Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Women, Menstruation and Secondary Amenorrhea



"I can be a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a woman without having periods." This book explores two of the oldest and most important symbols of all time: menstruation and secondary amenorrhea. Women of menstruating age commonly experience secondary amenorrhea - a cessation of periods - but most people have never heard of the term, nor do they realise what it represents. Danielle Redland's curiosity as to why this is posits that menstrual conditions need to be decoded, not just simply treated.

Surveying menstruation and Secondary Amenorrhea (SA) principally from a psychoanalytic perspective, with sociocultural, historical, political and religious angles also examined, Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Women, Menstruation and Secondary Amenorrhea draws secondary amenorrhea out of the shadows of its menstruating counterpart, and explores how narratives of womanhood and statehood dominate. Chapters on blood ideology and war amenorrhea, on Freud's treatment of Emma Eckstein and on the psycho-mythology of Pygmalion, present the reader with visions beyond patriarchy towards more thoughtful ideas on the feminine, challenging assumptions about gender, identity and what is deemed "good" for women. Rich in clinical examples, the book locates menses and their cessation at the heart of personal experience and examines psychosomatic phenomena, the link between psyche and body and the value of interpretation. From the author's own analysis to a variety of cases linked to hysteria, anorexia, stress, trauma, abuse, helplessness and hopelessness, individual stories and narratives are sensitively recovered and carefully revealed.

This refreshing example of multi-layered research and psychoanalytic enquiry by a new, female writer will be of great interest to psychologists, psychotherapists, healthcare and social work professionals and readers of gender studies, history, politics and literature.

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Taylor & Francis Ltd
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