Fight Like Hell: A Letter to Amanda Bynes’ Parents
Today, nearly two months since my last post about Amanda Bynes, she has finally been admitted for psychiatric evaluation. What took so long?
This much I have personally experienced: until someone you love is of “harm to self or others”, it’s next to impossible to get him or her placed for evaluation. Unfortunately, sometimes by then it is too late.
Yesterday, Amanda’s parents were finally able to apply for conservatorship – a decision that was delayed, as it looks like Amanda will stay under psychiatric care for at least two weeks. For this time, as I know all to well, her family will have a time to regroup a bit, breathe a sigh of relief that Amanda is safe for the moment, and gather strength for the fight that lies ahead.
What is the Definition of "Sick Enough" for Psychiatric Help?
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Two months ago, Amanda had logged in several instances of erratic behavior, paranoid posts,and trouble with the police. Her parents' concern? Amanda's increasingly odd actions? Not enough for help.
This time, Amanda set a driveway on fire. She nearly hurt herself, her dog, and an elderly woman. Yes: nearly. But that isn’t always the case.
At last, as was true for our Ben ten years ago, Amanda finally seems to be “sick enough” to be admitted to the hospital. Luckily, she is still alive. And her actions this week (according to TMZ, “Bynes allegedly used a canister of gasoline to fuel a fire outside a random elderly woman's home in Thousand Oaks, CA around 8:38 PM on Monday night") could have ended so tragically.
When is it Time to Let the Family Help?
Warning signs of bizarre behavior in the past few months had gone unaddressed. Yep, been there. Done that. Got the conservatorship.
Amanda’s parents have a long fight ahead of them, and if I could
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speak with them I’d offer the support and encouragement all families living with mental illness so desperately need. Their family’s journey right now was our journey a few years ago – and a fight for our child that must still stay alive. We can rest, but we are never really out of the woods.
Dear Rick and Lynn Bynes,
We have never met, but we have much in common. I, too, have an adored child – bright, promising and a joy – who suffers with mental health issues. Our family, too, has had to sit back and watch symptoms get worse and increasingly frightening, until we were finally allowed to petition for conservatorship. We, too, have witnessed near-disaster and felt hopeless, unsupported, and lost.
What I want to tell you is this:
1. Congratulations. You are doing a tough thing – applying for conservatorship of an “adult” child, but it is necessary. Don’t let anyone talk you out of this. I am still Ben’s conservator, and while he basically runs his own life, I am allowed to step in when necessary. This is vital.
2.Reach out for Support and Education about Amanda’s condition, and its affect on your family. You are not alone! Contact me, read memoirs and books, utilize NAMI info and Family-to-Family , read the articles on healthyplace.com
3. Recovery takes time, but there is hope. Some hopes and dreams will have to be adjusted, but with proper treatment and some luck, you will still have your child around to love.
4. Fight like Hell. You will face legal obstacles. Amanda will fight you – and, since she is a celebrity on top of it all, I suspect you will be judged by the media, and possibly here management team as well.
5. Don’t believe the stigma. Schizophrenia is a condition of the brain, and no one’s fault – not Amanda’s, and not yours. It is not a result of “bad parenting”. As parents of a celebrity, you will read lots of stupid stuff in the media. Get facts instead – and speak with others who have been there. There are many resources where you can learn the facts and get support – and I hope you will. Amanda needs you, even though she doesn’t know it.
6. Stay strong, and take care of yourselves too.
7. You can reach me by e-mail if I can be of any help. Been there, too. There is hope.
Author, Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope – and a proud MRG (Mom who Refuses to Give up)
Kaye, R. (2013, July 28). Fight Like Hell: A Letter to Amanda Bynes’ Parents, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/mentalillnessinthefamily/2013/07/fight-like-hell-a-letter-to-amanda-bynes-parents