Lynne and Jamie Spears, Brit's parents, and her new psychiatrist have now successfully staged an intervention to get the distressed pop star into UCLA Medical Center under a three-day psychiatric hold so she can be evaluated. If she were my daughter I'd be right there too, begging Brit to accept treatment.
It doesn't look like it's going to be easy. Brit's so-called "manager" Sam Lufti who's glued to Brit's side whenever her paparazzo boyfriend Adnan isn't, appears to be trying to take control and possibly sabotage the situation and has already publicly said that Lynne and Jamie have an "agenda," saying that they barged into her home. Brit herself has apparently signed some document putting Lufti in charge of her medical care.
The big question, if the Spearses are successful in getting her to cooperate is — what is truly wrong with their daughter? The latest theory thrown out by some close to her is that she's suffering from "multiple personality disorder."
After all, she's speaking with an English accent, wearing a pink wig and according to some sources, her mood and her personality can do a 360° switch in a matter of seconds. Some members of her inner circle have even suggested that the reason she doesn't show up for her sons' custody hearings is that her "English" personality doesn't know about them. Or that the Louisiana Britney that we are familiar with gets in her car and sets out to attend, but that British Britney takes over along the way. That's why she circles the courthouse and doesn't go in — because she doesn't know why she's there.
Courthouse forgetfulness aside; what do the medical pros think about this latest explanation for Britney's behavior? First of all, it's no longer called multiple personality disorder. That's an old term. Today, this mental affliction has been renamed Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).
"I don't believe for a second that she's got Dissociative Identity Disorder," Cooper Lawrence, a psychology expert and author of the new book, The Cult of Perfection, tells me. "Just because she's speaking with a British accent doesn't mean she's suddenly DID. Dissociative Identity Disorder is usually the result of horrible childhood abuse, and the symptoms would have shown up years ago, and there's no evidence of either of those things."
Instead Lawrence believes Britney is most likely suffering from a "histrionic" personality and is probably also bi-polar to boot. She directs me to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which lists eight criteria for a "histrionic" personality, and they do seem strikingly relevant to Britney. Just read these.
A "histrionic" person is:
1) Someone who's uncomfortable in situations where they are not the center of attention. So it's probably a good thing that Brit's parents left pregnant Jamie Lynn at home!
2) Someone who exhibits inappropriate sexually seductive and provocative behavior! Like parading around nude in clothing boutiques and "forgetting" to wear underpants with minidresses!
3) Someone who has a style of speech which is excessively impressionistic or "overly dramatic." That could explain the British accent and the gibberish that people have heard Brit speaking.
4) Someone who considers relationships to be more intimate than they really are — like her "instantly serious boyfriend Adnan," the latest in a series of instantly serious guy pals.
5) Someone who displays rapidly shifting emotions. For instance, crying, then laughing hysterically while strapped to a stretcher on the way to the hospital.
6) Someone who consistently uses their appearance to draw attention to themselves. Think pink wigs, ripped fishnets, and the see-through blouse in daylight, in public.
7) Someone who is very theatrical or exaggerated. Any number of Brit's recent antics qualify here. For example, holding her son Jayden hostage in a bathroom for three hours, skipping a courthouse custody appearance and then going to a church where paparazzi can clearly snap her praying.
8) Someone who is easily influenced by others or circumstances. That could explain her new svengali, "manager" Sam Lufti, who appears almost surgically attached to her side and who appears to be at war with her parents.
From Britney's seeming inability to go anywhere these days without hordes of paparazzi following her every move, to shaving her head in full view of their cameras, to having a highly public meltdown less than two weeks after her sister's pregnancy announcement, she does appear to be hopelessly addicted to being the center of attention. Could she even have married twice for attention, then gotten pregnant twice for attention? Was she hoping that her children would give her more of the attention she craves? Was motherhood a disappointment because it turned out that babies actually required major attention from Brit, instead of giving it to her? Is this why she appears so conflicted about actually getting to see them again?
Psychology expert Cooper believes Britney is probably bi-polar on top of being histrionic. And clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Kurianski agrees that Brit is most likely bi-polar and is experiencing the manic phase of the disease. The symptoms for bi-polar disease are similar to histrionic. When people are in a manic state "they can speak in different accents, say words that make no sense or talk gibberish. They are tremendously overactive, can dress up in different outfits or walk out naked in public. They can spend lots of money," she explains.
And Brit, with her long daily drives all over LA to gas stations and convenience stores, her reckless 100 mph car races that are terrifying even to the paparazzi, and her recent $10,000 middle of the night shopping spree at boutique Kitson, definitely appears to fit those criteria. People in a manic state can go for days without sleeping, and Brit has reportedly now not slept since last Saturday.
Manic phases of the disease can last for years, according to Kurianski. And someone in a manic state like Britney can actually be "very exciting to be around. They're tremendously entertaining, outrageous, uninhibited, energetic, daring and up. They've got nerve and they're oversexualized," says Kurianski.
They also apparently have no desire to change. Only when they finally hit a depressive state is there any incentive to get help, says Kurianski.
Lawrence agrees that the more histrionic Britney appears to be, the bigger payoff in attention she gets, so she has no real incentive to agree to take meds and get other treatment.
I wish you the best of luck mom and pop Spears. If she were my daughter I'd be doing the exact same thing.
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