Andrea Yates Wants to Go to Church

    March 29, 2012
    Heather Campobello
    Comments are off for this post.

Andrea Yates is a woman who has historically evoked emotions of sympathy and rage within the American people. After suffering postpartum depression (PD) and psychosis, the tortured soul drowned her five children in their family home in Houston, TX. The children ranged in age from 6 months to 7 years old. Her husband, Rusty, stood by her side and felt that if she had been working with a competent physician the horrific event would have never happened.

Yates had tried to kill herself on two separate occasions before she drowned her children — one time with pills, the other with a knife. After these attempts she was sent to a psychiatric hospital where she remained for three weeks and was diagnosed with PD.

The woman’s thoughts would race about her children and she worried how they would turn out. But she started taking two anti-depressants, Wellbutrin and Effexor, and an anti-psychotic, Haldol. Her mood improved and the Yates’ decided to have another child despite written warnings from a physician that her depression would return.

And it did — with a vengeance. Six months after the birth of their last child, Mary, she lost her mind and committed filicide. She believed that Satan was sending her messages and says she killed her kids so that they would go to heaven.


On July 26, 2006, the jury found that Yates was not guilty by reason of insanity.

Now her doctors are asking that she be allowed to leave the mental hospital where she is currently receiving treatment to attend church for two hours a week.

According to George Parnham, her attorney, “it is a recommendation of the doctors that she be permitted to attend, and of course she wants to. It would be both beneficial and mentally therapeutic for her. She has been accepted into a congregation. It is simply a baby step in the right direction toward acclimation into a community down the road of sorts.”

According to the Chronicle, Parnham also believes that Yates has been ready to rejoin society for years, including getting a job and living on her own and thinks she is “ready for outpatient care.”

We reported earlier that Casey Anthony wants to be baptized and find solace in religion. Apparently the last week has been a time for fallen mothers to find their religious roots.

  • Brenda H.

    Just like prisoners and sex offenders say “they are cured, they found Jesus” — I don’t think so. Maybe Yates and Anthony could be locked up together in a bathroom and Anthony’s lies would eventually get on Yates’ nerves and she could drown her. Then she will snap out of it and say “Jesus made me do it”. Then the doc will tell it that “it’s ok just repent and give me 3 Our Fathers and 20 Hail Marys and we’ll call it good”. Hell No!!! These women that kill their kids and then blame it on the devil or Jesus or pink crosseyed rabbit in their dreams!! WHATEVER!! I think that sometimes these jurors should have an MME completed on them to see if they are competent to even hear the trial!! Sorry folks don’t want to come across negative, but I feel for them kids and I just don’t understand why the husband stood by her!! It blows me away, can’t bear the thought!

  • http://www.jennifermoyer.com Jennifer

    As one who has experienced postpartum psychosis, educating and openly talking about the illness helps in overcoming it. It is unfortunate that still,ten years later, much ignorance of postpartum psychosis still exists. Postpartum psychosis usually manifests in religious or spiritual symptoms. It is a real illness that requires immediate medical attention but with proper treatment, mothers can overcome it. Sadly, Andrea was taken off her anti-psychotic medication BY HER DOCTOR shortly before the drownings. Proper diagnosis and treatment from an expert in the area of mental health related to childbearing is essential in overcoming an illness such as postpartum psychosis. If Andrea had received proper care and treatment BEFORE the drownings, the drownings never would have occurred.I now do my best to educate, provide emotional and informational support to mothers and families experiencing postpartum psychosis. It is so important to know that the illness can be overcome and prevented with proper treatment, support and education. Education is essential in bringing understanding and eliminating stigma in mental illness. I encourage one to educate themselves about general mental illness as well as mental illness related to childbearing before passing judgement. If a person has not been directly affected by a serious mental illness, it is harder to understand. It is unfortunate that our society still has a long way to go to eliminate the stigma and shame associated with mental illness.For those that wish to learn more about mental illness related to childbearing, please contact Postpartum Support International. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this article.