Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Britney Has Seen Groundhog Day

I would not really have suspected that Britney Spears was a Groundhog Day fan, but apparently she is enough of one to even use it as a reference point in an interview she gave in a show for UK television. Of course the interview is part of a special, and it is being shown the day before her new album is released and it was executive produced by her manager Larry Rudolph so even though it appears to be candid, one really has to wonder how much of it is designed to make us feel sorry for her on purpose so we will all rush out and buy her new album.

I feel pretty sorry for her when I read it, and then I realized she doesn't really understand why she is in the position she is in.

She says, 'I have really good days, and then I have bad days. Even when you go to jail, y'know, there’s the time when you’re gonna get out. 'But in this situation, it’s never ending. It’s just like Groundhog Day every day.' 'I think it’s too in control. If I wasn’t under the restraints I’m under, I’d feel so liberated. When I tell them the way I feel, it’s like they hear but they’re really not listening. 'If you do something wrong in your work, you can move on, but I’m having to pay for a long time.'I never wanted to become one of those prisoner people. I always wanted to feel free.''I think I've learnt my lesson now and enough is enough.'

Umm, yeah, she's just like one of those prisoner people. Do you think the people in prison feel she is living their life? Yeah, me either. She may have learned her lesson, but I also think that if her dad had not stepped in, Britney would be dead right now. I'm not sure she understands that. To me, when I read these quotes she seems like a person who doesn't quite comprehend that it wasn't just someone who was going out and getting drunk a few times. I wonder if she has even seen the photos of how she looked or seen the footage of the way she was acting. If she has had the guts to sit there and look at the meltdown we were forced to endure each day. I don't get a sense from this that she is ready to be on her own. I'm sure she would feel liberated and I'm sure she would be right back in the same place she was a year ago. Her transformation is remarkable, but it has only occurred because of being one of those prisoner people.


Anonymous said...

I have heard those phrases way too many times. That is the refrain of a bipolar person with no insight. Mania's fun til someone gets hurt.

notamuse(d) said...

Everyone's life is constrained by something- money, weight, responsibilities, health. Smart mature people find ways to change what they can and creatively live with what they can't. She should either grow up and take charge of her life or just shut up and be the performing monkey her parents have made her into.

Quintessential Southerner said...

right dn, she is a bonafide person with bipolar disorder.

canadachick said...

isnt' that why most bi-polars go off their meds...i feel fine ..now. Then the cycle starts again and they get to like the manic stages...and forget about the lows.

Sad sad little girl

KellyLynn said...

I really don't know too many people with mental conditions who don't feel that way sometimes, although the way she puts it sounds a bit ditzy. The side effects from meds for schizophrenia, anxiety and depression can sometimes make a person feel like being "crazy" is a more palatable alternative than feeling bland inside, and it's hard for people who don't have those conditions to understand anything other than "crazy" and "not crazy". And I'm also sure that there are a lot of people who will read that article and totally get what she means.

Cheryl said...

I'm agreeing with everyone here. She never had a proper childhood and now she can't handle adulthood. I've never been a Britney fan, but it was sad to see her self-destruct.

not a famous adrian said...

At least her father cared enough to finally step in, unless it was about her money rapidly dwindling.
Too bad the Lohans couldn't do the same.

Andrea said...

I am not ashamed to say that I totally understand what she's talking about. Psychiatric meds can have that effect on you, make you feel sort of empty. You're not happy, you're not sad. You're not anything at all. I went off my anti-anxiety meds for that very reason. I decided that dealing with OCD was better than not being able to feel anything or find joy or sadness in anything.

It's hard for people with bipolar disorder because they don't have that option, and I think that's what she's getting at. She'll be medicated for the rest of her life, and when you aren't capable of feeling emotion, that can certainly feel like a mental prison.

laurelgray said...

kellylyn and andrea - what you said.

For me, her comments (and yes, her words were ditzy) brings up the more complicated issue of criminalizing those with a mental illness. Is she not essentially being "punished" for her brain malfunctioning on her? Would we do this to someone with a cancer diagnosis?

Kay Redfield Jamison, author of "An Unquiet Mind" and professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her book "Manic-Depressive Illness" (which she co-authored with Frederick K. Goodwin) is the classic textbook on bipolar disorder.

The reason I list all her accomplishments is because she is bipolar. Bipolar I, to be more specific.

She had many Britney-esque break downs before accepting and getting used to medication.

Just felt the need to chime in.

hotchacha said...

This transformation is indeed remarkable. A fascinating study in image control.

I hope she can make it.

jax said...

"Is she not essentially being "punished" for her brain malfunctioning on her? Would we do this to someone with a cancer diagnosis?"

no i think she's being PROTECTED not punished.Would it be better to let people who don't have her interests at heart to manipulate and exploit someone who's sufferring a mental illness? As Enty said she would be dead right now had they not stepped in.

