Remembering Kate


I first wrote this story of my mother back in 2000, six years after her death. I share it today as my first entry on this important blog, in the hope that people will see that there is another way. In future entries I want to share with you why I don’t believe in mental illness and the use of psychotropic medications, and how I believe people who are experiencing emotional distress can get well, stay well, and live the lives they want to live.

What is unusual about this woman, my mother that makes me want to share her story with others? Raised on a farm in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, Kate never quite fit the typical image of a quiet, proper and demure Pennsylvania Dutch girl. Unlike her two sisters, she was outspoken, assertive and mischievous, qualities not admired in a young woman at that time. She questioned why they had to sweep the sidewalk when the rain would clear it anyway, and why they had to keep the house so clean.

After completing college with a degree in nutrition, having a brief career as a county extension agent, marrying and having five children (I am the middle child), Kate spent 8 years of her life, from the ages of 37 to age 45, in a state mental institution. She was diagnosed with severe and incurable manic depression.

Before the hospitalization, our family life was nearly idyllic. Kate had left behind her career to spend full time engaging her family in a variety of activities from gardening and raising chickens to sewing and cooking. She supported and encouraged activity, creativity and individuality. I will never forget the homemade french fries and fried dough that warmed us on cold winter days. Even though her hospitalization began when I was eight years old, she left with me a rich array of skills I have used all my life and a love for the natural world which has sustained me through many hard times.

Sometimes when we went to visit, she was in a very severe depression, thin and unkempt. She pulled her hair back severely and always wore the same clothes. She hardly knew we were there. She would repeat over and over words we didn’t understand while she walked in circles, wringing her hands and crying. At other times she was very exuberant, laughing and talking loudly, behaving in a manner that was bizarre and embarrassing.
Her doctors told us to forget about her, that she was incurably insane and would never get well. We (her five children) went to visit her every Saturday, even after the doctors told us not to come anymore.

When she had her deep depression, she had no support. I am not sure anyone knew how to give her the kind of support she desperately needed. Close family members lived far away. My father was away for weeks at a time working on the railroad. We lived in a rural setting and the task of caring alone for five small children may have overwhelmed her. She had no opportunity to get together with other women.

I often wonder how she might have responded when that first depression set in, if, instead of being taken off to the hospital and isolated from the people who loved her and the world she knew, she had been surrounded with loving caring friends and family members. They could have taken over her responsibilities for a while; perhaps someone could have even taken her on a vacation. Suppose they had just sat with her, listened to her, and held her while she cried. Instead she was separated from the few people she did have in her life. In the hospital, no efforts were made to encourage patients to support each other. And there was little staff available to give support to the multitudes of patients.

As a child I always thought it was my fault my mother got sick. I didn’t know what I had done to cause her illness but I thought that if I said the right thing to her she would get well and stay well. The only trouble was, whenever I was alone with her I didn’t know the words to say.

The atmosphere in the hospital was abominable, as state psychiatric institutions were back then, and many still are. It was crowded, dark and smelly. She slept in a large room which she shared with forty other women. There was only a small nightstand between the beds for personal belongings. No privacy. No rest. No peace. Dealing with forty others who were having as hard a time as she was. She recalled that the food was horrid, and being the wonderful cook she was, she would have known. She had very limited access to doctors and there was little staff to meet the needs of all those patients. Not much of a prescription for recovery. No one was expected to get well. It was a holding tank, a place where people were managed, not cured or helped to recover.

People diagnosed with manic depression in those days (the late 1940’s and early 50’s), before the advent of most psychiatric medications (she was given some Miltown as I recall) and the focus on psychotherapy and recovery, people with symptoms as severe as the ones she experienced, were expected to live out their lives and die alone in a back ward, forgotten by family and friends. But not Kate. After eight years of severe, recurring psychotic manic and depressive episodes, Kate got well. And she stayed well until her death at the age of 82, 37 years later.

What does her story have to tell us and teach us, 60 years later?

No one really knows why those awful mood swings stopped. We just know they did. It certainly wasn’t the 150 forced electroshock treatments that took away all her memories of her children in the years before she was hospitalized. They gave up on those fairly early in her stay. Hospital staff noticed her moods weren’t vacillating wildly anymore. In fact, she was helping to take care of the other patients.

