The Amanda Bynes saga was funny at first. When she started dressing like Nicki Minaj, pierced her cheeks and began tweeting strange messages to rapper, Drake, it all just seemed like harmless Miley Cyrus attention seeking. But then things took a turn for the worst when Amanda’s behaviour became increasingly erratic, culminating in her attempting to start up a fire in a neighbour’s driveway before accidentally covering her puppy in gasoline.

Amanda Bynes Troubled StarAmanda began behaving strangely, emerging from court wearing a knotted blonde wig

The actress’ problems didn’t seem to really start until 2012 when she received a DUI and later that year she was charged for two more alleged hit and run incidents. By 2013 she had been arrested for possession of drugs and her hard partying seemed to be a symptom of something a little more sinister. When things finally came to a head with the fire incident, it was clear that Amanda wasn’t high on drugs or ‘acting out’, this was somebody with mental health issues.

In August 2013, the courts granted Amanda’s mother temporary conservatorship over her daughter and her affairs and assets. A judge ruled that Amanda had a “lack of capacity to give informed consent to medical care” and the troubled actress was transferred to UCLA Medical Center, where she could be treated for her mental health troubles. She began to be treated for schizophrenia with bipolar disorder. In December 2013 Amanda emerged from treatment and has since been living with her parents as well as enrolling at fashion school in LA.

Amanda isn’t the only child star who has suffered with serious mental health problems. Britney Spears famously shaved her head in February 2007 after checking out of a drug rehabilitation centre where she had spent just one day. Britney’s father has since had conservatorship over the star and her situation has drastically improved since her meltdown.

Britney Spears
Britney has come on leaps and bounds since her meltdown in 2007

Many other child stars have had brushes with the law, including Orlando Brown who starred in That’s So Raven. Orlando was arrested for driving under the influence as well as drug possession and in 2013 had three bench warrants out for his arrest. Former Disney star, Shia LaBeouf is also renowned for his unusual behaviour, including his recent art installation at an LA gallery.

Both Amanda and Britney were incredibly hard working and successful as children, achieving worldwide success and fame before they were even 14. Such pressure, attention and responsibility at such a young age would have been difficult for an adult to handle, let alone a child. It could be argued that their sheltered teenage years spent working rather than living their lives, like others their age, leaves them incapable to deal with the world when they finally become adults, but unfortunately by this point they have access to the millions they have made.

Let’s hope Amanda’s story isn’t over, and she manages to recover under the care and guidance of her mother. Fortunately, Bynes seems to be on the road to recovery since leaving rehab and we here at certainly wish her the best of luck. Remember Amanda, If Britney can do it, anyone can!