TMZ reports that Amanda Bynes could be held under an LPS hold, which is involuntary psychiatric confinement for up to one year. Stunningly, TMZ goes on to say that the specific type of LPS hold that is currently being pursued is one where the doctors, not her parents, are in control of her stability.
Oddly, this same TMZ article states that her doctors already had an LPS hold on Bynes, but that it expired last month. That "fact" left me with a lot of questions, and a deeply troubled feeling. Though TMZ has been more or less on point with the coverage, it's really kind of sad to see so.
The L.A. Superior Court website states that a public guardian is appointed to act as a conservator in the event of an LPS hold, and that the court can observe evidence and testimony in order to deem a person is "unable to provide their basic needs of food clothing and/or shelter." The public guardian also must work hand in hand with "Psychiatric hospitals and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health." The website for the L.A. Superior Court clarifies, for me at least, what TMZ did not. It sounds more as if the LPS hold involves an intricate web of social services and mental health institutions, as well as the judicial courts - than the vague description of doctors that TMZ describes. Looking into the information available online, it does start to make more sense (again, at least it does for me) that there are checks and balances in place to ensure that the LPS hold is appropriate.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness provides a PDF that details what qualifies one to be under an LPS: gravely disabled, serious mental illness, and "no other alternatives to help them in the recovery of their impairment."
But are there really no alternatives? Previous news coverage of Amanda Bynes does show that steps were taken last year that were much less severe. Bynes was commited, and released in under a year (even though TMZ repeatedly insinuated that it would be a year or more) and it was widely reported that Bynes went to live with her parents for some time in order to get better.
If her LPS hold expired last month, what the heck happened? Surely all the trauma Bynes must have went through, both in her public life and personal life, it all must have been for something right? And one would hope, make her life better?
Yet it does seem for naught, because it is likely the Amanda Bynes saga will continue on a path similar to last year. Last year her LPS hold was granted to her doctors, who in turn gave control to Byne's mother. Byne's was given a cocktail of medications, and responded well to that treatment. And after all that her mom still released a statement that Bynes did not have any mental disorder(s), and therefore had no need to take any medication.
Last year TMZ also reported that a year's stay at the UCLA facility she was at in 2013 would cost over a million dollars. Which is probably why her mother opted to send her to rehab instead of a psychiatric facility. And it bothers me that it took Amanda Bynes accusing her father of molestation in order for her parents to seek medical help for her. Is a false accusation of molestation enough to warrant that that it is "putting ones self or others" in danger? Because the clearest danger the media reported so far, is when she started a fire in someone's drive way. And look how all that turned out.
And Bynes has to go through the same crap all over again, in a messy overtly public display of court appearances and whispers and shouts from the internet. If there is at least one good thing that came come from all of this - it is that Amanda Bynes can truly get better, and that it raises public awareness on the severity of mental health issues. Hopefully the coverage has not only raised awareness, but also makes people realize that kind of strange behavior (such as the ones displayed by Bynes) isn't meant to be mocked or made fun of. Maybe some people will realize that there is a person in their own life, who have these same symptoms and gives him/her the appropriate and empathetic help that they need. Maybe someone right now is going through something similar with their loved one - though I doubt any of the coverage would give them peace.