She and I spent many hours talking about why she got well, about what made the difference. In fact, she was included in, and the inspiration for, both of my studies: my study of how people with depression and manic depression get by on a day to day basis, and my study of how people with severe mood instability get well, stay well and regain control over their lives. These studies gave me the information I needed to write my books, The Depression Workbook: A Guide to Living with Depression and Manic Depression and Living Without Depression and Manic Depression: A Guide to Maintaining Mood Stability.
As I noted earlier, prior to her first episode, her life was stressful and she had little support. Through most of her hospitalization she had little support. But toward the end of her hospitalization, several things changed.

There was a volunteer at the hospital and a staff member who began to take a special interest in her. They listened to her for hours and hours. She was not used to sharing. She interrupted her monologue with apologies for talking too much. But these two dedicated supporters encouraged her to continue, literally for hours on end. She says she had never felt heard before.

In an interlude between episodes at the hospital, she started what may have been the first support group for mental patients ever begun by a psychiatric patient. It was called Mental Health Fellowship. She began the group with the help of a very fine psychiatrist who took a special interest in her case. I think that is what may have gotten her discharged. The hospital staff weren’t comfortable with the patients talking to each other. Even after she was discharged from the hospital, she went back regularly to attend meetings of the support group and to visit patients who had become as close as family through the years.
There was another factor that we can’t really assess, but that needs to be mentioned. One of the nurses started clandestinely giving her a high dosage multi-vitamin. Perhaps chemicals in her body that had gone awry somehow fixed themselves. Who will ever know?

Perhaps it was her own strong will and determination that made her well. We know it wasn’t medications. After the Miltown, they didn’t give her any. Perhaps that saved what wasn’t fried out of her brain by the shock treatments. And no one was talking about self-help.

When she got out of the hospital, she faced some serious challenges. Some so immense that they would have sent most of our moods wildly out of control or scurrying back to the safety of a bleak hospital situation. She seemed to have a sense of the importance of support. This was in 1955, before anyone was really thinking about support for people with mental health issues. But somehow my mother knew how important it was to her ongoing wellness.

She came out of the hospital wanting to be a mom again. But in the intervening years, we had all grown up, just two of my brothers were left in high school, we were not used to having a mother around and were very independent. My heart sinks when I think of the inadvertent mistreatment and lack of understanding she got from me and my siblings that made her transition back into the family much more difficult. Imagine trying to re-enter a household where you had left a group of children and came back to almost grown adolescents.

She struggled and regained her space in the family with little help from us. Adolescence is not a good time to expect much understanding or empathy. To our credit, as we moved into adulthood, we became much more supportive and an ongoing source of pleasure for her. When she died at the age of 82, she left behind her role as matriarch of a huge family including her 5 children, 24 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren who adored her.

Recovering from a devastating illness, she was faced with the stigma that is the constant companion of anyone who has been diagnosed with a psychiatric illness or spent time in a mental institution. She took many educational courses as she went through the heart breaking process of being refused job after job.

Finally, someone took a chance. They needed a school lunch manager at a school in New Haven, CT – a junior high and high school in a section of the city that had the highest rates of crime and delinquency. Under her guidance, the staff prepared healthy meals that appealed to the kids, causing a rapid rise in the number of students in the hot lunch program. She took the time to know each student by name, to understand their circumstances and to prepare foods that were ethnically and nutritiously appropriate to their needs. Some of the mothering time she lost with us, she bestowed on those very needy kids.

And then she began to systematically connect with people in the community. She met people through her work as a dietician, in her church, in the local grange and through a variety of volunteer activities. Sometimes the stigma created by her long hospitalization caused her to be ostracized and rejected. People made rude comments that hurt her to the core. I remember hearing her crying herself to sleep at night. But she pressed on.

There were several key ways she built her support network. She kept in touch with people. Not overwhelmingly, by constantly bothering them, but by a quick phone call to check in, dropping by with a loaf of freshly baked bread, running an errand for someone or sending a card. Before long people began to forget that this vivacious woman had ever been in a mental hospital. She was always there for others, and then when she needed support it was always there for her. If she liked someone (she almost always did), she made sure they stayed in her life by keeping in touch and making plans to spend time together. Because of this her life was very rich. I don’t know if she developed this support system intentionally, but she certainly did it right. Her ongoing wellness was dependent on her strong connection with others, so that became the focus of her life. It not only kept her well, but as it evolved, her life became richer and richer.

