Major Depression: Definition

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Andrea Yates was born on July 2, 1964. In high school she graduated as valedictorian and moved onto college where she graduated with a nursing degree and preceded to become a registered nurse. It wasn’t until after Andrea met her husband, Rusty Yates, and had her first of five children that she started to show signs and eventually be diagnosed with major depression and psychotic features.

Major depression is defined as a person who “has a history of one or more depressive episodes and no history of manic or hypomanic episodes. Symptoms often interfere with the person’s social or occupational functioning and in some cases may include psychotic features”. (Varcarolis 327) Psychotic features are “breaks with reality (such as hallucinations, delusions)” (Vacarolis 329) Andrea Yates was diagnosed with depression with suicide risk in June 1999, and also again in July 1999 (Texas v. Yates), after attempting suicide.

The development started with her family history, which suggests a predisposition to certain mental disorders. Andrea Yates’s two brothers were diagnosed with major depression. Her father had a history of depression and there was also a family history of bipolar disorder.

It wasn’t until Andrea had her second child that she started to become depressed. She and her husband decided it would be best for the children to be home schooled so Andrea quit her job, and it was that decision that led to her feel isolated. When the family moved to Florida they left their house and moved into a travel trailer. There Andrea got pregnant but ended up miscarrying. She did get pregnant again and had the child in Florida and so they decided to move back home to Texas where Andrea got pregnant again with their fourth child. Her husband decided he wanted to “live light” so instead of buying a home he purchased a renovated bus. Which became their permanent home. (Montaldo) Because Andreas living conditions were so tight she began to experience her mental breakdown. There...
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