When a Mother Drives into the Ocean

woman drive oceanHoly Hormones Journal:  Most of us watched the video of the pregnant woman driving her minivan with her three – children straight into the ocean on the news the first week of March. What would ‘drive’ a woman to kill herself and her children? How deep was she in the hell hole of her mind to not even register that her children where screaming for their lives?

There could be many issues at play here – but mostly, what I fear is the extreme hormone imbalance and the extreme nutritional deficiency that this woman may have experienced.  This is the reason why postpartum depression is now known as ‘postpartum psychosis.’

I also heard news reports that the woman was delusional prior to leaving her home in South Carolina to drive to Daytona Beach in Florida. Could psychotic drugs also have played a role in her delusion and suicide/homicide ideation?  So many questions that need to be answered.


Houston socialite and former nurse, Andrea Yates

I think one of the most encouraging statements to come out of the early news reports is that this woman is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation – and whereas other women who killed their children – like Andrea Yates – this woman – may not be incarcerated for attempted murder – but treated for a mental health breakdown.  Albeit that may also mean a drug cocktail protocol – however, it is one giant step towards understanding the issue instead of locking women like this behind bars.

Chandler Marrs, PhD, of Hormones Matter just wrote a timely article about Maternal Psychiatric Disturbances and Hormones.

Dr. Marrs writes:

Identifying the Biological Underpinnings of Maternal Psychiatric Disturbances

The Andrea Yates tragedy inspired me to research and identify the clinical and biological components of perinatal mental illness. My goal was to identify early warning markers; biological tests, that would give women, their physicians and family members a way to predict the possibility of illness and confirm that illness once it had arrived. I thought that if we could predict and identify the risk for this illness, then the families could prepare and maybe even lessen the severity the disease process. At the very least, tragedies like the Andrea Yates case could be prevented.

In this day an age, a woman needs to be assessed for her mental/emotional and physical health and prepare for pregnancy. Let’s face it. We are all nutritionally depleted; look at the high rate of disease, autoimmune disorders, mental health issues that plague our country. If women do not become proactive about building their nutritional reserves prior to pregnancy, we will sadly be seeing many more of these maternal psychiatric disturbances.

Autumn, Stringam, author of A Promise of Hope, and the daughter of Anthony Stephan, the founder of Truehope Nutritional Support, was also victimized by her mother who suffered from severe bipolar disorder exacerbated by nine pregnancies. Autumn speaks about this in a radio interview on Holy Hormones Honey! entitled: A Promise of Hope for Mood Disorders.

In this interview, Autumn tells of a time when her mother packed her children in the car driving off on a suicide mission. However, somehow, Autumn remembers, her mother gained a moment of clarity, turned the car back home. Autumn’s mother did ultimately commit suicide.

For years, Autumn was angry at her mother for risking her life and those of her siblings.  However, as Autumn has been able to understand the disease of bipolar disorder/schizophrenia because of her healing – she know understands how much strength it took for her very sick mother to gain a moment of reality in her delusional mind and to not kill her children. Autumn is now grateful to her mother – and focuses on the fact that she did not kill her children that day.

Unfortunately, the children in the SUV that drove into the ocean may not be so lucky as to understand  what happened to their mother.  They have been placed in temporary foster care. Their mother will be diagnosed, labeled, medicated and probably incarcerated to a mental institution while she awaits trial – if there is one.

Is it possible that this woman also experienced bipolar disorder. Certainly three births, and now a fourth pregnancy might have tipped the delicate hormone/endocrine balance in her body. Reproductive coercion – where a woman loses control of her fertility, or birth control and is forced into unwanted pregnancies – another form of intimate partner violence may also be a factor and is also another issue I will be exploring on this blog.

A report of new study was just released (03/05/14) on medwire News entitled: “Diagnostic errors common among patients with bipolar disorder”citing that:

Sergey Mosolov (Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry) and colleagues found that 40.8% of 409 patients (mean age 48.4 years, 78.4% women) with a diagnosis of recurrent depressive disorder (RDD) actually had bipolar disorder, including 4.9% with bipolar I disorder and 35.9% with bipolar II disorder.

“This non-recognition may be due to the absence of formal diagnostic criteria for [bipolar II disorder] in the ICD-10,” suggest the researchers in Bipolar Disorders.

They add: “The consequences of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment with antidepressants include a deteriorating clinical course, an increased risk of rapid cycling, suicide, alcoholism, substance abuse, sexually transmitted infections, and criminal activity, and increased costs of care.”

Although, identifying the root cause of the issue is crucial to understanding the treatment protocol, women do not want to wait to be diagnosed and labeled and treated with drugs.  We need to reclaim our health, be preventive – rebuild our nutritional reserves.

Let’s be honest – there are many of us who have thought about driving off on a suicide mission – with or without the kids.  Most of us pull out of the delusion before it is too late. Let us not condemn this woman. Let us understand and pass knowledge of healing and reclaiming our health on to other women before they get caught in the hell hole of their brain.

This is the Woman’s Way.
Hormone blessings,





Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.