She knew how to keep her support system strong. And that was by being MUTUALLY supportive. In fact she gave much more to others than she ever needed, wanted or expected in return. In early November she began sending out Christmas cards to all the people on her extensive list. Sometimes I got several because she found a new one that she thought I would enjoy. If she was picking blueberries, she picked extras and deliver them to people she cared about. She was always volunteering to take friends shopping or out for lunch. When she worked at the church rummage sale (which she did until the day before her stroke), she was always on the look-out for something one of her friends or family members could use. She phoned and wrote regularly to keep in touch with others. She was always available to listen when anyone needed to be heard.

By giving support to others when she could, she got it for herself when she desperately needed it. The things she did for others became second nature to her. She used her support to keep herself healthy following her discharge from the hospital. When she was having a hard time she called up one of the many people she knew she could trust and shared with them her innermost feelings. They would often spend time with her, supporting her until she was ready to resume her normal activities. Her own brand of mutual support enriched her life.

Often when we think of someone who has psychosis as severe as my mother’s and who was hospitalized for a long time, we might expect that when they got out of the hospital, their life would be limited and isolated. Not true in her case. Because she was so supportive of so many people, others loved and supported her.

In the spring of 1994, at the age of 82, she had a major stroke which left her unable to speak or move her right side. This time her hospitalization was different. She was a patient in a magnificent facility associated with the retirement community where she lived with my father. She was in a beautifully decorated private room and received loving attention from a staff which catered to the needs of the elderly.

The hospital staff, however, was not prepared for the overwhelming support she received. As soon as her massive community of support heard what had happened, they started to come. A continuing procession. Family members and friends filled her room around the clock, wanting to be sure she didn’t feel alone for even one minute. Some just peeked in and let her know they were there. But most stayed, sometimes all day and over night. The facility really didn’t have rules to deal with a situation like this, so they just let it happen. Literally hundreds of people came along with stacks of cards and so many flowers that we had to find other people to give them to, as the room was full.

When she died a month later, the two memorial services were packed to overflowing, a testimony to a woman who survived a horrible time and who received all the support she needed for herself because she gave so much to others. She died surrounded by her loved ones. The night before she died, my brother, an organist, played her favorite hymns to take her through the night. My sister-in-law played the keyboard and we sang songs that she remembered from long ago. What a marvelous send-off!

The service at the retirement home was packed with hundreds of people. The flowers were magnificent, a final tribute designed by a very talented granddaughter.
At the second service, intended for family and friends, family members read eulogies and great-grandchildren again sang her favorite hymns. Even the standing room was filled. My brother and Kate’s granddaughter played the organ, as she would have wanted.

The graveside service was for family only. It was a beautiful Saturday morning in spring. As we gathered to say good-bye, a beautiful hawk hovered in the sky. When the service was over the hawk vanished into thin air, just as it had come.

Because of Kate, I knew that my diagnosis of manic depression was not the end of the road, that I would, like her, get well, and stay well.

Kate’s story, and the story of others who have walked in her shoes, needs to be told again and again. Those of us with psychiatric illnesses need to know that there are many, many people who, like Kate, get well, stay well and lead rich, rewarding and valuable lives.


  1. Thank you Mary Ellen for sharing this wonderful story honoring your heroic mother. I was raised in a small town in the 40’s and 50’s and remember what a tragedy it was for a mother to be ‘sent’ to the state hospital. There was so much stigma that the whole family had to endure. I don’t believe I ever heard of anyone coming home again once they were sent away. Your mother may have received enough of what she needed from the volunteer and staff you mention who spent hours listening to her pour out her emotions and words- that may have allowed her to re-connect with herself through that human contact. ‘Back ward’ folks I have worked with who claimed a life again among us needed that kind of empathic and unlimited listening. I’m so glad to see you blogging here. Your landmark work has been an inspiration and invaluable foundation for many of us over the years. Thank you.

    Report comment

    • Hi Michael, Thanks for your validation of the horror that happened to my family. In those days we were either shunned, or the subject was avoided. A hard, hard life for me, my siblings and my Dad, and of course most of all for my Mom. It is absolutely incredible that she made her way out from the “back wards”, horrible, horrible places.
      You will hear more from me. it is nice to be connected. There are some very wonderful things about technology. Again, thank you for your validation. People don’t realize the hurt families like mine experienced. It goes on for generations. Mary Ellen

      Report comment

  2. Mary Ellen, What a wonderful, moving story, told with such love and caring. I too am glad you are blogging here. Your work has helped so many people around the world. I can see that you received a special gift of inspiration and of understanding from your mother. I agree with Mike Cornwall that the most important element in recovery is deep, empathetic listening with one’s heart. We with lived experience of recovery have a special gift of having been there which we can use to turn this uncaring, disempowering culture around.

