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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Soon, the Yateses family life turned to disarray and chaos. Andrea’s home was rented and they lived in a camping trailer. Eventually the house was sold and the Yateses lived in a reconverted bus sold to them by the preacher. Andrea was living in cramped quarters, hosting religious meetings, taking care of the household, and home-schooling her children. Andrea Yates was consistently depressed, psychotic, and alone (Zolovska & Bursztain, 2005). It is my opinion that if Andrea Yates would have continued treatment after her first child, and continued treatment with her subsequent children, Andrea may have never committed these heinous murders. I also believe that this horrendous event may have been avoided even after the birth of her fifth child, if had she been properly diagnosed and treated. By letting Andrea’s symptoms get progressively worse, the blame of this tragic event can be share by Andrea’s husband, preacher, family, health care system, and environment. When this heartbreaking story first surfaced, I thought capital punishment was the only fair recourse for the lives lost. After reviewing all of the fact such as , the misdiagnosis of her disorders, and her admission that she killed her children so that Satan would not infiltrate the children’s soul, my position has changed. In addition, when meeting her legal counsel the following day, the only five