Andrea Yates Case Analysis: Crime And Forensic Mental Health

1876 Words 8 Pages
Cynthia Howard
Andrea Yates Case Study
CRJ 598: Crime and Forensic Mental Health
Samuel Hawes, PhD

Andrea Yates Case Study
The Social History/Background of Andrea Yates
Andrea Yates grew up in the Houston Texas. She came from a middle-class family. Her father was a retired teacher in auto shop, and died of Alzheimer’s before Andrea killed her children, and her mother was a stay at home mother. Of the five children her parents had, Andrea was the youngest. Andrea was predicated to have much success in her life. Andrea graduated valedictorian from high school. She was also a champion and captain of her high school’s swim team, and was president of her school’s National Honor Society. After high school, Andrea went on to college
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Andrea always knew she had some form of depression, and that started intensifying after her breakup with her first real boyfriend. After Andrea got married and had her first child, she started feeling overwhelmed and started getting more depressed. She started having strange feelings and having puzzling delusions about someone or something telling her to kill her children (Resnick, P. J., 2007). Andrea thought these feelings and delusions were real and justified.
Andrea Yates attempted her first suicide by taking an overdose of medication June 18, 1999. She was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital for six days. Then her second attempt at suicide by cutting her throat happened five weeks after being discharged from the hospital. She would stay fifteen days this time in the psychiatric hospital. The attending Psychiatrist diagnosed her as having major depression with psychosis. She attended psychiatric outpatient appointments for a few months after the second hospital discharge, but then stopped after she started feeling better (Resnick, P. J., 2007). She was not experiencing the abnormal feelings she had felt before and that made her think in her mind that she was better and did not need any further
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Andrea Yates had a strong personal reasoning to the homicide charges brought against her for killing her children. The primary defense expert, Dr. Resnick, had a belief that Andrea killed her children because in her mind she thought she was saving them from going to hell. If the delusions that she was having existed, and imagining that those delusions represent reality, then Andrea was justified in her actions. But, if she were accountable for the delusions that she was having and knew that they would lead to harming the children, then she would not be justified in her actions (Slobogin, C., 2002). The evidence that was presented at trial implied that Andrea, before the act had been committed, had concealed her psychotic symptoms and delusions from her therapist and was not taking her medication, and she knew when she did not take her medicine that her delusional thoughts to kill her children would get worse (Slobogin, C., 2002). So therefore, she was not justified in her

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