Nervous women

Two centuries of women and their psychiatrists
13.10.12 - 26.05.13

Nervous women

For centuries, women have been considered more ‘nervous’ than men, more susceptible to instability and mental illness, more often bothered by spirits and demons. But are they really more ‘mentally ill’?

In the 19th century some women seemed to go mad due to a lack of behavioural freedom. In the early 21st century some women actually seem to succumb to the burden of ‘freedom’. The image of demands imposed on them by society to have a successful career, look beautiful and lead an exciting social life sometimes seems to be too much. But is it really?

The exhibition presents seven patient-psychiatrist ‘couples’: a remarkable history of how society and psychiatry evolve, how certain syndromes such as hysteria are phenomena of their time and how our times provoke and endure new forms of disturbed behaviour.

Nervous women wants to feed the debate about the ‘specific’ position of women in psychiatry. Nervous women is an exhibition about mania, melancholia, weak nerves, theatrical tics, passionate love, self-mutilation, boredom, rebellion and self-starvation.

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