Did Andrea Yates Have Schizophrenia?

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  • Topic: Schizophrenia, Insanity defense, Psychosis
  • Pages : 3 (878 words )
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  • Published : June 10, 2012
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Did Andrea Yates have schizophrenia?

On July 30, 2001, Andrea was indicted on two counts of capital murder for the deaths of Noah (seven), John (five), and Mary (six months),but not for the deaths of her other two children, Luke (three) and Paul (two). In this paper we will discuss Andrea Yates behaviors, treatments and court case where she was found not guilty by reason of insanity. After Andrea's first pregnancy, in 1994, she started experiencing postpartum depression. She experienced hallucinations and a striking vision of a knife and her stabbing someone. She never revealed this to anyone until after her arrest, when she told her husband, Rusty. As research shows, postpartum depressed or psychotic women often feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit to others their thoughts about harming their infants. (Lavendera , 2002) When Andrea became pregnant a second time in 1995, she gave up swimming and jogging and also saw less of her friends. During this time Andrea, like many psychotic patients, learned to live with her condition and also learned to hide her symptoms because of shame and embarrassment. On June 16, 1999, Andrea called Rusty at work, sobbing and hysterical. He returned to find her shaking uncontrollably and biting her fingers. Rusty took Andrea to her parents' home that evening. The next day, while Andrea's mother was napping and Rusty was out doing errands, she attempted suicide by taking forty pills of her mother's antidepressant medication. An unconscious Andrea was rushed by ambulance to Methodist Hospital. Andrea did not like taking the medication, however, and her condition only worsened. She would stay in bed all day and self-mutilate. At one point, she scratched four bald patches on her scalp, picked sores in her nose, and obsessively scraped "score marks" on her legs and arms. Later, she would tell psychiatrists that during this time, she saw visions and heard voices, telling her to get a knife. She also watched a person being stabbed,...
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