Although nobody asked her, Amanda Bynes’ mom, Lynn, is telling anyone who will listen that Amanda “has no mental illness whatsoever.” She claims Amanda’s bizarre behavior was only the result of smoking marijuana, and Amanda is not contradicting her. Denial is contagious and apparently running rampant in their family. Even their lawyer is parroting the family line.
Could marijuana be the root of all evil? Indeed, weed can exacerbate psychoses – like manic-depressive/bipolar illness or schizophrenia – and make them manifest in someone who has the genetic predisposition to these disorders, but it does not typically cause these psychoses in people who are otherwise mentally healthy.
Amanda is doing better these days than when she was out of control in New York. However, her behavior necessitated involuntary hospitalizations, for which she would have had to meet the criteria of danger to self, danger to others, or gravely disabled. Even in the hospital – where there was no access to marijuana – her behavior was bizarre and psychotic, to the point of having to be seriously medicated and restrained.
According to her mom, Amanda is now off medication and in fine mental health. But symptoms of psychosis can wax and wane. And it is more likely than not that they will return, after the medication is out of her system long enough. So, why would her mom want to risk another meltdown? Obviously, no parent wants to believe that their child is suffering from a mental illness, and she is undoubtedly wishing that this would all go away. But, could there be a more nefarious, perhaps unconscious, explanation? Amanda had been somewhat estranged from her parents, and now she’s become more docile, even going on vacation with them. Perhaps her mother wants to keep Amanda submissive by keeping her slightly off-kilter, so that Amanda will be dependent upon them.
Indeed, Amanda’s mother was granted temporary conservatorship, which gives her control over Amanda’s medical care and finances. So, if mom wants to remove the stigma of mental illness by denying that Amanda needs medication to treat it, she will have a lot of leeway to do this… at least until Amanda’s next meltdown causes her to be carted off to a psychiatric hospital again.
— amanda bynes (@amandabynes) March 22, 2014
Carole Lieberman, M.D., America's Psychiatrist, is a 3-time Emmy award-winner, TV personality and radio talk show host. She's an award-winning author of three books, including her latest, Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets.
For more information on Dr. Lieberman check out her website DrCarole.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @DrCaroleMD
Image via Twitter from Amanda Bynes