Shut Up, Tabloids! Amanda Bynes’ Parents Are Not To Blame For Her Mental Illness, And Neither Is She

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Amanda-BynesI am not a doctor, I am simply a human who makes a living typing things on a keyboard while wearing Target yoga pants. However I am think I am qualified enough to say this to America’s upstanding tabloid magazines:

In the past year Amanda was hospitalized to deal with her mental illness and received treatment for drug abuse. She was then placed under a parental conservatorship which ended last month. Since then she’s been arrested for driving under the influence of Adderall, allegedly attacking night club patrons, and claiming she’s engaged. But still, the popular narrative surrounding the actress mental health problems is that she’s just troubled. Is it drugs? magazines ask. Another child star gone bad? they say. And while sure, she was a child star who is now using drugs (self-medicating, helllllllo?), the truth as I see it is that she’s suffering from mental illness, and when untreated the disease flares up and results in the kind of actions we’re seeing currently. But good ol’ OK Magazine is once again placing blame on the star’s parents with this headline: Are Amanda Bynes’ Parents To Blame For Her Recent Erratic Behavior?

Let me pause to SMDH furiously for a second.

Says OK:

While it might stand to reason that Amanda, 28, should be remanded to the stabilizing environment of her parents’ house, an insider reveals to OK! that, in fact, Rick and Lynn Bynes are the source of the young actress’ troubles. “They’re tyrannical,” says the source. “A lot of people are looking at Rick and Lynn as the good people in this situation, but in reality they’re the ones she’s running from. Amanda wants freedom, and that’s something her parents have never given her.”

Look, I have no idea if Amanda Bynes’ parents are lovely people or total a-holes.  Maybe they’re both. According to E!, her parents have not had much contact with their daughter since their conservatorship ended on September 10. Her dad Rick even told reporters, “She is 28. She does what she wants.” They aren’t the problem here, and neither is she. Her parents have tried to help, but she is an adult and no longer under their care. She is sick and suffering, and deserves continued treatment and respect. That’s it.

So many Americans struggle with various mental illnesses, and our societal norm is to mock and marvel at it. No one is to blame in this situation. But if OK really wanted to get to the bottom of things, they could start by taking a good, hard look at how they cover this story, and start changing the way they – and we – speak about this disease.

(Photo: Shutterstock)