Monday 12 April 2010

A Look at One Woman's Case

Finished April 11
The Shaking Woman or a History of My Nerves by Siri Hustvedt
Siri is a novelist and essayist who suffered a violent episode of shaking while speaking at a memorial to her father in 2006. Despite her entire body shaking and flapping, she spoke clearly and continued her speech. To her "the shaking woman" came on unexpectedly and she did not identify with her or know the cause of the episode. At first she thought it was an anomaly, but when it happened to her again, she knew it was something she had to figure out. Through a process of medication and talk, Siri was able to deal with the onset of these episodes, but in investigating them, she delves into her own mental and nervous history, as well as the general history of nervous disorders.
This book documents that research and touches on many things from empathy to epilepsy, synaesthesia to psychoanalysis. I was fascinated by the different experiences she found and the way she dealt with her own episodes. This is a frank and honest look at a still undefined medical area.

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