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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
A novel that is as heartbreaking as it is mesmerizing.
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Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

Created: 03/08/13

Replies: 15

Posted Mar. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 369

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Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

Considering the time period, do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could have been? How might it be handled differently today?


Posted Mar. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
elizabethw

Join Date: 05/10/12

Posts: 9

RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

One of the weaknesses in the book was that the mental condition was not seriously addressed. It was alluded to but detail was lacking. Certainly today's treatment would involve more analysis and medication rather than shock treatments.


Posted Mar. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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rosannes

Join Date: 01/29/13

Posts: 21

RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

Perhaps with today's medicines and therapies she could have better handled her illness. If the story was accurate then clearly her problems didn't get enough attention. Today things are better recognized and addressed.


Posted Mar. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
beac

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 33

RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

Since all types of behaviour are acceptable in women today, Zelda would have been more accepted and maybe not diagnosed with schizophrenia so readily. Probably she would have been treated for alcoholism and depression first. She may have had a career in writing instead of standing back and letting her husband take credit for her writing, had better self-esteem, and would have had more support from today's modern thinking women across the U.S. who expect women to have some sort of career or social input.


Posted Mar. 26, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bevula

Join Date: 10/18/10

Posts: 40

RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

I personally don't believe she had the kind of 'mental condition' that needed any sort of institutionalization. She had an intolerable life (at the times when she broke down) and those who got to make her choices for her decided to 'fix her.' It could hardly have been handled much worse, so I think if she'd had a husband who was actually concerned with her needs, she would have received HELP instead of 'treatment' for the condition of being a misbehaving woman.

I certainly believe (and fervently hope) that a similar situation would be handled better today. Her husband's 'diagnosis' would have held very little validity with a psychiatrist/psychologist - they would have taken her words as the truth (at least as true as his) until she proved different.


Posted Mar. 27, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 156

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RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

I doubt that any reader will feel that Zelda's condition was handled as well as it could be. Looking at the prevalence of today's advertisements for drugs for depression (particularly in women's magazines), I'm sure Zelda would be on some medicine if she were living her life now - instead of receiving shock treatment.


Posted Mar. 28, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
elizabethm

Join Date: 06/05/12

Posts: 35

RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

I think that Zelda's mental condition was, obviously, not handled as well as it could be. I think that it was questionable whether she even had a mental condition. She was treated really poorly by her husband in a number of ways in that he cheated on her and belittled her creativity. The F. Scott Fitzgerald in this book was a narcissist who tortured his wife. If that relationship took place today, Zelda would have been in a stronger place to be on her own and express herself creativity, which may have prevented her illness in the first place.
That being said, mental illness is still gendered today in a way that is ultimately unhelpful to women who suffer with various mental conditions. I found this article:[ http://jezebel.com/5991534/ladies-be-moody-the-sad-sack-women-of-anti+depressant-commercials] which investigates portrayals of women in commercials for depression medication, to be really thought provoking on this issue.


Posted Mar. 28, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
debrap

Join Date: 10/26/12

Posts: 14

RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

No of course not, but this a great example of a woman's class standing during this time period..Zelda may or may not have had mental illness, but putting her away was certainly the way things like that were handled. I beleive she probably suffered from one of various illnesses that are routinely treated today...but lets face it, putting up with her husband could make anyone ill.


Posted Apr. 01, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 100

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RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

Zelda probably wouldn't even have been considered to have a mental condition today. She was repressed by her husband, isolated in a foreign country, and not allowed to succeed at anything she did. Really, who wouldn't have had a breakdown. When a person is with an alcoholic, they also suffer from the disease unless they have support. There wasn't support for Zelda. I'm sure the diagnosis for Zelda was not accurate, nor the treatment appropriate.


Posted Apr. 01, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
normar

Join Date: 05/15/11

Posts: 5

RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

She suffered so much. She would have received such better care today


Posted Apr. 01, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
ashleyb

Join Date: 03/27/13

Posts: 5

RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

As a person who works with individuals with mental illnesses, I can say that her treatment was both abhorrent and based on her being female. Today, Zelda would definitely need to be in therapy to deal with her relationship with Scott and her own issues with codependence and possibly depression. She would be evaluated by a qualified psychiatrist to determine if she needed medication.


Posted Apr. 01, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
KarenAnn

Join Date: 04/01/13

Posts: 2

RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

It was shocking to me that not only Zelda's husband and mother believed that her problems stemmed from a lack of commitment to the role of wife and mother, her doctors in various mental institutions concurred. She clearly had mental issues (don't we all?), but her feminism is not the cause. If the treatment had been aimed at addressing alcohol dependence, depression, even anorexia, which would likely be the course of treatment if she lived in the 21st century, she could have maintained a fairly
"normal" life. As it is, the diagnosis of schizophrenia cost her so much, including a full relationship with Scottie.


Posted Apr. 02, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dianac

Join Date: 04/02/13

Posts: 26

RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

Zelda's mental condition was treated horribly. In the dark ages of mental health care, psychiatric conditions were often misunderstood and misdiagnosed and women in particular were subjected to inhumane treatment.


Posted Apr. 05, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lynneb

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 47

RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

Zelda's mental condition was probably treated better than most for the times. She was given the best of care because there was money to pay for it. She may have been overprotected it seemed due to the fact that the money was available. She may have been bipolar as was stated by the author at the end of the book. The treatment for bipolar mental illness was not available at that time nor was it diagnosed. Her situation in life was certainly a contributing factor to her illnesses but she actually held up well for many years before finally succumbing to the mental breakdown. I felt her colitis was probably caused from both stress and alcohol addiction. The alcohol addiction would be a companion to bipolar disease. Scott's alcoholism was far worse in my opinion and I would have thought he would be considered to be bipolar even more so.


Posted Apr. 10, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kathleenw

Join Date: 04/16/12

Posts: 15

RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

I think it was appalling by today's standards. I agree with lynneb that F. Scott's alcoholism was a much bigger problem. Zelda was trapped in so many ways and this was one of them.


Posted Apr. 12, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
carmen s

Join Date: 04/27/11

Posts: 33

RE: Do you think Zelda's mental condition was handled as well as it could be? How would her treatment be different today?

It was a different time. I don't think it was addressed well, but was any mental condition back then addressed well? She had the money but the knowledge of mental illness just wasn't there at that time. Also were women treated the same, not sure. Seems like it was a mans world. Whats really sad is that little Scottie grew up to be alcohol dependent too. A hard cycle to break.


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