    Report comment

    • Thanks so much Dan. It is so good to hear from you. I appreciate so much your affirmation of my work. All of us, working together, and listening, listening, listening, can create the change that leads people to simple, safe alternatives and to recovery, and away from “treatments” that take away people’s lives.

      Report comment

  3. What a mentally strong, remarkable lady your mother must have been. To overcome her diagnosis in the first place and secondly that she found a way to fight stigma by letting people forget she ever was a mental patient. I wish patients all over the world will read your message of hope. Thank you for sharing.

    Report comment

    • Thanks William. She was a strong and remarkable woman. I grieve for all the people like her who never got out, and who had their will totally taken away by the awful things that happened to them. Our job is now to let people know there is another way, and to guide them so they choose it at the beginning, when they first began to experience distress, so they don’t resort to “treatments” that take away their hope and their life.

      Report comment

  4. Keep your spirits as high as you have them now — stay positive, and trust that all bad comes to good eventually. What a remarkable story and legacy she left for you. I’m sure you are proud of her and the memory of her will never leave you and inspire you to continue on with your own story.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and you are a very good writer. Keep writing and keep inspiring others!

    Report comment

  5. Mary Ellen you are one amazing woman. Thanks for sharing the story of your mother it is a very touching story. It can definitly give hope to people out there that have mental illness that feel there is no hope in any recovery for the future. Thanks once again for sharing..

    Report comment

  6. Your Mother’s story and my Mom’s story have many commonalities. Except that my Mom was “cured” from manic depression by heavy duty psych drugs, which kept her docile and depressed for the last 10 or so years of her life. I know she must have suffered some terrible traumas as a child because she would never see a counselor for fear that they would make her drag in the past. My Mom’s spirit was broken by the time she passed in 1987. I am so glad that there are stories of other Mothers who defied the odds, and turned around to help other people as a way of life. It is a privilege that you have shared her story — she is still inspiring us with her courage, kindness, and peer support (before there was a name for that). Thank you for carrying on her legacy in wondrous ways.

    Report comment

    • Hi Carol, I like to think of my mother as the person who discovered the value of peer support. It was a concept that was unheard of at that time. And not accepted. Even when I was hospitalized myself years later, I was warned not to interact with the other patents as they might have a bad effect on me. Imagine. We, as patients, gave each other the strength to get ourselves discharged and take over responsibility for our own recovery. One of the other patients and I “sneaked” off the grounds so we could sit by the river. We figured out how to get away with it by watching the schedules when people would check on us. We are both still very good friends. And we have both done very well. She is now a college professor. Mary Ellen

      Report comment

  7. Thank you, Mary Ellen, for sharing your mother’s moving story. Herstory gives me greater insight into your own Story now. So many people, like me, have been inspired to have the courage to take our own power back into our own hands from what you have shared over these years. Through your own life’s story, you help to educate us in the use of the tools that you, and, now I see–your own mother– have found have been important in the creation of a fertile environment for the growth of wellness. By sharing our Stories, we join hands in a supportive kinship within the crossover of our shared experiences. You have been a profound inspiration in my journey toward finding my own pathway to wellness. I cannot thank you enough!

    Report comment

    • No thanks necessary. Hearing stories like yours is what keeps me going. I think we all need to keep sharing and sharing and sharing until everyone understands that there are simple, safe resources that we all have that can lead us out of the dark places. I am glad my work has been so valuable to you. Even though I am now well past the age when people retire, I can’ stop doing what I do.

      Report comment

  8. Thank you Mary Ellen for such a remarkable and moving story. I plan to copy it and share it with my patients. I agree that the most important thing anyone but especially a psychiatrist should do is first sit and listen to the patient’s story and continue to listen. I think your inclusion of “one of the nurses started clandestinely giving her a high dosage multi-vitamin” is fascinating and believe this may have also played a role in your mother’s recovery. It is somewhat frustrating in a State Hospital system that I can give patients medications that are extremely expensive and potentially dangerous but I cannot give patients supplements such as high dose vitamins and minerals because they are not “FDA approved”.

