Amanda Bynes Is Suffering From A Dual Diagnosis

by baladmin | October 17, 2013

Amanda Bynes has been in trouble for a while now. She was publicly sharing her struggles in unhealthy ways, and her behavior made it seem like she needed help. Her actions were not leading her in a good direction, and now a lot of Amanda’s announcements and possible cries for help are being explained.

Amanda Bynes has, reportedly, been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia, two mental illnesses that can control of a person’s life when experienced alone, so the combination is without a doubt wreaking havoc on this young woman’s very public life.

Dual Diagnosis

When two disorders are diagnosed at the same time, the symptoms have been co-occurring, and the person is said to have dual diagnosis. Mental illness, eating disorders, behavioral addictions, and substance abuse disorders can happen in any combination. In Amanda’s case, she seems to have two mental illnesses plus symptoms of an eating disorder and drug and alcohol abuse. In an effort to self-medicate painful emotions and difficult situations, people with mental illness use substances and behaviors to numb out, to escape, and to cope.

A few signs of Amanda’s self-medication were made public when she posted pictures, with captions, on social media sites like Twitter. You can see for yourself if you have not already; Amanda’s Tweets were sharing how she feels about her body and the size she would rather be.

Amanda’s parents, Rick and Lynn Bynes, stepped in by checking Amanda into the psychiatric unit at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was placed on a psychiatric, at the suggestion of the center’s treatment team, because of her current state of wellbeing. As she was assessed, and diagnoses were apparently made, Amanda, her family, and the mental health professionals decided she would receive better treatment at a private facility, so Amanda was transferred to a facility that specializes in mental health, and most likely dual diagnosis.


From what sources have revealed, it appears that the plan for Amanda Bynes is to participate in at least 90 days of treatment in the rehab facility she recently entered.

If Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia are her true diagnoses, she will be treated for each disorder at the same time. If an eating disorder and chemical dependency are added to her formal diagnoses, those will also be treated individually, but all at the same time.

Bipolar Disorder is characterized by shifts from depressive episodes to manic episodes.

  • Depressive Episodes:

    • difficulty concentrating

    • loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities

    • disturbances in sleep and appetite patterns

    • feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness

    • feelings of inadequacy

    • suicidal thoughts.

    • suicide attempts

  • Manic Episodes:

    • persistent, elevated, and irritated mood

    • inflated self-esteem

    • decreased need for sleep

    • talkativeness

    • increased distractibility

    • obsession with goal-directed activity

    • excessive involvement in activities that seem to be pleasurable, but that actually have a high potential for negative consequences, like drug and alcohol abuse, gambling, or unsafe sex

Schizophrenia is characterized by:

  • hallucinations, or false physical perceptions,

  • delusions, or false beliefs,

  • inappropriate affect and illogical emotional responses to life situations

  • ambivalence to a set of circumstances that add difficulty to decision making

  • poor association, meaning difficulty connecting thoughts and ideas

  • an inability to care for oneself

  • disorganized speech

  • a detachment from reality

  • poor job performance

  • strained relationships

For Amanda, hopefully her time in rehab will address the symptoms that were leading her away from a healthy life. With proper commitment and work, she will learn coping skills that will allow her a life in recovery from mental illness, eating disorder behavior, and self-medication with drugs and alcohol.

Balboa Horizons offers dual diagnosis services to people like Amanda. A thorough assessment is available to find out what level of care is right for you, or for someone you love. Contact the treatment team now to find out more.