Thursday, July 27, 2006

Andrea Yates

Andrea Yates has been found not guilty of the murder of her children by reason of insanity.
The case here
was something I watched at the time with real horror and revulsion. I remember sitting bolt upright in bed listening with horror to Dan Rather recount the death of those poor children, staring open mouthed at the sight of Andrew Yates been led into jail. What kind of mother would do such a thing? I thought at the time. She was a monster, her poor husband, that poor family...those beautiful children and so on.
But over the years my attitude to this case has changed somewhat.And my opinion is Andrea yates received the right verdict.

Andrea Yates had attempted suicide twice, she had severe psychosis (for which she was prescribed more than twice the recommended maximum dosage of Effexor, an anti-depressant/anti-psychotic). She suffered from very severe post partum depression after each pregnancy, so severe in fact that her psychiatrist, Dr. Eileen Starbranch, testified that she urged the couple not to have more children, to prevent future psychotic depression. Unfortuntely the procreative plan taught by the Yates' spiritual mentor, Michael Peter Woroniecki, a doctrine to which Rusty Yates, Andrea's husband, subscribed, insisted she should continue to have "as many children as nature allows"

It has also come to light that Rusty Yates was vehemently against his wife having any form of support from ether her own mother or family during the time she was struggling to raise her children-who were home schooled. He felt she would have to learn to cope and not shirk her maternal duties.
Andrea did not 'learn to cope' she drowned her children one day shortly after her husband left for work, covered their bodies in a sheet and phoned the emergency services.
You would have to ask the questions: why was this disturbed woman with a serious mental condition left to struggle alone? Where were her family and friends? Why did they not insist on treatment, on providing support? Why did her husband ignore medical advice?
It is no use finger pointing now, but mayby there are lessons to be learned here. Post Partum Depression-despite what Tom Cruise thinks- is a very real and very serious condition and one that should be closely studied and recognised.
The world does not need another tragedy like this one.


Anonymous ainelivia said...

Ah you and me, in a minority, again.. well said fmc

12:33 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Thanks Ainelivia. Etheline totally diagrees with me on this one. She says Andrea should be strung up. But my eldest sister -who has three kids and who had the slightest touch 'baby blues' after the first one, opened my eyes a little. I still feel terrible for those poor children, but I just can't condemn her outright.

12:53 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

I'm with you, Ms. Cat. And I didn't even know the background on the Yates' religious 'faith' or anything about Rusty's insistence that Andrea get no help raising those kids. I knew from day ONE that this was a mental health issue.

Only a completely INSANE and PSYCHOTIC person would wake up one morning and decide to drown her offspring in the tub.

If anything, this will shed more light onto the need for more study into Post Partum Depression, and what can be done about it.

2:31 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

yep, I doubt exercise and vitamins would have helped in this case, eh TOM?

3:02 p.m.  
Blogger Sassy Sistah said...

I wrote about this today myself, FMC. Terrible, terrible thing. Unthinkable, really. But Rusty Yates - and others - they are not without some guilt here, IMO.

3:36 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody forced Andrea Yates to get married and have babies. She was an adult and made her own decisions. As for Rusty Yates, what was he supposed to do? Quit his job and babysit Andrea all day long? This is a GROWN woman we are talking about, not a helpless child. If you are an adult and know you have serious mental health problems that require medication, then don't have kids. Andrea had many choices available to her. Instead, people just blame her husband for her crime.

7:17 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just came across this today and i had to comment. Yes, Andrea was a grown woman who could have made many choices. However she was also under the influence of fundamental Christianity and people who espoused some pretty twisted garbage. I think it's funny that no one wants to talk about the negative impact that fundamentalist Christianity can have on people who are mentally ill. She honestly believed that she had to procreate as much as God would allow. She also honestly believed that she was possessed by Satan. And her husband and minister reinforced this bullshit. All of these people need to be locked away in a mental institution because they're just as insane as that poor woman is. I think it's about time that people start looking at the religious aspect of this case. And be afraid. Very afraid.

4:37 p.m.  
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