    Report comment

    • I am so, so glad you will be sharing my mother’s story with your patients. Listening is incredibly important, and so simple, and totally non-invasive. It gives us the space to heal ourselves. For me, the talking seems to help me organize my thoughts and figure out what I have to do to help myself through rough times. It is especially valuable when it is uninterrupted. I can understand your frustration with the inability to prescribe supplements. Following my mother’s experience, I have relied on them as one of the many facets of my own recovery. I have an excellent MD who advises me on what I should be taking and does the supportive testing. But he can’t prescribe the supplements either. I hope that changes someday. Mary Ellen

      Report comment

  9. Mary Ellen, thank you for sharing your beautiful tribute to your mother. It is clear that her gift of courage, connection and healing was not only a great gift to your family and all those who knew her, but a gift to all of us who have been inspired to reclaim our lives through your remarkable work. WRAP is such a wonderful program and also a perfect metaphor for the way your mother embraced life after her suffering. A roadmap for us all.

    Kate was, most certainly, a Mother Bear, as are you… Thank you for your loving encouragement!

    Our Mother Bear Community Action Network is looking forward to sharing your message of hope and healing guidance with the many families who so desperately need it!

    Report comment

  10. I also know of a similar story without such an amazing ending. My mother’s isolated, rural family (in the late 20s) experienced this and my mom never told us that her mother was hauled away when my mother was 8. When somehow we got those basic facts, I assumed it was for depression or bipolar, or even post partum depression, because women were locked up for these things as your story attests (gee, her nasty husband and youngest child’s death didn’t have anything to do with it?) My mother’s oldest sister told my mom their mother was dead!! All this denial prevented my mom from ever recognizing her own depression or getting help I expect. Well, after many decades, that state hospital sent my mom records saying that it was paranoid schitzophrenia! That poor woman, and my poor mom grieving all over again! Now there are a couple of second cousins who have it, my mom endured a miserable marriage, and her negativity didn’t give me strength to cope with or understand my own depression very well. It’s so inspiring to know that these cycles can be turned around, and it’s so simple! Love others! Walk in love! Thanks for your story.

    Report comment

  11. Mary Ellen,
    The tears I have from reading this beautiful tribute are those of knowing we live in a broken world. We are all broken vessels, some more broken than others, who heal when someone comes along and finds beauty in the brokenness. Just listening to someone’s heart, believing in them, and valuing them for the amazing creation they are brings healing to the soul. Thank you for inspiring hope and sharing the simple truth that we all have value, no matter how broken or what shape we are in.

    Report comment

  12. Dear Mary Ellen,

    Tears are pouring from my eyes as I read your beautiful tribute to your mother and as I write to you. I live in Sydney, Australia – literally on opposite sides of the world to you and yet your story has resonated in me in the most powerful way and I hope to meet you one day.

    I have just been through a week of hell, six months after the birth of my third child, where I found that suddenly, I was so mentally and physically exhausted, I could barely function or respond to my children. It was the bell toll of horrors past – the arrival, once again, of PND, the demon that I have battled alone and with copious amounts of medication for the sake of my children, despite the fact that it never went away and I never recovered. Ironically, it may be years ago, but I share much in common with your mum. I have little or no family support here in Sydney. My husband works long hours. My friends are too busy with their own families as I am with mine to really offer much support to each other. I gave up a thriving career as a lawyer to give my children the quality of care they need and to give them the sense of security they need for their future. I was always the precocious, outspoken girl in my Indian community back home. My grandmother used to tell me that I was born with a man’s heart since I was never afraid to speak out or challenge what I perceived to be unjust or unfair. I always felt that I was beyond this parochial world of tradition I would one day leave behind.

    Perhaps it is my cultural background or perhaps it is simply my mental makeup but I have long resented the medication, feeling that it has been far more convenient for everyone around me than for me. In Indian communities back home, there is much ancient wisdom in the business of child rearing. Socially isolating a pregnant woman or a young mother to the extent it is taken for granted in Western societies is simply an unthinkable horror. It is as if ayurvedic medicine has long understood how delicate and fragile the mental state of a new mother can be and takes much care in ensuring that her community surrounds her in ways that make it easier for her to reach out and remain connected, not just for the short term but to ensure her resilience in the long term. Many cultural traditions are designed to ensure small scale, regular and, at critical times, intensive contact and support for mothers of young children. That support is usually given by the older women of the community who take pride in their role as mothers and matriachs of large, thriving families.

