Not Just My Generation’s Disorders


Amanda Bynes was denied early release from the psych ward where she is under 5150 hold while her parents organize their case for conservatorshipImage


Obviously, Amanda has been having a hard time being stable for the past few years. This personally makes me sad because I grew up watching her on television and in movies. She is roughly four months older than me. People believe star who are roughly my age are a mess and this is because of how our generation grew up. I believe it is based on the creative process causes a higher probability of mental disorders and has nothing to do with the generation gap. In fact I believe because of better awareness we have been able to treat these disorders better. Here are some examples:

Bipolar Disorder:



Marilyn Monroe: Born 1926

Though many factors are unclear about her death she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and died of an overdose of Nembutal which was the medical treatment for bipolar at the time of her death in 1962. Would she still be alive without access to the drug? We will never know.



Britney Spears: Born 1982

Born 20 years after the death of Marilyn, Britney Spears was the poster girl for mental breakdowns just a few years ago. This was due to untreated bipolar disorder spiraling out of control. Unlike Marilyn, Britney survived her bout of mental breakdown. This is due to better mental health treatments and a well meaning father who stepped in to help her when she needed it the most.




Karen Carpenter: Born 1950

Karen Carpenter became the face of anorexia awareness. The reason? Her untimely death at 32 due to a heart attack caused by the eating disorder. Before her death eating disorders were never really discussed and were not seen as much of a life threatening disorder She was not the last person in the news to die of anorexia. Remember Terri Schiavo? She was in her 15 year long coma for the same reason. Of course this fact was lost among other life and death issues.



Mary-Kate Olsen: Born 1986

Mary-Kate and her twin Ashley were born a little bit over a month before me. Mary-Kate was open about her anorexia and was successfully treated for the disorder. Now, thanks to awareness there are many successful treatment for eating disorders and this leads to many saved lives.

Paranoid Schizophrenia:



Mary Todd Lincoln: Born 1818

Abraham Lincoln did not only have to deal with a nation divided, he also had to deal with a wife with paranoid schizophrenia. After his death, Mary Todd Lincoln’s mental state came to light to others as she ran around the country on a severe mental breakdown. She was committed to an asylum by her son Robert after she tried to jump out of a window to get away from a non-existent fire among other out of control behaviors. Back in 1875 the only treatment was “putting away” people. She eventually was taken out of the asylum by her sister; but, she was never let out of sister’s control until her death in 1883.



Amanda Bynes: Born 1986

Lincoln’s story seems to be echoed in Amanda Byne’s status as of now. The difference is the 5150 hold is only the beginning of her journey in the treatment of her paranoid schizophrenia. This may still be one of the harder disorders to treat; but, there is more hope than in 1875.

There is no link between when you are born and the prevalence of mental disorders. The facts show only 26% of the population will have a severe attack of mental illness. The reason stars seem to have more of these events is because they are viewed more than the rest of the population and have the means to travel bring their issues in tow.  The reason more stars seem to be suffering is the broad awareness of disorders and it takes less time than ever for stories to get to the public. The good new is we have developed more treatments due to the awareness we now have.


4 thoughts on “Not Just My Generation’s Disorders

  1. I agree. Mental illness has nothing to do with when you were born. if there is an increase in mental illness, it is because we are better at diagnosing them than we have been in the past. then there is the whole over diagnosis issue.

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