpowered all of the other issues that may have been possibly affecting her mental health such as parental issues, lack of
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