Pseudocyesis In Women

701 Words3 Pages
Struggling with one’s identity is still conveyed in today’s society. Several individuals have come to be diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Through the duration of time there have been cases of Dissociative Identity Disorder that lead to pseudocyesis, or false pregnancy. When women are diagnosed with such a condition it affects their mind, making them emotionally unstable. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator, Jane, evokes similar symptoms to Dissociative Identity Disorder. Gilman’s narrator begins her diary by stating her physician husband, John, has diagnosed her with “temporary nervous depression,” which is currently known as postpartum depression. Barbra Suess discusses the majority of the narrator’s…show more content…
Women who experience pseudocyesis display the following traits: having childhood beliefs, such as dolls or stuffed animals being alive, and imagining certain things to be so real that they are unable to stop imagining them. In Gilman’s short story, the narrator is believed to have never been pregnant and to have never had a child; however, she believes that she did. The narrator talks about her vivid imagination dating back to her childhood days, as with any pseudocyesis patient. At the same time she believes that pieces of furniture are alive. Her youthful mind created imaginary playmates and phobic pressures: “I used to lie awake as a child and get more entertainment and terror out of blank walls and plain furniture than most children in a toy store… there was one chair that always seemed like a strong friend… I always looked into that chair and be safe” (Gilman 959). Overall, the narrator’s true emotional effect lies between her imagination and what really took…show more content…
For example, the narrator wants the room downstairs that “opens on the piazza and had roses all over the windows” (Gilman 957). However John points out certain reason to why they took the nursery at the top of the house. The question is, “why would a woman without a baby be in a nursery” (Blythe 79)? In addition, the narrator’s pseudocyesis is found in the lack of detail about the baby. A normal expectation is that Jane would proudly describe her baby. However, there are not any details given besides the baby’s sex as male (Blythe 81). In “The Yellow Wallpaper” is states that “it is fortunate Mary is so good with the baby. Such a good baby! And yet I cannot be with him, it makes me so nervous” (Gilman 958). In the short story, there are only three references to the baby, which covers a three month period. She does not describe any interaction with her newborn and does not express any desire to be with the baby. It is easy to conclude that the narrator had a very strong desire to be married and have a baby. One major key that the baby does not exist, is the lack of he physical description and the lack of interaction with the child. Therefore, most of her story is “wishful thinking.” She develops an attachment to her young doctor; as a result she fantasizes about being married to him and having his baby
Open Document