When Amanda Bynes was first placed on an emergency psychiatric hold after she started a fire on a random women’s driveway, her stay was only scheduled to last for seventy-two hours. Once doctors evaluated her, however, they decided the situation was serious enough that she needed to stay longer. First for eleven days and later for an additional month, the actress’ team of doctors continued to ask a judge for more time, and this week, they made their biggest request yet: an entire year.
According to TMZ, all involved are hoping Amanda won’t spend nearly that long on her psych hold. Apparently, the ideal situation would be for her to spend a further sixty days being treated by the professionals and then go to live with mother. If, for some reason, the wheels were to come off though, the request, which was approved by the judge yesterday, allows doctors and the Bynes family to keep her in for up to a year without getting further approval.
On the one hand, it’s easy to see why the actress’ family would fight to keep her locked down. She was an absolute mess before she started getting help. She was kicked out of multiple apartments, lost her driver’s license and behaved beyond erratically. Something about her life needed to change before she ended up dead or in jail, and by all accounts, the new medication and the programs she’s undergoing at UCLA are really helping.
On the other hand, however, locking someone up for months is a big deal. Not having any control over your day-to-day choices isn’t something most people can just laugh off or get over quickly. Conventional wisdom might say better safe than sorry, but it’s her freedom that’s being sacrificed every single day she’s kept inside. I’m all for giving her extensive counseling and instituting a crazy number of checks and balances, but maybe now is the time to let her out and actually see if she can begin to stand on her own two feet again.
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