Sunday, July 13, 2008

Postpartum Depression Not an Excuse for Murder

We have all heard the notorious case of Andrea Yates, the Houston woman who systematically killed her 5 kids by drowning them in their bathtub at home. There have been many other cases of mothers killing their kids all over the country and the world for that matter that go to trial with an insanity defense due to postpartum depression.

I am not about do deny the fact that postpartum depression exists, or that having a new baby can be overwhelming and stressful. This is because my babysitting experiences caused all kinds of pictures to pop into my head that I knew better than to act upon. And I was only with the kids for a few hours. So I can sympathize with being around the baby 24/7 and becoming overwhelmed by it. However, I do believe that it is our responsibility and the responsibility of those close to us to recognize signs of this and to ask for help. If you don’t ask for help, that doesn’t relieve you of your responsibility to care for and protect your child from danger, including yourself.

I’m a firm believer that insanity of any reason is a ridiculous and invalid defense for murder ever. This is because you have to be insane to be able to kill someone with the exception of defense. So I don’t ever believe this should be a reason someone should go to a psychiatric hospital rather than prison. There’s not a doubt in my mind that those women are insane. What sane woman drowns, or stabs or strangles their child? None! I don’t care if they say they don’t remember it. There are always warning signs. Right I know I don’t know what I’m talking about I should just shut my mouth and feel sorry for them because they need help. Well everyone that’s in prison for murder, rape, or any other crime needed help before their crimes too. You have to take responsibility and reach out for help because if you don’t, people don’t always know you need it. Although it’s possible some of your closest family members may just be in denial that you need help.

There has been enough open discussion about postpartum depression in the last several years that I think it’s our responsibility as women to keep ourselves in check for that if we are going to choose to bring another life into this world. They didn’t ask to be brought here, so we shouldn’t take it out on them. I know it’s shameful, embarrassing, and people will judge you for having it postpartum depressive thoughts. I’ve got news for you; they’re going to judge you much more harshly in a courtroom for killing your baby or injuring it. There’s no shame in asking for help. We all need it at one time or another.

There’s really nothing more I can say about it.

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