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Amanda Bynes May Be Suffering from Schizophrenia; Parents File for Conservatorship

At this point, everyone has heard of Amanda Bynes and her disturbing antics – throwing glass pipes out of skyscrapers, posting bizarre social media messages, her involvement in a string of arrests…and most recently, the incident where she set herself on fire, resulting in a 5150 psychiatric hold at a Ventura County hospital. Since she was placed under this involuntary hold, her parents have filed for a conservatorship and medical staff there has noted that she is displaying signs of a severe mental illness – potentially schizophrenia.

This past Monday, Amanda Bynes was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward in southern California after she lit her pants on fire while lighting a fire in a suburban driveway (Times Staff Writer). She was held under the California Welfare and Institutions code, known as a 5150. Since being admitted to the psych ward, her parents have filed for a conservatorship as well as an extended psychiatric hold on the troubled actress (Times Staff Writer).

On Thursday, a judge agreed to extend the hold for two weeks while the conservatorship hearing is scheduled for August 9th (Danielle and Mayoras). In order for them to be granted a conservatorship – which would involve them being responsible for her non-financial decisions – they have to prove that she is “unable to provide properly for her personal needs for physical health, food, clothing, or shelter” (Danielle and Mayoras). For a financial addition to the conservatorship, they would also have to prove there have been specific incidents of financial mismanagement.

Up until now, many people have assumed the reason behind Amanda Bynes’ bizarre behavior was substance abuse. Since the 5150, she has undergone a toxicology screen, where marijuana was the only thing found in her system (Britney). Additionally, staff in the psychiatric ward where she was placed have observed that she exhibits violent mood swings and psychotic episodes, leading them to believe she may be suffering from schizophrenia – a severe mental illness that consists of recurring psychotic episodes (Britney, Schizophrenia Facts and Statistics).

While studies have seen that long term marijuana use is associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia, it is also a widely accepted theory that schizophrenia develops through a combination of genes and environmental factors, including physical and mental distress (MyHealthNewsDaily Staff, Schizophrenia Facts and Statistics). Additionally, Amanda Bynes is 27 – right around the median age of onset for schizophrenia in women is (the average age of schizophrenia onset in women is 25) (Schizophrenia Facts and Statistics).

A conservatorship is no light matter, but it may be in the best interest of Amanda Bynes and her long-term health. She has clearly demonstrated an inability to take care of herself, leaving behind a string of arrests, insulting and psychotic behavior, and paranoid outbursts.

Additionally, if her parents are granted a conservatorship, they can make sure that Bynes receives the psychiatric help she needs. Schizophrenia, if that is what she is suffering from, is highly treatable when treated with anti-psychotic medications. However, most severely mentally ill people don’t stay on their medications as prescribed, and in the case of Amanda Bynes, that may prove to be a danger to both her health and the safety of those around her.

At the end of the day, the judge will hopefully make the best decision for the troubled star and for those who are around her.


Works Cited

Britney, Free. “Amanda Bynes: Showing Signs of Schizophrenia, Violent Mood Swings, “Severe Mental Illness”.” 25 July 2013. The Hollywood Gossip. Web. 26 July 2013.

Danielle and Andy Mayoras. “Will Conservatorship Work For Amanda Bynes?” 26 July 2013. Forbes. Web. 26 July 2013.

MyHealthNewsDaily Staff. “How Marijuana May Drive the Brain into Psychosis.” 03 January 2012. Live Science. Web. 26 July 2013.

“Schizophrenia Facts and Statistics.” n.d. Schizophrenia.com. Web. 26 July 2013.

Times Staff Writer. “Amanda Bynes’ mental-health hold extended.” 26 July 2013. LA Times. Web. 26 July 2013.






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Written by

A native New Yorker, Bre loves the California scene and writing for Treatment4Addiction. She has been writing content for T4A for five months, and loves to learn new things, form opinions, and send them out to the world. Her interests include dance, singing, acting, talking with friends, being a daughter, and being the best big sister she can to her 16 year old brother. After attending ASU for a few months, she is interested in taking cosmetology classes and exploring her options. She looks forward to learning all she can, and doing something positive with that knowledge and experience.

Filed under: Celebrity News, Mental Illness · Tags: Amanda Bynes, conservatorship, schizophrenia

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