Andrea Yates: the Hand That Rocked the Cradle

Topics: Psychiatry, Schizophrenia, Suicide Pages: 4 (1043 words) Published: November 2, 2011
Andrea Yates:
The Hand That Rocked The Cradle

Noble Woods III

PSY 303 Abnormal Psychology

Julie Bruno

19 September 2011

In 1964 Andrea Yates was born into a Roman Catholic family. She had had a normal upbringing. Andrea graduated valedictorian of her class in 1982. After high school Andrea continued her education and became a Registered Nurse. In 1984 Andrea met Russell “Rusty” Yates. The couple dated and eventually fell in love. They married in 1993, and started a family. Andrea Yates suffered from mental illness. In 2001, Andrea drowned her five children in a bathtub in her home. After years of court hearings, testing, and over-turned rulings, Andrea was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Yates was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis; however, in review of her case, Yates suffered other disorders that fall into several categories of mental illness (Zolovska & Bursztain, 2005).

Andrea began showing signs of mental illness shortly after the birth of her first child. She had hallucinations that involved stabbing. By1999 Andrea had three children. In July of that year she experienced a miscarriage. She subsequently succumbed to a nervous breakdown. Andrea’s miscarriage and chaotic lifestyle culminated in two suicide attempts and two psychiatric hospitalizations that summer. After her fourth child, she attempted suicide by overdosing on sedatives. Due to the limitation of her insurance Andrea was released from the hospital before her symptoms were resolved. Although she was prescribed antidepressants she refused to take them because she was breastfeeding. During her second suicide attempt, she heard voices telling her to get a knife. She did and began to self-mutilate herself. Once Andrea became catatonic, doctor’s suggested electroconvulsive therapy. Refusal of this treatment led to treatment using a drug containing an antipsychotic agent. The medication was effective but Andrea believed this was a “truth serum” which...
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