Don't be fooled by a decent weave and a bra. this girl has a long road ahead of her still. and in my opinion her comments solidify that she hasn't 'gotten it' yet. maybe never will.

jax said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brendalove@gmail.com said...

She's gone through a whole lot. She may not ever be quite the same again. At this point I'm just pleased to know she's halfway lucid.

palealebrew10 said...

I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder around 5 years ago and Britney's comments are very indicative of this disorder.

I may be in the minority here, but I found it rather disgusting the way the public treated her during what was CLEARLY a meltdown. Anyone who has been directly affected by bipolar disorder knows it is very sad and difficult. I cannot imagine having to deal with those demons as people flash their cameras hoping for a mini meltdown so they can make bank.

I agree that it sounds as if she doesn't really comprehend how dire her situation was. But as someone above mentioned, being on bipolar meds-which is a lifelong thing- can easily leave you feeling empty and blank.

Mooshki said...

Did y'all see the episode of "Life on Mars" (plug for my favorite new show) where a doctor lobotomized a schizophrenic? Someday there will be a fix for bipolar and other mental illnesses, and we will look back in disgust on the methods we currently use to treat it. Of course, probably the fix will involve genetic manipulation, so we'll have a whole new set of problems to deal with. :) Hmm, I'm gonna go watch Gattaca again and try to forget what Jude Law has turned into.

laurelgray said...

Jax - I agree with your comment: "no i think she's being PROTECTED not punished. Would it be better to let people who don't have her interests at heart to manipulate and exploit someone who's suffering a mental illness?"

She does have a long way to go. I suppose my larger concern is if or when she is truly better and accepts that she has a chronic illness that needs monitoring, will she be granted control over her life again?

bionic bunny! said...

mother of a bipolar son here. and yes, he said the same thing. he went off his meds permanently when he moved out and no longer had health insurance because he wanted to "feel". he did go back to self-medicating until he totaled his car and yet survived.
somehow, he's doing very well, but a good deal of his stress and depression is gone.
he's also a lot more intelligent than poor brit, and can put his feelings into words a lot better. and i did the research myself, with the help of a wonderful shrink.
what's scary, is it's very common, around the age of 30-35, for a bi-polar to have a manic break. not looking forward to that (that's put very simplistic, of course).

BlahFrickinBlah said...

Jebus, I could write a novel on this subject! I can tell you from experience that what she is feeling is very normal for someone with bipolar disorder.

It's hard for others to see the point of view of the person living with it. I was dx'ed over 15 yrs ago (before it was "vogue" to have BP..lol) It's a lot to get used to. Most are diagnosed at a younger age (teens-young adult) and it's a bit of hit to the system that you are going to have to be on meds for the rest of your life. Not only will you have to take these meds, chances are that they will kill what personality that you have left over after your breakdown. You don't feel joy. That is hard to understand if you haven't gone through it. I'm not talking being blue....you don't feel shit.

You also have to realize that many patients have to go through several medications before they even find one (or a combination) that works for them. You have to take those suckers for at least a month to even see if they are going to work. That is beyond frustrating. Lovely side effects too. I only know of one medication that DOESN'T make you gain weight. That lonely medication has it's own fun side effects. You actually lose weight BUT you literally turn stupid. It's nicknamed the "California drug"-makes ya skinny and stupid. No offense to the CA resides. :) Listen to that Abilify (sp?) commercial. Listen to the side effects. Some of these meds can MAKE you suicidal. How fucked is that?

I am on a medication that when the doctor started me on it said, if you develop a rash, stop taking the medication immediately and go to the ER. WTF!?!?!? Turns out that you can DIE from this medication if you develop the rash. (it's called Lamictal FYI).

If you take lithium (very popular), you have to have your blood closely monitored cause you can actually poison your body. The majority of these meds are hard on your liver too. It's not uncommon to develop drug induced cirrhosis of the liver after being on this shit for years.

I've actually had problems with my vision from a medication that was prescribed for me. It was tons of fun cause I all of the sudden had double vision when I was driving with my baby in the car. Yays!!

Sounds like fun eh? On top of all the physical fun, a great deal of society treats you like a 1)a moron, 2)a child and/or 3) some psycho that is going to flip out at any moment. It took years for my family to stop asking if I had "taken my meds" when I was in a bad mood. It was always blamed on a manic episode. You aren't allowed to have normal everyday feelings. It sucks to have to explain yourself constantly. It sucks to have health care professionals treat you like shit (believe it or not, they are the most bigoted and judgmental about mental disorders--I work in health care btw!) not only when you are getting care for your BP but when you are trying to get care for other things that may go wrong. All bipolar patients don't know what they are talking about even when they are properly medicated ya know? (sarcasm folks)

Ignorance is really rampant in society on this subject. Health care for mental disorders is awful in this country (US). It's not covered like "real diseases and illnesses". Many of these people can't afford what insurance doesn't cover. What happens then? You don't really see a lot of "normal sick" people on the streets but you sure as shit can find a ton of nut jobs living on the street.

