03 February 2008

Britney Spears, hospitalized

Britney Spears was hospitalized a few days ago. And now, word has it that she will be stuck in a psych ward for two weeks, and that she is under a court-ordered conservatorship, meaning that she is unable to manage her own affairs.

Britney seems to be suffering from bipolar disorder, and in a very public way, which is not pretty at all. The life of a high-flying celebrity is never easy, especially when so many fans worship you like a god. And when there are struggles within like Britney's bipolarism, it's really difficult to even realize that help is needed - much less actually seek help.

The best thing for Britney to do right now is to disappear from public life, and quietly get the help she needs. Bipolarism can be treated, but it's not easy. Britney also needs to rebuild her life doing things she truly likes to do, away from the public spotlight; writing a novel was such a thing for me, as I struggled with my own bipolarism. (Novel writing also had a nice side effect: getting to know many new great people, especially in women's peace movements.)

And the best thing for the fans to do at this time would be to wish for a speedy recovery, and have patience.

One silver lining in all of this: Mariah Carey self-destructed similarly in 2001, but by 2005, she had recovered very nicely, and regained her fame. Britney can surely learn from it - Mariah herself said so once. And Britney has the support of her family, which is more than Mariah could say (her father had just died).