Andrea Yates

This essay has a total of 1290 words and 9 pages.

Andrea Yates

Andrea Yates

"Yates does not fit the profile of a mother who kills her children" said Hay of

Child Protective Services. (Glenn par. 14) Most mothers who kill their children are

younger and generally start out as teen-age moms. However, thirty-seven year old

Andrea Pia Yates killed her five children and is now on trial to receive a punishment for

her actions. She claims the reason she committed the crime is because she suffers from a

severe case of postpartum depression. Andrea Yates possesses many problems and no

matter her state of mental health, she will be punished for the crime she committed.

On June 20, 2001, Andrea Pia Yates drowned her four sons and one daughter

ranging from ages six months to seven years. She drowned Noah, 7, John, 5, Paul, 3,

Luke, 2, and Mary, six months, in the bathtub in their home. The children were

apparently killed approximately one hour after their father, longtime NASA Johnson

Space Center computer engineer, left for work. The bodies of three of her sons and her

infant daughter were found on a bed, covered by a sheet. The oldest boy was found in the

bathtub, Houston Police said. (Glenn par. 2) She was arrested without bond on June 22

for the charge of murdering her five children. Andrea was arrested after summoning the

police to her home located in Clear Lake. Andrea called her husband Russell after

phoning police and said he had "better come homeā€¦" (qtd. in Glenn par. 15). When he

arrived, police were already at the scene and would not allow him to enter his home.
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Looking dazed, the skinny long-haired woman said: "I killed my kids." (qtd. in Glenn

par. 3).

Andrea Yates claimed that the reason she killed her children was because she

suffered from postpartum depression. Postpartum depression, which affects

approximately eight to fifteen percent of mothers in America, usually starts four weeks

after the birth of a child and can last for months (Post Partum Depression screen 1). It

causes feelings of panic, confusion, and hopelessness, and can change the sleeping and

eating patterns of the one suffering. Postpartum depression is usually mild and is easily

treated with medication. Yet, in come rare cases, it can lead to violence. Postpartum

depression is classified in three different categories. The mildest is "maternity blues" or

"baby blues" (Postpartum Depression screen 1). This occurs in forty to eighty five

percent of women, therefore is not considered serious and does not need medication. The

next degree of postpartum depression is recognized as an actual complication of

childbirth. Symptoms include loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities, difficulty

in making decisions, feelings of guilt, and excessive anxiety of child's health (Postpartum

Depression screen 1). The most severe degree of postpartum depression is puerperal

psychosis which is very rare and only affects 0.1% to 0.2% of deliveries (Postpartum

Depression screen 1). Contemplations of suicide and severe withdrawal from her

newborn child and other family members and friends are two major symptoms. The

children of these women are also affected. Hospitalization of a postpartum depression

mother increases the incidence of emotional disturbance in children (Postpartum

Depression screen 1). Andrea Yates was treated at a psychiatric hospital in June of 1999

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after trying to kill herself, according to Children's Protective Services records (Glenn par.

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