11/29/2004

Daily Kos :: diary of a mad christian housewife

Daily Kos

Last fall, Lisa Ann Diaz, also from Plano, drowned her two daughters. Before the killing she said a prayer: 'Dear God, please take care of my precious angel.'

Back in 2001, Andrea Yates from Houston drowned her five children in the bathtub. She believed she was saving her children from eternal damnation and that Satan lived within her.

It's hard to even think about these disturbing events, must less analyze them critically.

Religion seems to be the elephant in the room no one wants to discuss. All of these women were clearly steeped in some kind of religious delusion when they killed their children. At least two - Schlosser and Yates - were members of fundamentalist churches.

Here are some questions I would like to see answered:

1. Did these women become more religious as their psychosis increased? Should health professionals view increasing religious fervor as a danger sign for women with extreme post partum depression?

2. Did the religious beliefs of those around these women prevent them from recognizing a mental health problem? Case in point -- Schlosser's husband was not concerned when his wife said she thought her children should go to god. Child protective services found his lack of interest so startling that they took his older children away. The Schlosser's minister claims that he would not have been alarmed by her comments, they were normal dinner time conversation.

3. Did the church community offer any support or assistance to these women? Schlosser's church has dropped her like a hot potato, with the minister saying he did not know her and others saying the Schlossers 'did not socialize' with others in the church. Not the kind of caring Christian community we've come to expect.

4. Did these women try to pray themselves out of mental illness? Were they so ashamed that they did not meet the romanticized standards of Christian motherhood that they did not seek help?

There are many other questions some one could get in there and explore. Just maybe it would be possible to find some answers that could save the next baby from a gruesome fate."

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