Amanda Bynes DUI, Star's Parents Take Control: Mental Health Issues, Bipolar Disorder?
For someone who's "retired from acting," Amanda Bynes hasn't had a hard time playing crazy lately, or making headlines. However, these aren't the kind of clips you send Grandma. And now, after months of DUI, and hit-and-run charges, it seems Bynes' parents are ready to step in and take control.
According to TMZ, the "Hairspray" star's parents left their Texas home and moved to California to defuse their daughter's issues. Sources connected to the family said Bynes' DUI last April prompted the move. The couple put its home in Cedar Park, Texas, up for sale, but couldn't immediately find a buyer.
A source told the site the parents don't want a Britney Spears-type of conservatorship, but realize they need to be near their daughter for support. If you remember, last spring Bynes' father said publicly he didn't think Bynes had mental issues or a substance abuse problem.
Rumors of Bynes' substance abuse, and possible struggles with her mental health, have surfaced steadily over the last year. When the former child star "retired" from acting in 2010, many close to the actress said the real reason was her incredibly difficult and at times extreme behavior. As Bynes put it on Twitter, "Being an actress isn't as fun as it may seem," she tweeted. "If I don't love something, I stop doing it. I don't love acting anymore, so I've stopped doing it."
As the Daily Beast reported around the time, towards the "end" of her career, many were reporting Bynes' mental health might have become an issue. Sources said her CAA agents had a please-get-help talk with her this year, and that Bynes has so far resisted. And her parents, whom she has supported for years, have not been able to get the actress back on track. Her friends are concerned about her behavior.
Reps for Bynes did not respond to a request for comment about her retirement. Her personal publicist, Melissa Raubvogel, said no such event had happened with CAA.
Since then, Bynes has been charged with two counts of hit-and-run by the L.A. City Attorney's Office for two separate incidents, according to TMZ. If convicted, Bynes faces up to a year in prison, and a $2,000 fine. In both incidents - one in April and one in August - Bynes allegedly fled the scene after striking another car with her car. The actress has long maintained her innocence.
Four days after Bynes' April 6 DUI in which she rear-ended a police cruiser, she was accused of slamming her rental BMW into another car on the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley. When the actress did not stop, the victim gave chase, but Bynes blew through a red light and got away. According to TMZ, the victim did get the license plate number, and after cops determined it was Bynes' rented vehicle, they included her in a line-up for the victim ... who pointed out the 26-year-old as the one who had hit her.
One month later, Bynes was once again accused of a hit-and-run when her Range Rover side-swiped another car in West Hollywood. When the actress sped away, the man called the police, who chased after her. And when they did eventually catch up with her, she told cops she had no idea she had struck another automobile. But the damage to both cars was so minimal, no charges were filed.
Around that time, Bynes took to her Twitter to defend herself - and beg for help from none other than the president. "Hey @BarackObama... I don't drink," she tweeted. "Please fire the cop who arrested me. I also don't hit and run. The end."
Then on Aug. 5, Bynes did it again. But this time, after striking a Toyota Corolla with her BMW in the San Fernando Valley, she did stop. The actress, who "looked like a hot mess" according to the victim, tried to push the Corolla's bumper back into place (which didn't work), refused to give the other woman her insurance information, and then drove off yet again.
Bynes' license has now been suspended, as well as her car impounded after she got into three accidents following her suspension.
While a district attorney argued Wednesday Sept. 19 that Bynes should be ordered to put up $50,000 bail as a condition of the remaining fee pending her Oct. 29 trial, the judge chose not to impose the requested bail, stating "Technically, Ms. Bynes is not in violation of order not to drive without a valid driver's license." (The actress's last hit-and-run charge occurred on Aug. 4 when her license was still valid.)
Dr. Trevor Small, Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Director of Santa Monica's Bridges To Recovery, has suggested a bipolar diagnosis, saying, "Typically when someone has never had any problems with the law, and all of a sudden has a string of legal issues, then this could very well be a sign that that individual is suffering from a mental health issue, such as bipolar disorder."
Sounds like Bynes to us.
"A typical symptom of bipolar disorder is when someone starts to behave impulsively, for example driving your car even though you don't have a driver's license. A healthy individual would be able to recognize that this would not be a wise decision. When a person is impulsive, a sign of bipolar disorder, they do things without thinking like shaving their hair off or drastically changing their appearance. When someone starts to act erratically and inconsistently with how they used to be, this could also be a sign of bipolar disorder. For example, locking yourself in a fitting room for over two hours. This is not normal behavior. Often times, the person will try and self-medicate by using drugs and/or alcohol."
Dr. Small continued, explaining, "Being in the public eye makes it even more difficult to admit you have a problem. A celebrity may worry about the impact a mental health issue could have on their career and personal relationships. There is a stigma attached to bipolar disorder that makes it incredibly difficult to get help. But help IS out there. Once that person is willing to get help and see a medical doctor, they don't have to suffer anymore."