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The Literature of Prescription

Additional Resources


Charlotte on a trip to campaing for women's right to vote

Courtesy Schlesinger Library,
Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University


Curator’s Bibliography

Cutter, Martha J. “The Writer as Doctor: New Models of Medical Discourse in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Later Fiction.” Literature and Medicine 20, no. 2 (Fall 2001): 151-182.

Dock , Julie Bates., ed. Charlotte Perkins Gillman's “The Yellow Wall-paper” and the History of Its Publication and Reception: A Critical Edition and Documentary Casebook, University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998.

Golden, Catherine J., ed. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wall-paper: A Sourcebook and Critical Edition,
New York: Routledge, 2004.

Lutz, Thomas Michael. American Nervousness, 1903: An Anecdotal History, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991.

Poirier, Suzanne. “The Weir Mitchell Rest Cure: Doctors and Patients,” Women’s Studies 10 (1983): 15-40.

Thrailkill, Jane F. “Doctoring ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’” ELH 69, no. 2 (Summer 2002): 525-66.

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Additional Readings for High School Students


Collins, Wilkie. The Woman in White. 3 vols. London: Sampson Low, 1860.
In this tale of deceit, stolen identity, and murder, a devious husband uses a false claim of insanity as a tool in his attempt to steal an inheritance from sisters Laura Fairlie and Marian Halcombe.

Greenberg, Joanne. I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1964.
In this semiautobiographical novel 16 year old Deborah Blau retreats into a fantasy world to cope with her problems at school and at home. Eventually she is able to recover and emerge from the world she created with the compassionate help of a psychiatrist.

Marchetta, Melina. Saving Francesca. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.
Sixteen-year old Francesca thought she had her hands full with the comical misadventures she experiences trying to fit in at a newly co-ed school. However, life gets even more complicated after her mother suddenly takes to her bed without explanation.

Torres, J., and Eric Kim. Degrassi Extra Credit #3: Missing You. New York: Pocket Books, 2007.
Spinner grapples with his new religion and a long-term relationship while Liberty, a teenage mother,
deals with her conflicting feelings about giving her baby up for adoption and possible post-partum depression
in this graphic novel.

Vizzini, Ned. It's Kind of a Funny Story. New York: Miramax Books, 2006.
Craig Gilner’s year of intensive studying has finally paid off: he's been accepted to one of the most
prestigious private high schools in Manhattan. So why is he checking himself into a psychiatric hospital
when he should be celebrating?

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Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands Adolescent Mental Health Initiative Series books relates the experiences of young adults living with and receiving treatment for various psychiatric conditions:

        Ford, Emily, Michael R. Liebowitz, and Linda Wasmer Anderson. What You Must Think of Me:
        A Firsthand Account of One Teenager’s Experience with Social Anxiety Disorder
. Oxford: Oxford
        University Press, 2007.

        Irwin, Cait, Dwight L. Evans, and Linda Wasmer Anderson. Monochrome Days: A Firsthand
        Account of One Teenager's Experience with Depression
. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

        Jamieson, Patrick R., and Moira Rynn. Mind Race: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager's
        Experience with Bipolar Disorder
. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

        Kant, Jared Douglas, Martin Franklin, and Linda Wasmer Anderson. The Thought That Counts:
        A Firsthand Account of One Teenager's Experience with Obsessive-compulsive Disorder
. Oxford:
        Oxford University Press, 2008.

        Snyder, Kurt, Raquel E. Gur, and Linda Wasmer Anderson. Me, Myself, and Them:
        A Firsthand Account of One Young Person’s Experience with Schizophrenia
. Oxford:
        Oxford University Press, 2007.

Astbury, Jill. Crazy for You: The Making of Women's Madness. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1996.
This book examines how “the woman question” has influenced how women have been diagnosed and treated by the health profession from the 1800s onward and led to oppressive treatments such as the rest cure.

Ehrenreich, Barbara, and Deirdre English. For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts' Advice to Women. New York: Anchor Books, 2005.
Authors Ehrenreich and English offer a historical critique of advice given by medical, psychology, and parenting experts to women on how they should conduct and lead their lives.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An Autobiography. New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1935.
Read about the life and times of Charlotte Perkins Gilman in her own words.

Horowitz, Allan V. Creating Mental Illness. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.
The author argues that many normal behaviors have been redefined as psychological conditions and presents social and financial incentives behind the “overmedicalization” of normal emotions and behavior.

Schultz, Samantha. I Don’t Want To Be Crazy. New York: Scholastic, 2004.
In this memoir with a spin, the author uses poetry to recount her struggle with debilitating panic attacks and her journey to gain control of her life.

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Professional Organizations

American Board of Professional Psychology certifies psychologists as specialists in a given area, such as adolescent psychology. Brochures on each of the specialties they certify are available on their website.

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc. is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties and provides certification for general psychiatry as well as subspecialties such as forensic psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and pain medicine.

American Mental Health Counselors Association provides detailed information on the professional standards for becoming a mental health counselor. It publishes a journal, has state chapters, and advocates on behalf of mental health counselors nationwide.

American Psychological Association is the world's largest association of psychologists. Their website provides a wealth of information regarding training needed to become a licensed psychologist, accredited degree-granting programs, and recent research findings in psychology.

Association for Academic Psychiatry focuses on psychiatry education for medical students and practicing psychiatrists. The organization hosts an annual conference and seeks to promote diversity in the profession.

Clinical Social Work Association began as the Clinical Social Work Federation more than three decades ago, but recently changed its name and structure in order to provide better services to its members. This organization focuses on advocacy, education, and practice support exclusively to licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) and students enrolled in programs to be LCSWs.

National Association of Social Workers is the largest professional organization of social workers in the world.
The organization issues publications regarding professional standards and a code of ethics. It offers information and guidance to different areas of practice, such as clinical social work, and many different educational resources.

National Board of Certified Counselors is a voluntary credentialing organization for professional counselors.

National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology is a voluntary credentialing organization for
licensed psychologists.

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National Mental Health Service and Advocacy Organizations

Center for Mental Health Services, is a component of SAHMSA's Health Information Network that provides the behavioral health workforce and the general public to the latest information on the prevention and treatment of mental and substance use disorders.

Mental Health America (formerly The National Mental Health Association) is an advocacy group made up of mental health consumers, their families, and mental health care professionals. It offers informational resources on psychological conditions, links to support groups and providers of mental health services, and guides to appealing insurance claim denials.

National Alliance on Mental Illness, founded in 1979, is dedicated to educating, supporting, and advocating for people affected by mental illness and their family members. It has state and local chapters which offer support group meetings and educational programs.

National Institute of Mental Health, one of the National Institutes of Health, provides the latest information on developments in mental health, informative free publications, and other useful resources.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is an agency of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, and provides grants, publications, statistics and programs for facilitating recovery for people with or at risk for mental or substance use disorders.