Monday, March 29, 2010

Madness Monday - Mary Robillard St. Jean of New Bedford afflicted by involutional melancholia

involutional melancholia:  a form of depression that occurs in late middle age, sometimes accompanied by paranoia; a former term for a state of depression that occurs during the climacteric (menopause of women); agitated depression occurring at about the time of menopause  It is now treated as a major depressive episode.

In the case of Mary Robillard St.Jean - she spent the last 6 weeks of her life in the Taunton Massachusetts State Hospital. Information for her certificate of death was taken from hospital records. It appears her parents took responsibilty for her and her husband's name is marked as unknown (although I imagine the parents knew quite well who the spouse was). She is buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery in New Bedford, MA - the same cemetery as her parents. Her death certificate, located using in the Massachusetts Death Records collection, allowed me to learn her mother's maiden name of Ducharme.


Sanjay Maharaj said...

Just wonderign how conclusive were the cause of death and diagnosis back then.

Heather Rojo said...

I found an ancestor who died in the Danvers (Massachusetts) Insane Assylum at this same time period. It was later called the Danvers State Hospital. I inquired about getting further records, but it would take a court order from the state of Massachusetts. She died in her 90s of some sort of dementia. Privacy policies also apply to later records, I inquired in New Hampshire about an ancestor who died in the Concord (New Hampshire) State Hospital in the 1830s and, again, it would take a court order to peek at the records. Boy, those records sure are secret! Who cares about someone who died in the 1830s besides me!!