Essay on Andrea Yates: the Hand That Rocked the Cradle

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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
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Eileen Starbranch, she urged the couple not to have more children because it would guarantee future psychotic depression. Seven weeks after Andrea’s discharge the Yateses conceived their fifth child (AP, 2006).
After suffering for years with severe postpartum depression and psychosis, Andrea Yates drowned her five children on June 20, 2001. The conviction of capital murder and sentence to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years was later overturned on appeal. Andrea Yates suffered from unrecognized bipolar illness, and had been treated intermittently for diagnoses of depression, postpartum depression, and schizophrenia. Andrea’s disorders fall well within the guidelines and use of the Axis V tool according to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) published by the American Psychiatric Association. Many people have criticized the ruling to over-turn the capital punishment, life in prison sentence. I tend to agree that the acts of Andrea Yates are horrendous. I wonder how a mother could possibly murder her children. Andrea Yates does not deny the fact that she murdered her children. She admits that she did it. What intrigues me and makes me also reconsider the conviction is the reasons why Andrea did this unspeakable act. Research enabled me conclude that in addition to her depression and mood disorders, Andrea was a victim of her environment. Rusty Yates introduced a former acquaintance from
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