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Silencing the Self Across CulturesDepression and Gender in the Social World$
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Dana C. Jack and Alisha Ali

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195398090

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195398090.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 October 2020

Disruption of the Silenced Self: The Case of Premenstrual Syndrome

Disruption of the Silenced Self: The Case of Premenstrual Syndrome

(p.435) Chapter 20 Disruption of the Silenced Self: The Case of Premenstrual Syndrome
Silencing the Self Across Cultures

Jane M. Ussher

Janette Perz

Oxford University Press

This chapter challenges the common pathologizing view of premenstrual change that characterizes premenstrual symptoms as representing a psychological or biomedical disorder. The authors present a contrasting view and argue that premenstrual symptoms are more accurately characterized as a disruption in the self-silencing that women engage in for 3 weeks of the month. Drawing upon their interviews with women, they describe the contextual and intrapsychic factors that combine to produce the premenstrual expression of anger, irritation, or sadness. The chapter argues that dismissing premenstrual distress as illness serves to silence women and contributes to a cycle of further emotional suppression, followed by premenstrual emotional eruption.

Keywords:   premenstrual syndrome, pathologization, depression, anger, suppression, self-silencing, silencing the self scale

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