Mental Illnesses Management in Andrea Pia Yate’s Case

Subject: Psychiatry
Pages: 3
Words: 864
Reading time:
4 min


Globally, mental illness has remained to be an issue of concern in the healthcare system. According to prior studies, mental disorders lead to reduced quality of life, domestic violence, incapacitating human behavior, and alteration of thought processes. Effective management of mental illnesses is critical in preventing the negative impacts of mental disorders. In 2001, Andrea Pia Yates, an American citizen, admitted to having drowned her children due to the effects of mental disorders. This paper aims to analyze Andre Pia Yates’ case study which has been a topic of concern in the recent past.

System Failure

Gaps in service delivery by doctors, nurses, and social workers significantly contributed to her mental illnesses’ recurrence. The doctors did not initiate effective strategies for continued care at home, including strict medication adherence. The healthcare providers and the social workers did not perform follow-ups to monitor the treatment process. The nurses failed in initiating emotional support by the caregivers at home. The healthcare professionals could have incorporated the whole family in controlling and supporting Andrea.

The husband is partly to blame because he failed to offer assistance that was needed and was absent when the incident happened. The husband could have provided a house manager to help his wife take care of the children while he was away. This could have prevented his wife from drowning their children. The doctor did not provide specific days for Andrea Pia and her family to come to psychiatric clinics to assess her condition and consult on its progress.

She is not to blame because the effects of mental disorders can incapacitate and cause adverse reactions, especially if not given enough support from family and the healthcare system. The health professionals should have initiated effective coping strategies and encouraged adherence to Andrea Pia Yates’ drug regimen. Provision of clinic days should have been provided for Andrea and her husband to discuss the progress of the condition. A follow-up plan should have been strictly adhered to, thus, aiding in detecting the slightest changes and acting promptly.

Background Information

Born on July 2, 1964, Andrea Pia Yates is a resident of Friendswood Apartment located in Houston, Texas (Stevens, 2017). In her teenage years, she suffered from bulimia nervosa and depression at the age of 17 years. In high school, she took charge of the swimming team and was an officer in the National Honor Society (Stevens, 2017). She joined the University of Houston for a two-year program in nursing. After completion, she was employed at the University of Texas as a registered nurse. In 1993, she met Russel in Houston, got engaged, and married (Stevens, 2017).

Description of the Presenting Problem

After giving birth to their firstborn, she suffered depression, resulting in chewing fingers and body shaking, as reported by her husband. She had suicidal thoughts after she took pills to overdose and was administered anti-depressants at the hospital. She threatened her life by wanting to kill herself with a knife, was admitted to the hospital, and was administered antipsychotic drugs and Haldol.

She later suffered a breakdown in the nervous system, which accelerated her suicidal thoughts, and was hospitalized, and got diagnosed with postpartum psychosis. The psychiatrist advised Russel to avoid conceiving another child, but she later got pregnant again. Despite failing to take her medication, she adjusted well after the demise of her husband. In 2001, she degenerated into a ‘catatonic state’ and confessed to the local authority that she intended to drown her child. Moreover, the psychiatrist reviewed her and noted that she was suicidal (Stevens, 2017). In June of 2001, Andrea drowned all children in the bathtub. She later called the police to report the incident.

Diagnosis and Treatment Plan

According to Andreas Pia Yates’s symptoms, she was suffering from Psychosis and schizoaffective disorder. This is evident when Andreas Pia Yates portrays scenes of depressive episodes, suicidal thoughts, and experiencing a state of ‘catatonic mood.’ Andrea Yates had signs of hallucinations, the reason why she was taking haloperidol. She further showed self-worthlessness when she informed her husband of wanting to die (Cavelti, Homan, & Vauth, 2016). Alteration of thought process is evident when she developed a nervous breakdown. Since the schizoaffective disorder is a long-life condition, treatment is critical.

The treatment goal is to ensure that the patient is compliant with medication to suppress the symptoms that profoundly affected her mental wellness. Intervention for the management of schizoaffective disorder includes counseling sessions to help in coping with the condition. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is pivotal in understanding symptoms that may not be suppressed by the medication (Parker, 2019). Group and family therapy are necessary to help in curbing emotional stress. Medications such as Lithium help in the stabilization of mood in patients with schizoaffective disorder. Anti-depressants can be prescribed to control signs and symptoms of depression.


This study aimed to assess and evaluate mental health issues captured in Andrea Yate’s case, therefore, establishing the need for support and additional strategies to curb mental disorders. Mental health awareness programs are critical to reducing mental disorders, which have been rampant worldwide. In addition, appropriate and early interventions are vital in preventing the negative consequences associated with mental illnesses, such as schizoaffective disorder.


Cavelti, M., Homan, P., & Vauth, R. (2016). The impact of thought disorder on therapeutic alliance and personal recovery in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder: An exploratory study. Psychiatry Research, 239, 92-98. Web.

Parker, G. (2019). How well does the DSM-5 capture schizoaffective disorder?. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 64(9), 607-610. Web.

Stevens, G. P. (2017). A Mother’s love? Postpartum disorders, the DSM-5 and criminal responsibility–A South African medico-legal perspective. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 25(2), 186-196. Web.