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Amanda Bynes Initial Diagnosis Schizophrenia; What’s the Outlook?

Amanda Bynes is being treated for schizophrenia and showing improvement.

Amanda Bynes is being treated for schizophrenia and showing improvement.

Amanda Bynes, the flighty actress whose bizarre behavior over the past several months landed her in a psychiatric hospital, appears to be suffering from schizophrenia, a mental disorder characterized by paranoid or bizarre delusions, disorganized speech and confused thinking.

Bynes, 27, rose to fame as a child actress on Nickelodeon shows “All That” and “The Amanda Show.” She also starred on the WB sitcom “What I Like About You.”

She had a promising film career after starring in such movies as 2007’s “Hairspray” and “Sydney White.” Her last movie was 2010’s “Easy A.”

Over the past several months, she’s exhibited increasingly bizarre behavior, including Twitter rants, obsessions about her looks and episodes of acting out in public.

As long as she remained in New York, she was outside the reach of authorities. But when she returned to Los Angeles, her parents were able to place her in a psychiatric hospital under what’s known as a “5150 hold.”

The designation refers to a section of California law that allows individuals to be committed against their will if they show signs of a psychiatric disorder, mental breakdown or are a danger to themselves. Bynes was committed July 24, after she started a fire in a stranger’s driveway.

A judge, yesterday, turned down lawyer Mary Shea’s request to release her, rejecting arguments that she is not a danger to herself and can function on her own. The move came amid reports that she is responding well to a “cocktail” of drugs to treat her possible mental disorder.

Bynes reportedly responded “quickly and dramatically” and has ‘stopped talking to herself” and “insulting people,” according to gossip site TMZ. But it takes up to 10 days before the drugs take full effect.

Amanda’s parents are pressing for her to get long-term care and supervision. A conservatorship hearing is set for Aug, 9.

The onset of schizophrenia typically occurs in young adulthood, according to medical references. Recreational and prescription drugs can worsen symptoms. Antipsychotic drugs like clozapine, are the preferred treatment, although they contain risks and side effects.