The Shaking Woman or a History of My Nerves by Siri Hustvedt

Well, after her father passed on, she had a series of epileptic-like shaking. She went to different specialists and read many books to somehow help her label her symptom but to no avail. In the end, she just accepted the fact that some brain functions would always remain a mystery and it’s just up to the person to embrace and accept whatever their condition may be.

The book made me miss my Psychology days, because some of the diseases and theories mentioned were familiar to me.  The book was indeed DSM-ish and neuro/bio/diagnostic/clinical psychology-ish. It might be hard to read if you don’t have psychology background because it would tend to be dragging. It can somehow make you beg, “Please, what’s the diagnosis?” One word to describe the book is that it’s PROFOUND!=)

Here are my favourite lines form the book;

“Ideas ,it seems, are powerful can alter us. As Janet pointed out, the carriage wheel doesn't have to drive over your legs; having the idea can be enough to paralyze the limb…” Pg 32

“ All narrow people retrench their ME, they retract it- from the region of what they cannot securely possess..Sympathetic characters, on the other hand, proceed by the entirely opposite way of expansion and inclusion. The outline of their self often gets uncertain enough, but for this spread of its content more than atones.” Pg 195

The shaking woman or a history of my nerve

About Miss_Pia

Neurotic Health-care Professional who enjoys sleeping, running, reading, introspecting, pole art and exploring new things and sometimes, places!
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