Today's post is a little different than usual. I want to talk about a story I have read in the news lately. I am going to talk about Amanda Bynes and what appears to be mental illness. Now I can't say for sure that what she is dealing with is mental illness. I am not her doctor, psychiatrist, therapist or family member or friend. I don't know her personally. All I know is that like the rest of the world I have watched her self destruct and I have been very worried for her.
Yesterday an article came out about her starting a fire in a drive way of a stranger. She managed to catch her pant leg on fire. She also had gotten some gasoline on her dog. Now it appears that she got very upset when she realized the dog had gasoline on it and she ran to a gas station and washed her dog off. The articles I read were very vague. Some of them said the dog was almost burned. Some said the dog was burned. One witness claimed the dog was wet but there was no evidence of it being burned or any burnt flesh/hair smell. The title leads you to believe that she soaked her dog in gasoline or tried to kill her dog on purpose. This is obviously not the case as you read further in the article. In fact, the dog is with her parents and there is no evidence at this time of it needing to go to the vet or animal hospital. However, people responded to this story in ways that left me feeling sick and absolutely saddened. Just a note I am a huge animal advocate. I love animals. If I see any comments stating otherwise I will delete them. This article is not about the horrible accident that happened to her dog, it is about the negative response that she is getting because she obviously is having a very public melt down. There were some more positive comments hoping that she gets the help she needs. What bothered me was the negative comments and it struck me that these are comments that we, the mental illness community hear everyday. We are familiar with these types of statements, intimately. So I am going to respond to them in my blog because quite frankly, someone needs too.
What does stigma look like? Glad you asked cause this is stigma at it's finest. Hold onto your hats guys and gals because this isn't pretty.
"She is just doing this as a publicity stunt."
Yes, obviously setting fire to a driveway and yourself is only a publicity stunt and not a sign of possible mental illness. Nothing about this seems like maybe she might not be in touch with reality. Seems like what most famous people do so they can get headlines. Ya know, not an interview or photo shoot but actually catch yourself on fire............with gasoline. Makes perfect sense.
"I don't care what happens to that psycho but I care about the dog"
That is mighty stigma....uh...eh......human of you. It is so nice that not only do have no feelings toward the obviously ill person but you also seem to blame her for what has happened.......Blaming the person with the illness, not something the mental illness community has come across before. No one ever blames us for our problems.......
"Oh, cry me a river, about this spoiled sick b@#$%. Go write her a letter and send flowers, putz."
Thank you for explaining to me that only the middle class and impoverished people can have mental illness. I was under the impression that mental illness could affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or social standing. Thank you for clearing that up for me. Obviously, I had no idea what I was talking about. You must be way more educated in the mental illness field than I am. Please tell me, can you also give us advice on how to balance this country's budget, because you seem to be so profoundly knowledgeable?
"I think it's all a bunch of B.S....she saw that acting"crazy" worked for Britney, so now she's seeing what it'll do for her failing career.....bad publicity is better than none."
It couldn't be that what helped Britney was that she was treated for having a mental illness and is taking the steps to remain healthy? That wouldn't have any helpful factors in her career, now would it? It couldn't be that her family and friends supported her in her time of need and got her the help that she needed so she can now concentrate on not only her career but also her children? No, obviously there was nothing wrong with Britney and she just went around shaving her head and trying to hurt herself not because of the agony she was going through, but because she really wanted pictures of herself wielding an umbrella and sporting a chrome dome as she tried to get away from the paparazzi. Wow, I never thought of it like that before. And here I thought she just needed help. My bad.
"Sorry, don't buy it.....she regained her senses long enough to realize that she had to rinse the dog off and was frantic about it. Mental illnesses don't usually present themselves like that. The moron realized she went too far and allowed the fire to get out of control. Sorry, not drinking the kool aid."
Obviously, you graduated cum laude from a very prestigious psychiatry college. In fact, you are so knowledgeable on exactly how mental illness presents itself I am left with no other option but to believe that you must actually be a professor of psychiatry. Your scholarly argument is so profound. I had no idea that all mental illness presents itself the same way for everyone, every single time. Wow, what do you think they are going to test her for in the mental hospital then? Maybe her vital signs and her eye sight? You're right, they won't find anything because she is perfectly normal. You must be very thirsty since you do not drink kool aid, would you prefer a nice glass of ice tea? It gets so hot out there when you are judging others and I wouldn't want you to become dehydrated.
