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Gendering Mental Health: Knowledges, Identities, and Institutions

Bhargavi V. Davar (Editor)

Steeped in archaic and narrow colonial attitudes towards people of 'unsound mind', the discourse on mental health in India, as also the public apparatus dealing with it, are rigid, exclusionary, and deeply gender insensitive. Interrogating the ways in which we understand and deal with mental health disabilities, this volume unravels the voices of women trapped in the predominantly skewed discourse of mental ill-health as 'madness', within the sciences, legal systems, policies, and the media.

The collection of essays in this volume focus on the state of mental health of Indian women, with respect to social attitudes, cultural barriers, treatment, policies, safeguards, or lack thereof. The contributors ask fundamental questions: Is 'mental illness' a social, medical, legal, penal, historical, personal construct? Is mental disorder a disability? Do people living with a mental ailment have a 'memory' or the 'insight' to tell their own stories? In dealing with these questions, it seeks to provide a perspective on how women suffering from mental illness view themselves and their surroundings in India.

Combining primary research and insights from gender studies and mental health specialists, the volume presents a fundamental critique of the institutional responses to women's mental health, and highlights the dire need to overhaul the Indian mental health system.

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Bibliographic information

Title Gendering Mental Health: Knowledges, Identities, and Institutions
Format Hardcover
Date published: 21.07.2015
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 0199453535 , 9780199453535
length xii+236p., 23cm.