Amanda Bynes Diagnosed With Schizophrenia And Bipolar Disorder
Articles / Blog
10-20-12 Category: Dual Diagnosis, Mental Health

Amanda Bynes Dual Diagnosis

Amanda Bynes, former Nickelodeon star and actress in numerous movies such as What a Girl Wants and Easy A has been formally diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, it has been revealed.

A source has revealed that Bynes’ parents had already suspected her mental disorder before her diagnosis at UCLA Medical Center, Radar Online reported. The source asserted that the 27-year-old actress was responding to the medications she is being given to treat her dual diagnosis.

Bynes’ parents had earlier released a statement saying that upon the recommendation of healthcare professionals at UCLA Medical Center, Bynes is receiving specialized treatment in a private facility outside of Los Angeles. The parents also insisted that their troubled daughter was making great strides towards recovery. Bynes was hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation after she allegedly set a fire in Californian neighborhood, and was later transferred to UCLA Medical Center for further treatment.

The Diagnosis

Ms. Bynes diagnosis of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder is a very serious one. Both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are significant mental disorders that can be quite debilitating on the one hand, while successfully manageable on the other.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history. People with the disorder may hear voices other people don’t hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. About 1 percent of the population, or 1 in 100 people, suffer from schizophrenia.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. About 4 percent of the population suffers from Bipolar disorder.

Effective Treatment

While each disorder can be severe, a number of treatment methods have been found to be effective in combating both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. These methods break up into three broad categories: medication, psychological treatment (or therapy) and holistic medicine.

When it comes to medicinal treatments, both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have some clearly effective drugs, though none of them can claim to be a true cure. Because the causes of schizophrenia are still unknown, treatments focus on eliminating the symptoms of the disease.

This is done primarily through Anti-psychotic medications, which have been available since the mid-1950’s. The older types are called conventional or “typical” anti-psychotics. Some of the more commonly used typical medications include common names such as Thorazine and Haldol. In the 1990’s, new anti-psychotic medications were developed. These new medications are called second generation, or “atypical” anti-psychotics.

Similarly, in treating bipolar disorder a number of medications have been found to be quite effective. Mood stabilizers are usually the first choice to treat bipolar disorder. Lithium (also known as Eskalith or Lithobid) is one of the more effective mood stabilizers. Anticonvulsants are also used as mood stabilizers. They were originally developed to treat seizures, but they also help control moods. Atypical antipsychotics are also sometimes used to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder, as with schizophrenia. Often, these medications are taken with other medications, such as antidepressants.

Medication And Treatment

When it comes to all the different types of medications, however, it’s important to realize that there can be, and often are, possible significant drawbacks. Most medications will not work for everyone. Some will work for certain individuals, others will only have partial effectiveness, while even more may not even help at all. Furthermore, medications often have serious side effects that range from symptoms like drowsiness to tremors, depending on the medication and individual.

Additionally, classically psychotherapy has been found to be at least moderately effective for both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. For schizophrenia, psychotherapy can help patients deal with the everyday challenges of the illness, such as difficulty with communication, self-care, work, and forming and keeping relationships. For bipolar disorder, when done in combination with medication, psychotherapy can be an effective treatment. It can provide support, education, and guidance to people with bipolar disorder and their families.

As members of the behavioral health community, we understand how difficult coming to grips with mental health issues can be. We wish the best for the Bynes family and hope that now Amanda will be able to find the right place to help her overcome the issues she faces. While schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are both serious conditions, they can be controlled. With the proper treatment, Ms. Bynes will be able to control her condition as well.


Blog Post By: Jared Friedman

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