A Woman Shared Her Encounter With Amanda Bynes Days Before Her Psychiatric Hold & Fans Are Praising The Star For Her Actions

The video shows how fragile Bynes was—and underlines how skillfully she handled her mental health crisis days later.

Amand Bynes and TikToker kaitlynhotfox / TikTok; rlamandabynes/Instagram

Amanda Bynes', 26, long struggle with mental health took a new turn recently when the star realized she needed help after suffering what she called a "psychotic episode."

Just days before, a woman on TikTok had an encounter with Bynes on the streets of Los Angeles that now seems like a precursor to her recent crisis.

But it also further underlines what seems to be overlooked in much of the sensationalistic discourse around Bynes' recent crisis—the fact that even in the midst of a potentially deadly mental health crisis, Bynes had the uncommon ability to recognize her condition and seek out the help she needed. 


Some online have called Bynes' handling of her situation nothing short of heroic, and they're absolutely right.

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A TikToker helped Amanda Bynes after she found the star walking alone in Hollywood just days before her psychotic episode.

TikToker @kaitlynhotfox came across Bynes on Hollywood Boulevard during the night of St. Patrick's Day and did what she could to help the former child star. 



Her video shows her walking arm-in-arm with Bynes down the street. "I saw my girl walking so I had to say what's up," Kaitlyn said in the video.


Throughout the video, Bynes appears dazed and nervous. Kaitlyn said in her caption that she gave Bynes some money and talked with her for a bit. "Sometimes people just [need somebody] to talk to," she wrote, adding that she was "happy [Bynes is] getting the help she needs."

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Other witnesses reported seeing Bynes on Hollywood Boulevard that night looking 'tense' and alone.

According to a witness, Bynes, seemed "out of it" when she was discovered on Hollywood Boulevard the night of St. Patrick's Day. The witness said nobody seemed to recognize her, but a woman approached her to ask if she needed help. 

It's unknown if that woman was Kaitlyn or someone else, but Bynes reportedly asked the woman to hold her and told her that her boyfriend had kicked her out of their home. The witness said Bynes also asked for a ride to a friend's house in Beverly Hills, but the friend was not home when she arrived and so she returned to Hollywood Boulevard.


Bynes has a long history of mental health issues. After growing up a child actor on TV shows like "All That" and in movies like "Easy A," Bynes entered a conservatorship under her parents in 2013 following run-ins with police and an involuntary psychiatric hold. 

She was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which the National Institute of Mental Health defines as a "mental illness that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and concentration," characterized by "periods of extremely 'up,' elated, irritable, or energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very 'down,' sad, indifferent, or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes)."

Her most recent mental health episode, which now seems to have begun on St. Patrick's Day, came nearly one year to the day after that conservatorship was dissolved on March 22, 2022. 

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Amanda Bynes flagged down a car on March 19, 2023, asking for help with a mental health crisis that could have been deadly.

Bynes was walking down the street naked in downtown Los Angeles when she flagged down a car and told the driver she was coming down from a psychotic episode. Bynes then called 911 and was taken to a local police station, where a mental health team entered her into a 5150 psychiatric hold while she undergoes treatment.

Psychotic episodes are sometimes a feature of bipolar disorder's severe episodes of mania or depression. They can be exhilarating experiences in the moment, but they can also be terrifying, especially if they are accompanied by hallucinations, and many bipolar patients report feeling deeply afraid as the psychosis begins to wear off.

As psychiatrist Dr. Tracey Marks explains below, psychotic episodes can also be profoundly dangerous. 

Psychotic episodes can result in behavior that routinely gets psychotic patients arrested or even killed by police, an outcome 16 times more likely for those with untreated mental illness than the rest of the population, according to a study by the mental health organization Treatment Advocacy Center.


As Dr. Marks explains, psychosis can also damage the brain if not managed quickly, further underlining how important it was that Bynes' intervened on her own behalf.

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Many are applauding Amanda Bynes for taking action on her own mental health and criticizing the way many in the media have framed her incident.

Some have called out TMZ specifically for reporting that Bynes was "found" naked flagging down a car when that is, in fact, the precise opposite of what happened—Bynes herself flagged down the car, aware she was in crisis and asked for help on her own behalf.

Lost in much of the coverage of Bynes' incident is how difficult it often is for mentally ill people to have an awareness of their own condition, let alone to ask for the help they need. As activist Chris Sosa put it on Twitter, what Bynes did was "hard and deserves our respect, not diminishment."


Musician Erika Hersteria had a similar take. In a tweet, she called out the "disrespectful" headlines about Bynes, going on to say, "she was able to recognize that she was in psychosis, ask someone for help, and call 911 herself. That's fu-king impressive."


Others have summed up Bynes' handling of her terrifying experience with one word—heroic.


Here's hoping the uncommon strength and agency Bynes showed will help her get back on her feet now that she's gotten herself the help she needs to be well again.


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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.