|Originally posted by Deb25
Although I am far from an expert on bipolar disorder, it is my understanding through the reading that I have done that the extreme mood swings do not occur with that type of frequency, except perhaps in children.
I also find it odd that this woman was declared legally insane so quickly while the decision in the Andrea Yates case was so different.
Actually, there are multiple forms of bipolar disorder, in which manic vs depressive episodes occur in varying degrees. It also depends whether the person is medicated. The mania drugs in particular, are very unpopular with people who take them since many have very unpleasant side effects(stupor, weight gain, physical twitches are a few.) People stop taking them.The anti-depressants which someone mentioned, don't cause delusions, but if someone is bipolar and is taking anti-depressants w/o close monitoring by a psychiatrist, what can happen is that the drugs can trigger a manic phase, especially if no drug is being taken to control that.( Most people who get drugs for mental health issues get them from GPs who have no idea how to monitor their impact.)
My first reaction was that if 5 shrinks in the state of Texas, US capital charge country, found her to meet the legal definition of insanity, which is a test so difficult to meet as to be almost laughable that they even bother to ever use it as a defense, that this lady must really be insane. Even the state's psychiatrists testified that she was legally insane. Under those circumstances, it would have been a travesty of the legal system to find her guilty.
I don't find calling 911 supports a 'sane' case particularly: a sane person would have hightailed it out of there in a hurry, not called the police. If you believe the devil, or say in the case of the Son of Sam, think a dog told you to kill people, that doesn't automatically mean that you would not report that you had done so.
The fact that Andrea Yates was also found guilty was a travesty of the legal system. At least the jury did the right thing by refusing to suggest the death penalty. I think they should have tried her husband for some sort of neglible homicide: there seem to have been a lot of indications that her increasing number of offspring were putting her over the edge, and yet he wanted to have more and more babies, while doing little to help her.
I contrast these cases more with the Susan Smith case several years back. She killed her 2 children because they were a hinderance to a relationship with a new boyfriend who didn't want the hassle of kids. She planned a rather elaborate way to kill them, and had a story to tell the cops to send them off on a wild goose chase. To me, she acted out of immoral self-centeredness, not insanity. I believe she ultimately confessed to avoid the death penalty. There was also that woman, Diane Downs (not certain of her last name) who did something similar (Farrah Fawcett played her in a movie). She thought the kids were between her and a man she wanted so she killed them.