Title: Hormonal: A Conversation About Women’s Bodies, Mental Health and Why We Need to be Heard
Author: Eleanor Morgan
Publisher: Virago Press
Page Count: 256
Publication Date: 2019
Category/Genre: Non Fiction, Science, Mental Health, Feminimism, Health
Good Reads Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.77)
My Rating: ★★★★☆(3.8)
Hormonal is a familiar label for any woman exhibiting less than maximum self-control. Eleanor Morgan dismantles the stubborn taboos that exist surrounding women and their health-rejecting the idea that female bodies are mysterious, unknowable, and most importantly, in need of constant surveillance lest they go awry. Morgan rigorously investigates the modern landscape of women and health, from contraception to PMS, anxiety and depression, examining the relationship between our bodies and what goes on inside them over the course of our reproductive lives, our biochemistry, and our psychological wellbeing.
With refreshing frankness, Morgan connects the historical stigma of the ‘hysterical’ woman to the edicts of the medical establishment, the #MeToo movement and more, detailing how women’s pain is still systematically dismissed and coded by men. She advocates for more openness and more questioning of the systems that dictate how women inhabit their bodies and the language we use to talk about ourselves, examining why so much stigma and misinformation still exists and how we can learn to accept ourselves as we are.
‘A powerful and beautifully written account of Morgan’s experiences with anxiety and depression . . . courageous and compelling’ Guardian on Anxiety for Beginners
This book has everything that would would interest me…. feminism, mental health and PMS. It was an interesting read that surprised me with how much I learned about a subject I thought that I knew well. I mean, I have been a woman… my whole life!
It focuses on the intersections of biology and society — how female-specific problems are treated by the healthcare establishment and links it to misogynistic ideas and practices from history.
The word hysteria originates from the Greek word “uterus,” hystera and is based on the Ancient Greek’s theories about the wandering uterus being the cause of emotional or behavioral ‘problems’, but the ways to ‘coax’ it back to position were…. well… wow.
There is in-depth information on the menstrual cycle, history of the physical and mental health of women, different illnesses and conditions along with a unique look into the author’s own journey, however the science does not get too complex for it to bewilder anyone without a science background.
Definitely worth taking some time to read.