She was one of the hottest movie and TV stars of the Y2K era but by 2013, she was placed under conservatorship after a series of erratic incidences. Pregnant-due-date/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>What happened to Amanda Bynes since being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and being freed from said conservatorship has fans and loved ones concerned for her well-being once more.

Born on April 3, 1986, Bynes is a former child star; having made her on-screen debut on Sports Theater with Shaquille O’Neal in 1998, aged 12. Her breakout role came as the host of The Amanda Show, a Nickelodeon sketch comedy series that ran for 23 episodes and she’d go on to star in some of the most beloved teen comedies of the era—What a Girl Wants (2003) and She’s the Man (2006) opposite Channing Tatum, among others. Her most recent film was Easy A starring alongside Emma Stone in 2010 and since then, her mental health has seemingly deteriorated. An incident on Sunday, March 19, has set off alarm bells for her parents Lynn and Rick Bynes, who are becoming concerned about her well-being after this latest ordeal. Here’s what happened.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, help is available. Call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 for free and confidential counseling.  

What happened to Amanda Bynes?

What happened to Amanda Bynes? TMZ reported on March 20 that the former child star had been placed on 5150 psychiatric hold after she was found to be roaming the streets of Los Angeles naked and alone.

An eyewitness told the tabloid she waved a car down, telling the driver she was coming down from a psychotic episode. Bynes herself then called 911 and law enforcement took her to a nearby police station where a mental health team determined she needed to be placed on temporary psych hold. 5150 refers to the number of the section of the Welfare and Institutions Code, which allows an adult who is experiencing a mental health crisis to be involuntarily detained for a 72-hour psychiatric hospitalization due to threat of harm to self, others, or being gravely disabled, per the Orange County Department of Education. A source later told TMZ that Bynes had been doing rather well, living independently and taking cosmetology classes, so the Sunday incident seemed like an “anomaly”.

On March 22, TMZ gave an update to the story with quotes from friends close to Bynes. They were still trying to piece what happened to her together but there was speculation she could have been living on the streets for days before she was taken to a mental health facility. “We’re told Amanda’s car was towed on March 15 in Long Beach, about 40 miles from her home … and 25 miles from downtown L.A., where she popped up Sunday,” the tabloid reported. “From Long Beach, our sources believe Amanda hitchhiked or took public transport to get around. She was spotted in Hollywood on March 18, appearing out of it but still clothed. At one point, we’re told, Amanda got a ride to Beverly Hills from a stranger but then asked to return to Hollywood.” While she appears to have made improvements, “the expectation is she will likely be committed at least another week before she’ll be well enough for discharge.”

It comes almost a year to the day that Bynes was released from a 13-year conservatorship, which she was placed under after a series of erratic incidents, including allegedly setting fire to a driveway. At the time, Bynes was said to be “consumed by paranoia” and had spent $1.2 million in just a few months, per court documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times. In court papers, her parents described their daughter as “appearing to have a substance abuse problem” and being “extremely paranoid about being watched, including at our residence.” Documents also said, “she would cover smoke alarms with towels, tape windows shut and cover her car dashboard with cardboard and tape out of fear that cameras were watching her from inside these places.”

In a 2018 interview with Paper Magazine, Bynes admitted She’s the Man—a modernized version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night­­ where a teen girl dresses in drag to pose as her brother in order to play college soccer—led to an “interesting experience” after it wrapped. “When the movie came out and I saw it, I went into a deep depression for four to six months because I didn’t like how I looked when I was a boy,” she reflected. “I’ve never told anyone that.” Seeing herself with short hair and sideburns was “a super strange and out-of-body experience. It just really put me into a funk.”

She also reflected on a period of her life when she was experimenting with illicit drugs, “molly and ecstasy” sometimes, adding “I definitely abused Adderall.” She remembered “reading an article in a magazine that [called Adderall] ‘the new skinny pill’ and they were talking about how women were taking it to stay thin. I was like, ‘Well, I have to get my hands on that.” After Easy A came out, she “was absolutely convinced” she needed to stop acting; she didn’t like her performance or how she looked in the film. “I was high on marijuana when I saw that but for some reason, it really started to affect me. I don’t know if it was a drug-induced psychosis or what, but it affected my brain in a different way than it affects other people. It absolutely changed my perception of things.”

But after retiring from a career that gave her so much purpose, Bynes found herself adrift. “I just had no purpose in life. I’d been working my whole life and 1679546203 I was doing nothing,” she told Paper. “I had a lot of time on my hands and I would ‘wake and bake’ and literally be stoned all day long.” Around this time, Bynes said she started “hanging out with a seedier crowd and I isolated a lot… I got really into my drug usage and it became a really dark, sad world for me.”

After a tumultuous few years, Bynes credited her parents with helping her “get back on track.” The biggest challenge was that, during the mid-aughts, social media and tabloid journalism weren’t as sympathetic to stars battling mental health or substance abuse issues. “It definitely isn’t fun when people diagnose you with what they think you are,” Bynes observed, in reference to headlines that tried to diagnose her behavior. “That was always really bothersome to me. If you deny anything and tell them what it actually is, they don’t believe you. Truly, for me, [my behavior] was drug-induced, and whenever I got off of [drugs], I was always back to normal.” She continued: “I know that my behavior was so strange that people were just trying to grasp at straws for what was wrong,” Bynes said, labeling some online snarks as “armchair psychiatrists.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, help is available. Call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 for free and confidential counseling.  

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