Amanda Bynes Asks Passing Motorist For Help, Currently On Psychiatric Hold

Actress Amanda Bynes, a child star diagnosed with bipolar disorder, received assistance from a Good Samaritan driver on Sunday morning. She is currently under a 72-hour 5150 psychiatric hold to access her mental health and determine if she needs further treatment after being taken to the authorities.

According to a report from TMZ, Bynes stopped the car driver and asked for help, stating that she had been in the grip of a psychotic phase. Witnesses saw Bynes wandering through the streets in an undisclosed area of Downtown Los Angeles without any clothing. Bynes regained some of her presence of mind and, after stopping the car driver, called 911 to get help and treatment.

Currently Under Treatment

Bynes was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2013. She was legally under the guidance of a conservatorship for nine years under her mother's supervision after an alarming incident where she set her neighbor's driveway on fire, which put her dog in danger. Sources told TMZ that Bynes was currently under treatment after the police determined that placing her on a psychiatric hold was necessary to ensure she got help.

The actress was released from the conservatorship almost a year to the day of this incident. She was expected at a 90 Fan Con in another state but canceled due to illness. Fans expressed sadness but had good wishes for the actress upon learning that her appearance was canceled. One said, “So Amanda Bynes is no longer going to be at #90scon. I hope she is ok!” Bynes is perhaps best known for starring on the Nickelodeon TV shows All That and The Amanda Show, the WB TV Show What I Like About You, and for the films, She's The Man, Hairspray, and Easy A

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that can lead to manic behavior, major depressive episodes, and sometimes psychotic breaks. During these episodes, people with bipolar disorder have little control over their behavior and emotions and exhibit behaviors they would not usually indulge in. The disorder affects mood, energy, and activity levels. They can sometimes be subject to hallucinations, grandiose feelings, and feelings of persecution.

There is no cure for bipolar disorder, only a maintenance plan with therapy, medication, keeping regular patterns of behavior, and rest. Numerous famous entertainers and actors, including beloved actress and writer Carrie Fisher, have been diagnosed with the disorder.

Messages Of Support

Sophia Bush Hughes, an actress best known for her work on the television series One Tree Hill, reacted on Twitter with sympathy to the news. She said, “I'm heartbroken for Amanda Bynes. Trauma is a lifelong beast to battle once inflicted. I hope she can get the support she needs & deserves. Simultaneously, it's an incredible sign of the work that she has done to know that she assessed herself & sought help mid-crisis.” and pointed out the extraordinary presence of mind Bynes exhibited in getting help. 

Bassey Ikpi, a mental wellness advocate, highlighted how brave and strong Bynes' actions were and stated, “The fact that Amanda Bynes flagged a car down, told them she had a psychotic episode, and called 911 herself actually gives me a lot of hope for her well-being. That's a huge deal. When she's ready, I hope she can be proud of herself for that.”

Recognizing Her Strength and Talent

Others stated support for Bynes in other ways. Writer Morgan Jerkins said, “I'm rooting for Amanda Bynes. We grew up with her on “All That” and “The Amanda Show.” If she was able to ask for help in the state that she was in, I have hope.”

Some praised her talent as an actress to show their approval and appreciation of Bynes. Author Bolu Babalola said, “I watched She's The Man the other day, and I am convinced that Amanda Bynes is a comedic genius. Even in Easy A! Pitch perfect. Athletic and dexterous and bold with her talent.”

Parents Not Considering Second Conservatorship

A second report from TMZ stated that her parents are concerned but not considering an attempt to renew the conservatorship. They were also heartened by the news that Bynes had sought help independently once she started to recover from the episode and recognized that she needed help.

It cannot be overstated how overwhelming the feelings that a bipolar sufferer has during manic, depressive, or psychotic episodes, and to be able to take this step seems like a sign that Bynes' mental health is strong despite this setback. It was a formidable effort on her part that should be recognized for exactly how difficult it was to do and how hard it can be for people with mental illness to ask for help.

This article was produced by Wealth of Geeks.  

Dolores Quintana is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles. She has bylines at Fangoria, Alternative Press, Nightmarish Conjurings, Recording Academy, The Advocate, Buddyhead,, The Theatre @ Boston Court, The Mirror Media Group, What Now Media, We Like LA, and The Shudder Blog. She has a successful YouTube channel and podcast called Burnt Orange Dreams, where she interviews actors, writers, and directors.

She works as an actor in independent film and both immersive and traditional theatre with Alone: an Existential Haunting, Screenshot Productions, and Native Voices at The Autry.