Biological criminal behavior
Andrea Yates had battled with postpartum depression for years and on June 20, 2001, she drowned all five children in the bathtub of her home. Ultimately the underlining cause of her actions was caused by postpartum psychosis that was triggered by Andrea’s improper use of her medication, failure to adhere to her doctor’s advice after treatment, and her lack of knowledge of coping techniques commonly used by women who suffer from postpartum depression. Postpartum depression can take up to a year after the birth of a child before the mother would even notice the signs of depression and in Yates’s case if left untreated can have a tragic affect on the person and everyone around him or her. A psychopath is someone is has a mental disorder or display violent behaviors. A psychopath also has a personality order and loves to manipulate others, lacks empathy of others, emotionless, and fearless. There is nothing that scares them, there are four subtypes of psychopaths.
The first one is a Primary Psychopath, this type of psychopath does not care about punishment or disapproval, and they inhibit their antisocial impulses. A word that means the same to the normal person does not mean the same to him or her, they think very different from the way that normal people do, which is referred to as “semantic aphasia.” The Secondary Psychopaths, these types of psychopaths are not afraid to take risks of any kind, stress reactive, worry a lot, guilt-prone. These types of psychopaths worry more than the average person. A Secondary Psychopaths, are adventurous, and play by their own rules, they try to avoid pain and cannot resist temptation. Distempered Psychopaths are those that go into a rage very quickly.
This type does not usually happen with women, it is more of the men who it mainly happens to. The men who are distempered psychopaths have a high sex drive and get a high off excitement. Charismatic Psychopaths are very charming and gifted this is how they become very good manipulators, fast talkers can persuade others out of anything. A psychopath has always existed, for many, many years. They have existed in many forms and fashion so most people would never know who is a psychopath, until he or she has encountered one. Although there are four different types of psychopaths, they lack empathy for others and are incapable of feeling remorse for anything or anyone.
Psychopaths view the world by, being selfish and not showing any concerns for the safety or welfare of others, they do not care about anyone even friends are family. This type of behavior describes Andrea Yates mental instability at the time she murdered her children. Andrea Yates experienced some postpartum depression after the birth of her fifth child, after the murder of her five kids the prison professionals diagnosed her with insanity and postpartum depression. A genetically induced psychotic behavior is another cause for Yates murdering her children, without any type of remorse.
Genetics also played a part in her psychotic behaviors, there was a history of mental illnesses that ran in her family. Yates’s brother suffered from a bipolar disorder and two other siblings suffered depression. When Andrea father passed away, she became even more depressed, she stopped doing the things that should would do normally to take care of herself as well as her kids. Andrea developed postpartum, she began to hallucinate about stabbings (Mclellan, December 2, 2006), and started pulling out her hair. The things that she thought that she was seeing and hearing was not true it was just in her head. Genetic Evidence
In the case of Andrea Yates, the question of whether she had a genetic mental illness or defect or was it simply caused by postpartum depression the answer is both. Andrea Yates has a family history of mental illness that played a part in what ultimately contributed to her postpartum psychosis.
“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.” (Ramsland, 2012, para. 4) Yates had a genetic history of mental illnesses that ran in her family, but it did not present itself until after the birth of the couple’s first child. After the birth of her first child, Yates began to have hallucinations about committing violent acts, by the birth of her fourth child Yates mental condition had gotten worse that her doctor was against the idea of Yates conceiving another child with the severity of her mental condition, and that yates was at high risk for developing postpartum psychosis.
“After the birth of her fifth child and the death of her father, she went into a severe depression and was forcefully admitted to Devereux-Texas Treatment Network.” (Andrea Yates Biography, 2012, para. 3) Although Yates was seen by a psychiatrist diagnosed and treated for her depression because of the limitations health care places on the amount of days a person could stay in the hospital and remain covered Yates was often released before she could learn how to cope with her postpartum depression. Yates attending psychiatrist would prescribe her antidepressants and antipsychotic medication but Yates would often not take her medication, as her taking the medication would make it difficult for Yates to conceive or nurse her child.
After Yates condition worsens, her doctor suggests supervision of Yates around the children and without proper treatment for her mental illness and depression. Yates’s doctor advised against the ideal of Yates left unsupervised with her five children and even though Yates was left alone for one hour, and as a result she took that hour and drowned all five children in the bath tub in her home.
Biological Criminal Behavior
Andrea Yates started developing psychopathic behaviors after the birth of her fourth child. She was admitted to a psychiatric hospital on five separate occasions. The first time she was hospitalized was June 18, 1999 through June 24, 1999, and then again in July 21, 1999 through August 10, 1999 after the birth of her fourth child. After her fifth child was born she was hospitalized again from March 31, 2001 through April 10, 2001, and from May 4, 2001 through May 14, 2001 (Resnick, 2012). The last time she was admitted to the psychiatric hospital was on June 20, 2001, just three weeks before she drowned her five children. Andrea Yates told her husband and her doctors that she was hearing voices and that certain programs on television were telling her that she was a bad mother and was raising her children in a sinful way.
Doctors diagnosed Andrea Yates with Postpartum psychosis and depression. Andrea tried on two separate occasions to commit suicide; once trying to overdose on pills and by putting a knife to her throat (McLellan, 2006). Although she was being evaluated by her psychiatrist she was prescribed medication called Haldol, which helped her bounce back from her delusional thoughts and depression. Psychopaths can develop different behavioral traits depending on certain events in their lives. Some of the most common traits are post-partum psychosis, delusions, schizophrenia, depression, and a belief that they are possessed.
These traits can develop from the loss of a loved one, childbirth, stress, and low self-esteem to name a few. Most of the time medication is provided to help with those behavioral traits, while other times hospitalization is required. Most psychopaths experience some sort of violent behavior whether it is inflicted on a loved one, a stranger, or even themselves. Many times psychopaths do not voice their problems with others and symptoms can go undetected if someone is not aware of what to look out for. Conclusion
Andrea Yates was an individual who was unaware of her genetic history that even when warned about of the effects of Yates if she were to continue having children with her mental condition. Despite the warning signs of Yates attempted suicide, delusions, and catatonic states was a clear sign that Yates was in desperate need of help. This tragedy occurred because many people do not want to admit that he or she have a problem or even admit the he or she needs help until it is too late. Postpartum depression is a serious condition and if left untreated and without proper support from family heinous crimes like this one will continue to occur.