136 Comments

Love this. Too bad this guy doesn't seem to apply the same standard to male stars who go off the rails. Perhaps, because he is a man, he doesn't realise how incredibly toxic that time period was towards women and in particular, young female stars. Timberlake built his entire career by slut shaming britney spears.... but I guess that's ok. This whole article is deserving of one big eye roll.

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“For anyone who was alive in 2007, her memoir The Woman in Me is a catharsis.”

This reads like a hyperbole on Adderall...

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one of the most interesting features of that little story of reality celebrity tv was Craig Ferguson's take on it at the time

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Who cares. what a bunch of self-aggrandizement dribble. What a narcissistic world view. This is beneath TFP

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Not making much sense of your comment but would be welcome to consider if it is more comprehensible. I stand by my assertion, that if prescribed compassionately and rationally, according to best practices in an open, honest, and trusting manner, this rarely occurs. But people who exhibit that type of behavior you seem to be implying rarely seek mental health services willingly and tend to end up in the ER, time after time, if not worse. But please, this is no more a fault of most mental health clinicians than the number of deaths due to cancer is the fault of earnest, skilled, and caring oncologists. The fact you might have inappropriate or improper, even callous and insensitive care from one or two professionals does not warrant blanket condemnation of us all: out jobs are difficult enough. I still assert that so much of mental illness must first be addressed at the level of the family, the society, and the culture, and the use of medications is often like using a pea shooter against a charging rhino.

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Prescribing info, as known in the industry, includes every possible and every reported possible side effect. That's not to say it never happens, only that in all my years it is very, very uncommon if prescribed and used according to the standards of care.

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Look, she’s clearly a nutcase. She’s dancing around half nekkid with kitchen knives on social media. Her dad was right.

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This article is long on speculation and short on facts.

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"Despite the bizarre videos, the narrative persists that Spears is just fine, she was always just fine, and her family and the state of California should never be forgiven for stripping her of her freedom for 13 years."

What? A lot of the Free Britney people acknowledged that she probably had some type of mental illness. They just thought that anyone well enough to play a Las Vegas residency was well enough to decide to replace her g**damn kitchen cupboards. Amanda Bynes was under a conservatorship for several years, but unlike Jamie Spears, her parents managed to handle that without exploiting her for money.

I think Britney was and is genuinely mentally ill, but some of your evidence is laughable. You have absolutely no first-hand experience with severe postpartum depression - a phrase you think is worthy of scare quotes - and it doesn't seem to occur to you that rage is an appropriate, natural reaction for a mother who's dealing with the possibility of losing her infant and toddler. As for *shaving her head,* do you even hear yourself? Sorry Britney wasn't doing femininity properly for you. You sound like those Victorian men who thought that women wearing trousers was a sign of insanity. My cousin is a county sheriff and has shaved his head for decades, but oh, wait, he has a Y chromosome, so that's okay.

If I locked you in my basement for over a decade, that might save your life. It doesn't mean I'm justified in locking you in my basement.

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Fame and all its trappings is what wronged Britney Spears. And her fans just keep lapping up all the craziness.

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Ok, as a libertarian the mere thought of handing over control of all freedom for the "safety" of a conservatatorship is terrifying. Someone is either a functional adult or they are not. While some are better than others at being successful and well balanced, she was dealing with success and prosperity the average person could only dream of. If this was truly about "mental health", she would have been taken from the public eye for the entirety of the conservatatorship rather than being managed as a "cash cow".

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I have worked for several years in the field of conservatorships in California and I can tell you, the Britney Spears case is a unicorn. It is *extremely* rare to have a young person conserved for mental illness and to have the huge wealth involved here. The vast majority of conservatorships in California involve older people with dementia who can no longer take care of themselves and are (often) being horribly taken advantage of financially by family or "friends". They need the protections of a conservator. The Free Brittney crowd and activists have gotten the law changed here based on this unicorn case, and it has left most conservatees a lot less protected than before. I agree that Britney's conservatorship had worrying aspects that should have been amended, as the author mentions, but I firmly believe there was a good reason she was conserved and sadly, I am not surprised to see her erratic behavior return once she is left to take care of herself with no assistance. I wish her well. I am glad to see you report on this, this is not a black or white issue by any means.

