Ordinary insanity : fear and the silent crisis of motherhood in America

Ordinary insanity : fear and the silent crisis of motherhood in America
Menkedick, Sarah
  • Item Type: Book - XX(1764575.2)
  • Published: 2020
  • Copies Currently On Shelf:
  • Queue Length: 1

"A groundbreaking exposé and diagnosis of the silent epidemic of fear that afflicts new mothers, and a candid, feminist deep dive into culture, science, and psychology of contemporary motherhood. Fear is a growing but largely unrecognized crisis among pregnant women and new mothers. With scarce resources available for their care and precious little time or support, many suffer from emotional conditions that don't fall neatly within the diagnosis of 'postpartum depression.' They are often left vulnerable and alone, unable to distinguish what is normal from what is not, as they fend for themselves in the weeks and months after birth, held captive by overwhelming feelings of grief, anxiety, and obsession. This crippling state of madness, though sometimes temporary, is commonly left untreated and systematically disregarded by much of the medical establishment and broader society. Perhaps even more dangerously, a mother's unhappiness is treated as a shameful taboo in our culture. Drawing on extensive research, countless interviews, and the raw particulars of her own experience with anxiety, writer and mother Sarah Menkedick gives us a sweeping comprehensive cultural examination of the history, biology, psychology, and societal conditions surrounding the dangerous anxieties and fears that have become the norm for so many mothers in contemporary America. Courageously exposing the aspects of motherhood that so many keep hidden, Menkedick argues that motherhood as a whole has come to be an experience dominated by panic, and asks how mothers might reclaim it. Writing with profound compassion, visceral honesty, and deep understanding, Menkedick offers a way for us to understand the invisible challenges of motherhood today and makes clear how critically we need to expand our awareness of and care for women's lives."--Book jacket.

Related Subjects

Motherhood--Psychological aspects.
Postpartum psychiatric disorders.


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9781524747770 (hardback)

Personal Author:

Menkedick, Sarah,


Ordinary insanity : fear and the silent crisis of motherhood in America / Sarah Menkedick.


First edition.

Publication Info:

New York : Pantheon Books, [2020]

Publication Info:


Physical description:

xiv, 408 pages ; 25 cm.

Content Type:


Media Type:


Carrier Type:


Subject term:


Subject term:

Motherhood--Psychological aspects.

Subject term:

Postpartum psychiatric disorders.

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