THE ANDREA YATES VERDICT:
A Nation In Denial About Mental Illness
Many people find it hard to believe that Andrea Yates was insane when she killed her children. Indeed, one cannot really blame them, because in judging Yates, they are simply drawing on widespread beliefs about insanity.
While understandable, this common perspective - shared by the Yates jury - does not accurately reflect the reality of Andrea Yates's mental state at the time of the killings. It underlines instead the dramatic chasm that divides public perceptions and myths about mental illness from what psychiatrists and other experts know to be its reality.