"I was alarmed when I saw this******with a puppy in the first place a few days ago. IT WAS FUNNY BEFORE BUT IF HER PSYCHO @$$ WANTS TO KILL HERSELF WHATEVER, BUT KEEP INNOCENT ANIMALS OUT OF IT. uuuugh seriously haven't wanted to punch her until I heard this."
That's it scream it out. If by funny you mean tragic, then yes watching someone self destruct in front of the whole world watching, is just hilarious, isn't it.? I mean what about watching someone wrestle with agony and despair while dangerously teetering off the edge of sanity wouldn't make people laugh? Am I right? Am I right? Huh? Yeah? This is comedy gold. And why should you care if she kills herself, I mean that has nothing to do with you. She isn't a real person with real emotions . She isn't a human being, right? I always think that people should threaten to punch mentally ill people in the face. That sounds like a great time. OOOH OHH me first! Punch me first!
"For God's Sake enough is enough....somebody step in and help this girl. Her antics and issues have been in the news long enough....something is wrong. The day she showed up in court in a purple wig should have been a clue to the judge to intervene. I don't know the circumstances
between her and her parents....but I do know as a southern mama....I would have already as we say "jerked a knot" in her and done whatever it took to bring my baby back to reality. Ask my oldest son..."
You know with all the obvious signs that she is having mental illness issues, obviously the purple wig was the one that sealed the deal. I mean, no one wears wigs, colors their hair, or wears things that are different or unusual. Next time I see a woman walk down the street with multi-colored hair I think I will ask if they have mental illness. I wonder how well that conversation will go? Usually, doctors and therapists want to actually treat mental illness but I think you are on to something. Ladies and Gentlemen we have figured out how to cure mental illness. All you need is a good swift kick in the pants and your mental illness will be gone! It's a miracle!!!
"Give that poor little dog a good home and put this nut in a straight jacket and force feed her bipolar meds. She NEVER should have been allowed to own an animal."
You obviously have gone to the same school as the tea drinking self deemed professor of psychiatry a few comments above. Your knowledge of mental illness and the proper medications for them is just staggering! Wow, who knew that even though we all have different diagnoses we don't have to try different medications. We can all just take bipolar meds! That would save so much time! I had never considered that bipolar medications worked for everyone! Quick lets paint banners and make our own sit ins and rallies! Give me that megaphone: What do we want? Bipolar medications! When do we want it? Now!
"This stupid f@#$%&* crazy ass b@#$%! That poor dog!!! I don't feel bad for this nutcase girl. Not after hearing this s@#$%. Sick b@#$%."
Ahhhh, flattery gets you everywhere. I give you an A+ for the using the curse words correctly. Way to not judge someone in the midst of a mental breakdown, but sir you are so right. Instead of offering support and help lets stand by and verbally abuse her. That always helps situations like these.
And then we are left with these two "gems" of the human race.
"Drown this b**** in bleach."
"fed up w/ this psycho & her bulls*** antics lock her a$$ in a padded cell & end it."
Now I am not sure which of these two deserve to be handed the douche-bag of the year award but I nominate them both.
And now that we have some of the more enlightening comments out the way, I would like to propose that not only do you talk about her like she is a subhuman piece of trash, that you also belittle her as well. You should point your fingers in her face and judge. You should blame her, stigmatize her, threaten her, and grind her so far under your heel that she is nothing but dust. I think you all should pretend you are doctors and give out your faulty ignorant advice that makes you look like a complete ass. Then I think the media should re victimize her by taking what happened a twist the stories around to sell papers. I think they should make fun of her plight and basically see how far they can push her. Like poking a wounded animal with a stick and then report what it does. I think they should word things in a way that get the most rise form others and laugh at her expense. Then they should top it off with a condescending statement like I hope she gets the help she needs, but then refuse to take responsibility that they are making it worse.
Oh....wait you already did that. Huh.
And people wonder why people with mental illness are afraid to get help or talk about their issues. Go figure.