Ussher begins with a discussion of how the term “mad” came to be applied disproportionately to women. She eschews explanations that point to women's biological or hormonal frailty, instead focusing on the social and cultural stresses that women face. She maintains that behaviors that come to be labeled as symptoms and that lead to a psychiatric diagnosis are constructed by the culture and the times in which a woman lives. With a special focus on depression, Ussher puts forward the premise that many behaviors labeled as symptoms may in fact be responses or adaptations to stressful life events, a position that, although compelling, is not new to the field. For example, a woman struggling with the need to be a “super mom” may feel overwhelmed and defeated when she fails to live up to those unrealistic and socially imposed expectations.