Let’s face it, Amanda Bynes has not been acting normally for quite some time:
There were reports from people at her gym and neighbors that Bynes had been “laughing hysterically for no reason” and having conversations with inanimate objects in her back yard.
More recently, she’s reportedly had plastic surgery and is trying to lose weight to get to a goal of 100 pounds.
She’s threatened to sue the NYPD for sexual harassment saying the arresting officer “slapped my vagina,” and tweeted:
“I Want A Million Dollars A Year For Illegally Having My Mind Read And Privacy Stolen.”
And just this week she was hospitalized under a 72 hour involuntary psychiatric hold, called a 5150 hold. This happened after Amanda allegedly set fire to a gasoline can in a stranger’s driveway. A passerby saw the fire and called 911. Additional disturbing details have emerged: Amanda may have gotten her pants burned during the episode but was not burned herself. While setting the fire, she got gasoline on her pet Pomeranian and then ran to a local liquor store to try to wash the dog off.
TMZ is now reporting that the hold be extended up to two weeks to allow for a complete psychiatric evaluation. Their sources are also telling them that Amanda is showing “signs of schizophrenia,” and that her parents “will now ask a judge to put the 27-year-old in a conservatorship, a la Britney Spears, because they believe she is unable to care for herself and could be a danger to others.”
Hopefully Amanda will now be thoroughly evaluated and get the help she so desperately needs.
According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history. It affects approximately 1% of Americans.
Schizophrenia affects men and women equally. It occurs at similar rates in all ethnic groups around the world. Psychotic symptoms (such as hallucinations and delusions) usually emerge in men in their late teens and early 20s and in women in their mid-20s to early 30s.
Experts think schizophrenia is caused by several factors:
Genes and environment. Scientists have long known that schizophrenia runs in families. The illness occurs in 1 percent of the general population, but it occurs in 10 percent of people who have a first-degree relative with the disorder, such as a parent, brother, or sister.
Different brain chemistry and structure. Scientists think that an imbalance in the complex, interrelated chemical reactions of the brain involving the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate, and possibly others, plays a role in schizophrenia.
The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three broad categories: positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms.
Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors not seen in healthy people. These symptoms can come and go and include:
Negative symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors. These symptoms are harder to recognize as part of the disorder and can be mistaken for depression or other conditions. These symptoms include the following:
Cognitive symptoms are subtle and include the following:
Cognitive symptoms often make it hard to lead a normal life and earn a living. They can cause great emotional distress.
Because the causes of schizophrenia are still unknown, current treatments focus on eliminating the symptoms of the disease.
Antipsychotic medications have been available since the mid-1950s. They effectively alleviate the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. While these drugs have greatly improved the lives of many patients, they do not cure schizophrenia.
Relapses occur most often when people with schizophrenia stop taking their antipsychotic medication because they feel better, or only take it occasionally because they forget or don’t think taking it regularly is important.
Numerous studies have found that psychosocial treatments can help patients who are already stabilized on antipsychotic medications deal with certain aspects of schizophrenia, such as difficulty with communication, motivation, self-care, work, and establishing and maintaining relationships with others.
For more information, click here to go to the Resounding Health Casebook on the topic.