How Sexual Policing Impacts Treatment of Women’s Traumas, the Unique History of Hysteria in India and More With Dr. Sarah Pinto

Jan 30, 2023


In this episode, anthropologist Dr. Sarah Pinto talks to us about the links between women’s societal position and the diagnosis and treatment of their mental illnesses, and the powerful counter-narratives of women’s trauma in South Asian literature.

‘In Perspective’ is The Swaddle’s podcast series where academics reveal little-known facts about Indian history, society and culture. 


00:01:11:00- How does geopolitical positioning impact the diagnosis, treatment and perception of mental illness? What sort of patterns and differences can be seen in the global north and global south? 

00:06:11:20- What does the history of hysteria in India tell us about societal perceptions of women and their emotions here? How does the Indian perception of hysteria differ from the historical notions of hysteria in the Western context?  

00:11:53:13- How is the Indian society’s perception of women’s mental illness related to factors like marital relationships, kinship and policing of women’s bodies? How does this play out differently in urban and rural contexts?

00:18:33:08- Does sexual policing in the treatment of women’s mental illnesses come from shortcomings in clinical training, or internal biases that shape the lens with which medical practitioners operate?

00:21:25:06- Does the societal position of women in India impact treatment of their mental illnesses? How does this gendered lens impact the treatment they get in their homes, in psychiatric wards and in clinics?

00:26:30:22- When we think of traditional healing methods used to treat mental illnesses in India, it’s usually in a negative context. Is there an alternate, positive perspective with which we can look at this? 

00:32:52:09- What sort of perspectives on caregiving and on living with mental illness do we see in Indian literature? What can we learn from these narratives? 


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