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Psychiatrist here too. I won’t weigh in on diagnosis as the author and many other “I am not a psychiatrist, but....” commenters here.

But, Brittney was on a probate conservatorship, which is permanent and reserved for people who will never recover--i.e dementia, brain injury. The conservatorship instrument for mental health is called an LPS conservatorship and has wider reach over psych treatment, but is for a one year increment, the idea being the person can recover in that time.

Brittney got probate conserved due to the unethical actions of the court, some shady forensic psychiatrists and her family, and it absolutely wouldn’t have happened without money and influence.

I also think the author can’t be objective and is irresponsible in weighing in on the effects of certain medications--not even addressing what those are or aren’t.

The sad truth is that everyone thinks they are an expert on mental health and can opine because they have seen one case in someone, have it themselves or have it in their family. This is the “n of one” phenomenon where people extrapolate opinion and experience for fact. I am used to pathologists, hematologists, pulmonologists writing inflammatory pieces in the NY Times about psychiatry. I would never write an article in a national publication about hematology. But, there you go. Yes, the brain is a rather complicated organ and we don’t know everything yet, absolutely it is a clinical science in evolution and frankly, harder to figure out than a heart or lungs. That doesn’t mean people struggling don’t get to tell their story and don’t get autonomy to describe it. As wacky as it may be.

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Thank you for your comment and your insight. Also, thank you for helping other people. I know psychiatry is hard and popular portrayals of mental health professionals are often negative. Please know that you and your colleagues really do help a lot of people. I would not be here without the help of a psychiatrist and psychologist.

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So this guy says he went crazy with speed, and his family had to call the shots. And because Britney Spears for a time exhibited behavior not unlike many, many celebrities, and because she admitted to using Adderall (consumed by the handfuls by college students every exam season), he concludes that she probably was mentally ill and maybe the conservatorship was justified. Bullshit. Just Bullshit. Dumbass speculation presented as analysis. Bullshit.

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founding

My stepson, Jason, took his life in August, 2019. He had turned 30 a few months prior. His "friends" knew about his erratic behavior, his threats of suicide, his unhealthy relationship with a woman - and they knew my husband and me.

They wanted to "be loyal" to their friend and not "call the parents" about his being in crisis. When I called my stepson's "best friend" to tell him about Jason's death, his first words to me were, "So, he finally did it."

I. SHIT. YOU. NOT.

If my husband and I had had any idea of what was going on, we would have gone for a conservatorship in a heartbeat - no matter how angry it made him. We are living proof that we would rather have a living child hate us, than a dead child.

"Hollywood" will never tell our story. But I did, and you can read it in the link I've added. This IS what Suicide Loss Survivors experience. No one wants to see a movie like this, let alone live it like we have.

https://www.leeannerhay.com/uploads/1/5/0/8/15086884/dmn_2020-09-13_a_final_act_of_love_.pdf

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I am so sorry for the loss of your stepson. It is a shame that his friends did not alert you.

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founding

Thank you... yes, it is a crying shame...

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I am really sorry for your loss and I am sorry your son's friends did not help him get help. I think the lesson learned is when someone is in trouble, get them help and let others know they need help. Also, if someone is talking about suicide, get them help NOW.

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founding

Thank you. And yes, the message is for everyone to #BeThe1To

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'All of this is not to say that the conservatorship needed to last for as long as it did, nor in the manner that it did. Aspects of the legal arrangement were downright Orwellian. “I became a robot,” she writes. “I had been so infantilized that I was losing pieces of what made me feel like myself.” Talk about dehumanizing.'

And in that one paragraph the writer Ben Appel answers the title question of who (and what) wronged Britney Spears. The rest of the story is secondary.

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