Amanda Bynes’ psychiatric problems may be worse than was first believed. This was made clear after a judge extended her hold for an additional 30 days. Bynes was due to appear in court Friday, August 9, when it was expected that her lawyer would successfully argue for the troubled former Nickelodeon star’s release. However, according to TMZ, doctors at the psychiatric hospital where Bynes has been admitted for the past two weeks asked the judge to appear there for an emergency hearing. Apparently, doctors convinced the judge that Bynes was not well enough to be discharged or to attend a status hearing. The judge agreed, and extended her stay. According to California law, doctors can only get a 30-day order if a patient is “gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder. This leads one to conclude that Bynes’ mental condition was disturbingly worse than initially thought. Sources from the website, Pop 2, have confirmed that Bynes is being treated for possible schizophrenia.
Bynes’ troubles began May 23 when she was held by police for allegedly throwing a bong out of her 36th-floor Manhattan apartment window and smoking marijuana in the lobby of the building, reported People’s Magazine.
Shortly after her arrest, she underwent a psychiatric evaluation where she mentioned plans to sue the NYPD for, as she put it: “illegally entering my apartment, lying about drugs on me, and lying about me tampering with non-existent drug paraphernalia.” Later in the month, Bynes showed up in a New York courtroom wearing an aqua-colored wig to face the charges brought against her, which were reckless endangerment and attempting to tamper with physical evidence.
Soon after, reports broke in the media that Bynes was hospitalized; the result of an involuntary psychiatric hold after she was seen near a gas can and a small fire on a household driveway in Thousand Oaks, California. Her reason for being in the area is still unknown. Additionally, Bynes mistakenly doused her dog, Sherbert, with gasoline during the incident, and had to rush to a nearby convenience store for water to remove the gas.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Captain Don Aguilar explained, “When we receive a call on something like this and someone is behaving unusually in front of a deputy trained to evaluate the possible need for a mental health evaluation, we can by law, take the victim or suspect to a mental health facility for up to 72 hours.” Police, social workers, and other mental health professionals have the authority to use what is called the 5150 hold if a person is considered a danger to themselves or others, or is gravely disabled. In Bynes’ case, following the initial 72 hour hold, doctors extended her stay for an additional 14 days.
Before being placed under psychiatric care, news of bizarre tweets by Bynes about an alleged crush on rapper, Drake, filled the internet. Tweets like, Drake is “gorgeous,” “the man of my dreams,” and for the rapper to “murder my vagina” lit up Twitter from March until July. Drake, in response, noted that Bynes’ tweets and her mental pattern of behavior was “weird and disturbing,” as he reported to XXL. Tweets that date back to mid-July also mention plastic surgery and Bynes head being shaved as the reason for the weird aqua-colored wig. Ironically, Brittany Spears shaved her head and was placed under the same 72-hour lockdown in 2008. To add to the irony, Spears’ affairs were put under the control of her father acting as a conservator, which is the same fate that Bynes was recently dealt.
The judge has reportedly granted her parents’ request for a temporary conservatorship that allows them control of Bynes’ finances and personal well-being for 30 days. However, Bynes does not believe a conservatorship is necessary. Dispite the belief that Bynes is far more disturbed than it was originally thought her lawyer argue that the former star can handle her own affairs.
The initial conservatorship is only for 30 days, but if probable cause is found, it could be extended for a year and renewed on an annual basis.
For now, the conservatorship will last until September 30, at which time the judge will make a determination on whether it should be made permanent.
The actress has not made any public statements about her forced hospitalization.
By: Kimberly M. Scott