“The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, tells the story of a woman’s descent into madness as a result of postpartum psychosis. Postpartum psychosis is a condition that affects between one and two of every thousand live births. The condition of postpartum psychosis usually begins within two weeks of giving birth and sometimes within a matter of days. (“Depression”, 2009)
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.
Andrea Yates long history of mental illness did impact what she did to her children as well as an outside influence of Michael and Rachel Woroniecki. In 1993 Rusty and Andrea married and a year later they had their first child a son named Noah. They planned on having many children whatever God intended for them. Their five children were all named after figures from the Bible. After Andrea’s first child Noah was born she began to have violent visions and felt that Satan was speaking to her. Andrea kept all her feelings to herself not realizing how much mental illness was in her family because she and Rusty had Bible inspired notions about family and motherhood. Andrea tried to have a fourth child, but suffered a miscarriage. Not long
She attempted suicide twice. She waged a losing struggle with depression that began after the birth of her first child, Noah, in 1994. Her doctors documented periods when she heard voices, had visions and became so unhinged mentally that they diagnosed her as psychotic.
This perspective suggests that both normal and abnormal behaviors are determined primarily by unconscious forces. According to Evan Thomas, Andrea Yates was suffering from postpartum psychosis. She was so depressed and out of it she couldn’t function while trying to do everything. They say most killers are sociopaths, but Andréa was the opposite. She didn’t act or think like a killer so it appeared.
Andrea Yates was a mother of five who lived in a Houston suburb. Andrea suffered from serve postpartum depression and psychosis which unfortunately lead her to drown all five of children in a bath tub one afternoon. Andrea was charged with capital murder and was given life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years. However, she filed an appeal, and her original sentence was overturned, and she was found in innocent in 2006 on reason of insanity. I’m going to explain her upbringing and her mental health influenced her to murdering her children.
She didn't realize how much mental illness there was in her own family, from depression to bipolar disorder—which can contribute to postpartum psychosis. In her initial stages, she remained undiagnosed and untreated. She kept her secrets from everyone.” (Ramsland, 2008) In June of 1999 Andrea was started to feel the affects of her major depressive order. She called her husband and told him to come home as soon as possible. When Rusty Yates arrived at their residence he found he wife shaking with no control over it and chewing violently on her fingers. This is when she was first hosiptalized for trying to attempt suicide by overdosing on pills. “The medical staff described Andrea as evasive in discussing her problems. However, on June 24 she was prescribed an antidepressant and released.” (Montaldo, n/a)
Andrea and Rusty Yates were warned about continuing to have children. They were told it would not be a good situation for Andrea to become pregnant because her post partum depression would worsen and might include a worsened state of psychosis. The couple did not listen to the warnings of the doctors and they continue to have children. Andrea’s condition only worsened with each pregnancy as she still continued to go on and off her medications. Her mental state continued to deteriorate, to make matter worse for Andrea she experienced the loss of the father.
“Postpartum psychosis is a severe psychotic syndrome that is estimated to occur after 1.1 to 4 of every 1000 deliveries. More than half of the affected women meet diagnostic criteria for major depression” (Weissman and Olfson 800). Postpartum depression is a further common mental illness than postpartum psychosis, however Margery Kempe displays serious symptoms. Several readers believe that Margery Kempe was a woman who devoted her life to God, however, after her first child was born Margery Kempe was recognizably sick due to the feelings that she should not live. In The Book of Margery Kempe, the first autobiography in the English Language, Margery Kempe displays the symptoms of hallucinations, crying episodes, and depression to show that she has postpartum psychosis.
In 2001, Andrea Yates, a Texas mother, was accused of drowning her five children, (aged seven, five, three, two, and six months) in her bathtub. The idea of a mother drowning all of her children puzzled the nation. Her attorney argued that it was Andrea Yates' untreated postpartum depression, which evolved into postpartum psychosis that caused her horrific actions (1) . He also argued that Andrea Yates suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her fourth child, and that she attempted suicide twice for this very disorder ((1)). What is postpartum depression, and how can it cause a mother to harm her very own children, altering her behavior towards her children in a negative way? One in ten women
Andrea was eventually released from the hospital and was directed to receive out-patient care and was also prescribed Haldol. Her doctor warned Andrea and Rusty that another pregnancy and bearing another child may contribute to future episodes of psychotic behavior. Shortly after her release from the hospital, at the suggestion of her husband, Rusty, Andrea became pregnant once again and decided to quit taking the Haldol prescribed to her. She gave birth to her fifth child, Mary, on November 30, 2000. Andrea coped well until her father passed away four months later. Her mental state immediately began to digress. She quit feeding the newborn Mary, refused to eat or drink, began self mutilation, and quit talking. She also began reading the Bible more frantically (Montaldo, 2012).
This essay explores postpartum depression and crime. Form intensive research, readers should be able to educate themselves on the actual disorder itself, and how it is linked to crime. In fact, more than half of the cases that involve infant fatality in the United States, have resulted from unawareness of mental illness’s such as PPD. Discussed in the essay, is the Andrea Yates cases, which involve a Houston, Texas mother, suffering from postpartum psychosis. However, the outcome of Yates cases, resulted in numerous studies involving women with PPD. However, the main focus of the essay is to express the importance of the disorder, and how crime can be prevented if pregnant mother seek treatment. As specified throughout the essay, PPD is a serious mental disorder.