Photo Credit: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic
Amanda Bynes' parents got some good news on Friday: First, they learned that a judge extended her involuntary psychiatric hold by one month (based on her doctors' suggestion). And shortly thereafter, they were granted the temporary legal conservatorship that they've been seeking since July 26. For a short time, at least, their troubled daughter won't be able to block their attempts to help her.
Of course, this good news is really just a silver lining on the very dark cloud of mental illness that's currently enveloping the 27-year-old actress. TMZ reports that "according to the law, doctors can only get such an order [for a psychiatric hold] if the patient is "gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder." In fact, mental health professionals have said that she's exhibited signs of schizophrenia, and the judge's decision on Friday signals just how ill Bynes is. “Courts don’t give these [conservatorships] away easily,” Chris Gray, a lawyer practicing in Ventura County, CA told the New York Daily News last month.
But an insider close to the situation says that Bynes hasn't shown improvement since entering the hospital last month. "She's still delusional," the source told the Daily News on Thursday. "These meds take longer than a week to work, and she's only been given them for about a week...She's not physically combative, but the doctors weren't forcing her to take her meds in the beginning. Then the doctors said she had to take them or they would force her, so she started."
The mental-health investigator sent by the judge to evaluate Bynes confirmed this when he OK'd the need for a conservatorship. Sadly, because of the extended pychiatric hold, she wasn't allowed to defend herself in court. A source told TMZ that Bynes' doctors determined that she was not well enough to attend Friday's hearing -- where the judge granted mom Lynn Bynes power over Amanda's "personal well-being" and "the ability to manage her finances" between now and Sept. 30, according to TMZ.
The sad situation echoes that of Britney Spears, whose father Jamie was granted conservatorship over his famous daughter after her very public meltdown in 2007 and 2008.
Amanda's lawyer told the judge that she "opposes the conservatorship, believing that it's not necessary." The judge did say that he'd like to see Amanda face to face when she's ready. No doubt she wants that, too: At the end of September, he will hold another hearing on whether to make the conservatorship permanent.
Jennifer Graham Kizer is an iVillage contributing writer. Follow her on Google+