I can't imagine what Britney is going through even though I'm bipolar. The WORLD knows she's bipolar. She can't keep that shit to herself. I'm lucky that I don't have to tell people. You wouldn't know I had it if you just met me on the street. People do treat you differently when they know. You could be friends with them/know them for years but things do change when they find out. Not always for forever but in some cases, yes, it's never the same.You learn to keep it to yourself.

If you had diabetes or cancer, you wouldn't be afraid of how someone would treat you if they found out. People are afraid of illnesses that they can't see on an xray or blood test. Some feel that mental disorders are bullshit. Can you imagine--"I have lung cancer." "Bullshit, it's all in your head. Suck it up." LOL

Sorry for the long rant but this is just the beginning for Brit. There are still days that I feel like winging my meds across the room or get wicked pissed that I have to deal with this shit and I've dealt with this for years. Not only does she have to deal with these things but she has to deal with them in front of the whole world. She can win the Nobel Prize and her name will still be associated with "crazy".

Wow, reading this back...I sound a bit nuts. It's not easy being crazy.That's ok, I'm used to it. ;)

laurelgray said...

@ BlahFrickinBlah:

I am in the mental health profession as well and deal with chronic and at times quite severe depression.

I continue to be surprised and bewildered that most mental health professionals often stigmatize and look down on their own colleagues who deal with mental health problems.

I'm extremely high functioning and learned to hide my depression from others. When I have called in sick to work, it would not behoove me to say, "Yeah, I'm not feeling well because I can't seem to summon the energy to get out of bed and I'm thinking it might make sense to kill myself. But I'll see you tomorrow!"

I have had electroconvulsive therapy (aka ECT), been in an inpatient psychiatric ward, and I have tried almost every med out there.

I share my experience here because I would be furious and sad if I had to answer for everything I did. It's terrifying not to feel like you're in control of your emotions. At times I feel like my mind is broken. I empathize with Britney because to regain some sort of sanity and then have to be under a conservership may feel like you no longer have control over anything. And it can feel punishing.

Granted, I am also not an international pop star with children who also seems to possess somewhat limited insight at the moment. A shocker, I know.

I see both sides of this issue and the conservership certainly may be in her best interest at this time.

TinyHats said...

What exactly are these drugs that make you not feel anything? Because that sounds great. I would KILL to not have any feelings ever again...think of all the shit you could get done!

Oh, and to all of you with mental illnesses...I know it sucks, and I hope somehow things get better.

palealebrew10 said...


You have very eloquently described what it's like to have to live with such a stigmatizing illness.

I was diagnosed when I was 16 years old after a truly awful manic episode. My family actually had the audacity to use my illness to incriminate me for all of our family's dysfunction. Very difficult. I know that sounds somewhat martyred but it was extremely difficult juggling my emotions(in the terrible teens) while living with a family who never bothered to understand what it is.

Even if my anger or sadness was completely justified, it was chalked up to me being "crazy." This is why I very rarely reveal my disorder to anyone, because unless you looked in my cabinet to find my Rx's, you wouldn't know it. And I don't really think it's possible for anyone who doesn't have bipolar disorder to understand how frustrating and god-awful it can be to live with everyday.

As mentioned in previous comments, as someone who is bipolar, I cannot imagine how painful Britney's situation is. The world knows she has a mental disorder-and it will always be attached to her name no matter her talent or triumph. The way the world watched and laughed and judged her during her breakdown was nothing short of cruel and sadistic. To have that chronicled in photographs and paparazzi video footage-painful.

I love Britney and I hope she keeps going strong-do agree she needs to be under conservatorship for a while to maintain her focus.

Ms.Leigh said...

First time poster here. Had to chime in and say that as someone whose dealt with bipolar disorder and been 'criminalized' as a result of miseducation and misunderstandings; it's really refreshing and comforting that there are people out there who understand exactly how it feels and even show sympathy (shocker!) for others who suffer with it daily. Thank you for sharing your experiences openly, I can truely say it's helped me just by reading these comments.

The post itself makes me sad because unfortunately Britney will spend the rest of her life explaining herself away in vain. And I can say I understand how frusterating and isolating that feels. I truely feel for her and I wish her the best in life. There's so many people out there that thrive on the failure of others and this is one woman who I sincerely want to see win. I want for her to find happiness again, whether spotlights and cameras are involved or not. It's really a shame that more people don't feel the same.


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