How Amanda Bynes’ Mental Illness Could Be a Good Thing

Amanda Bynes

Actress Amanda Bynes has no doubt been on the media’s radar with her court appearances and odd public behavior. Having been known for years to make an audience laugh with her comedic roles in films such as, “Easy A” and “She’s The Man”, fans and admirers laughs have turned to quick concern for the talented star. But whether people think Amanda Bynes mental illnesses are a forever diagnoses should think again, it could actually mean a good thing.

In early 2012, Bynes started hitting headlines after arrests were made for D.U.I’s and hit and runs. After being arrested again for possession of marijuana, Bynes was then caught attempting to start a fire in a stranger’s driveway. This lead to an involuntary stay in a psych ward where she received a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

How did this funny woman suddenly change so dramatically in the course of her young career?

Sources report that the star has been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder due to the pressures of celebrity which started in childhood. Her career on popular Nickelodeon television shows like “The Amanda Show” may have played a role in her current struggles. It’s no surprise the kind of impact the lifestyles of the rich and famous can have on an individual. We all recall Drew Barrymore’s wild child ways, Britney Spears’ meltdown, and the current struggles of Lindsay Lohan.

But new studies leave hope in the case of Amanda Bynes’ mental illnesses developing into what could be a good thing for the star. While schizophrenia can be exceptionally difficult to treat, it’s not a forever psychosis. That’s at least according to the book, “Rethinking Madness: Towards a Paradigm Shift In Our Understanding and Treatment of Psychosis,” by author Paris Williams. In it, he notes that it is possible to recover from schizophrenia.

He analyzed six recovered schizophrenics in the book and it was found that their psychosis was brought on by significantly difficult childhoods. Also a factor? Their use of recreational drugs prior to psychosis.

Although these recovered schizophrenics have indeed healed and grown from their experiences, they do go on to note that the care they received may have hindered their overall healing process. The psychiatric system was, in their opinion, not well equipped to deal with their psychosis. They felt unsupported emotionally and harm from the anti-psychotics given to them.

“We’ve discovered that those diagnosed in the United States and other “developed” nations are much less likely to recover than those in the poorest countries in the world,” says Paris Williams.

How can this be? Well, Paris Williams believes mental illnesses serve a purpose. When our minds are trying to process and comprehend difficult emotions and experiences, it is trying to adapt to a new way of coping, thus leading one back to normality. But when our psychiatric system introduces the use of antipsychotics,  this hinders the natural healing process. Nonetheless, the six recovered schizophrenics note that they came out of their psychosis much stronger, with an overall new perspective.

Whatever speculation surrounding Amanda Bynes’ history and troubled past, we need to allow the space, room and understanding for her to heal and benefit from this mental illness experience and in return emerge as the healthy, talented, comical woman we have all come to know.

Written by Annie Elizabeth Martin

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