"The moral world of the sick-bed explains in a measure some of the things that are strange in daily life, and the man who does not know sick women does not know women."

Dr. Weir,  from Doctor and Patient

Silas Weir Mitchell
was one of the most famous American neurologists in the nineteenth century. His most well-known treatment, the "rest cure", was mainly prescribed to women for nervous disorders, such as hysteria and neurasthenia. This "cure" was used in America well into the 20th century.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman describes the rest cure treatment in The Yellow Wall-Paper. During treatment, patients were not allowed to participate in any activities that would overstimulate their minds or bodies. The purpose of the rest cure was to remove the patient from whatever sources of anxiety they may have been experiencing in their lives. For many women, it appeared that the rest cure was supposed to be an answer to the boredom and frustration they felt as a result of their new more limited roles within middle-class society.