    When you think about it, it is simply nature’s message to us that, to survive, human beings need to live and connect closely with our communities. Strong physical messages are given to new and impending mothers to find and remain within close knit communities, to search out the care, support and wisdom of our mothers and grandmothers, to learn from them and to be nurtured by them. Our bodies release large quantities of oxytocin – the love hormone – so we soften in our temperament and look with loving, forgiving eyes at our loved ones and build strong bonds with those close to us. With my three children I have noticed that, as babies, they liked nothing more than to loll and roll around on my lap and my body as I chat contentedly, sometimes for hours, with friends or family. The sound of happy voices, the feel of a mother’s body closeby and social connections being made around him seems enough to keep a baby comforted and supported for hours.

    This is not the life we live in Western communities. I followed my Anglo-Saxon man to his world thinking that I was entering a new, better world, where I would be treated as an equal, as smart, as capable and as productive as he is, perhaps even more in some circumstances. I certainly enjoyed some measure of frreedom in the economic or public world we operated in, but everything changed when I had children. Mothers-to-be are drawn into a world of medical experts and hospitals, who medicalise pregnancy and birth, and create trauma where it isnt necessary. These medical experts are not teaching us to find communities and seek out wise elder experienced women who have had children or teaching about babies and children and parenting, we are instead taught to obey male obstetricians and abide by hospital procedures which are concerned not with a mother’s well being but with minimising the legal risk of being sued. The Western obstetric profession bully, misdiagnose and medicalise pregnancy and birth in ways that can only be described as utterly irresponsible and close to the poor attitudes of many psychiatrists. At the end of a few, unnecessarily traumatic days in a hospital setting, an exhausted, traumatised new mother is sent home with an enormous bundle of responsiblity and little more than a rudimentary guideline on how to get by the next few weeks, plus loads of judgmentalism and guilt about how life is no longer about her but about the welfare of her baby. With each subsequent child, the birth experience is just as physically and mentally traumatic, but a mother’s workload increases exponentially, every day, with no break, no down time, no sick leave, no weekends, no bonuses, no pay and simply no recognition. I feel I can barely breathe with 3. I could not imagine your mother’s day with 5! Nor has recognition or empathy improved where womens rights are concerned – whereas we used to say it was just women’s work, now we say it is just a woman’s choice.

    It had never occurred to me that Anglo-Saxon women have never resolved the chronic confusion and contradictions revolving around liberal feminism and motherhood. The result is that having children is far more difficult in modern Western culture than it is in a traditional culture because you have the worst of both worlds. You get no help or support because you are told it is your choice and you are expected to cope. You have access to things that earlier generations can only dream of – careers, finances, accolades, a public presence, but really no means to take up those opportunities if you choose to have children. It takes a village to raise a child and yet here I find the unrelenting work is left to one woman, immediately after an exhausting or traumatic childbirth, most often without adequate nutrition or rest, with little or no reward or recognition. We know how important mothering is to our children – you yourself still speak of the first wonderful 8 years you enjoyed with your mother when she taught you skills that remained with you to this day. Yet, our mothers and grandmothers have been rendered powerless and faceless in a mercenary culture driven by money, belongings and sexualised imagery. No one seems to value a hug or time spent babysitting or even a Sunday roast at Grandma’s anymore, least of all our mothers and grandmothers. Our grandmothers are equally obsessed with seeming “free”, financial and socially capable. They feel compelled to tell us that their time is precious and it cannot be wasted doing those things they were “stuck” doing in their child rearing years.

    Perhaps the strangest of all phenomenon for me is that Western women not only never complain of their difficulties, they actually disapprove of the complainers. I have tried to reach out to other mothers but the “mothers group myth (I am happy, everything is perfect)” is most oppressive and leaves me feeling even more inadequate than I felt before.

    Perhaps this is why medication will not work on me. The injustice, the realisation that we have not come so far after all, that the future for my daughter (who has a brilliant mind) is only as good as this fills me with sadness. It seems that the real legacy of liberal feminism has been to encourage our society and our women to dislike and distrust all that is unique about being a woman – nurturing, community, love, natural birth, warm cuddly grandmothers and loving arms. Is it really fair to call the suffering of women who really see all that is wrong and unfair about this way of life “depression”?

    Report comment