Arrested Development: Britney Spears’ Memoir Is a Survivor’s Tale of Generational Trauma, Psychiatric Abuse, and Resilience

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Semi-retired pop star Britney Spears is almost as famous for her 13+-year conservatorship—during which all personal, professional, and medical decisions were under legal control of her father—as for her music. So as a longtime reporter on her case, I was eager to read her autobiography, pointedly titled The Woman in Me. Since she was once deemed too “mentally ill” to run her own life, it’s a civil- and disability-rights landmark that the Grammy-winning performer is finally willing and able to share her side of the story. And it isn’t pretty. 

Like many celebrity memoirs, Spears’ chronicles her career arc and key events in her personal life that are already well known, along with intimate details that are not. Framed in the media as a bombshell-laden “tell-all,” the book is her stated attempt to gain closure on a painful past. But it also represents a first: the testimony of one of the few Americans ever released from a long-term guardianship. It is also a rarity: documentation of psychiatric abuse on a prominent, mainstream platform. (Published in late October, the book became an instant bestseller and Hollywood is now jockeying for the film rights.) Indeed, her stories of being stripped of her rights and forced to swallow psych drugs under others’ watchful eyesamong other outragesoffer a window into a type of systemic abuse that’s normally off the radar. But the impact of the book goes beyond that. 

Speaking as MIA’s former Family Resources editor, though, I believe this perceptive and emotionally powerful volume’s most important role may be in explicating the toxic family dynamics that kindled both Britney’s dreams to escape her origins and a lifetime of emotional struggles. Her story confirms the pernicious and long-term effects of intergenerational trauma, alcoholism, and divorce on everyone in a family, especially “the identified patient.” Though not intended as such, it is a cautionary tale about parenting.  

A family affair

Throughout the book, Spears shares what it felt like to live through what we’d now call multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that have continued to play out well into her young adulthood and middle age, reflected in her relationships first with her family of origin and then in the family she created with her second husband. (Spoilers ahead.)

Her story opens with a vignette that encapsulates a childhood spent on eggshells: young Britney spending time alone in the woods near her home in semi-rural Kentwood, Louisiana, singing her heart out. She’s studiously avoiding the constant fighting inside that home between mom Lynne, whom she portrays alternately as a harridan and a doormat, and dad Jamie, an alcoholic—miserable and mean when drunk—who would sometimes disappear for days. Jamie drove her older brother Bryan mercilessly, as his father, June, had driven him; Britney’s father scared her and made her feel she was “bad.” 

Her father had demons: After his brother died as an infant, the elder Spears committed his grieving mother, Britney’s grandmother Emma Jean, to an institution, where she was forced to take lithium. A few years later, Emma Jean violently took her own life. Britney’s own parents separated before her 1981 birth, then reconciled and later produced her sister Jamie Lynn (resulting in a bout of postpartum hemorrhaging from which Britney feared her mother might die). Another trauma: Her brother narrowly escaped death in an ATV accident. There was instability, too: Her father’s drinking stopped and restarted; his various careers saw the family sometimes poor, sometimes well off. (He and Lynne divorced in 2002 but reunited in 2010 and recently called it quits for good.)

Throughout all this, Britney found an outlet in singing and dancing, winning competitions. She had big dreams:

“I wanted to be a star…I had simpler dreams too, dreams that seemed even harder to achieve and that felt too ambitious to say out loud: I want my dad to stop drinking. I want my mom to stop yelling. I want everyone to be okay. With my family, anything could go wrong at any time…only while performing was I truly invincible.”

And from the age of 8, Britney found work in professional theater, television, and music, chaperoned from city to city by her mother or a family friend. Already precocious, she began smoking and having sex at 14. By this point, her mother was treating her like an adult pal, taking her on getaways to drink cocktails at bars. 

By the time she was 17, Britney had achieved breakthrough success as a recording artist and, now parentified, was bringing in more money to the family coffers than the adults. She soon built her mom a mansion, then bought her own at 19, and eventually shared a place with boyband star Justin Timberlake, whose more stable family she considered “home.” She was devastated when Justin, whom she wanted to marry someday, allegedly coerced her into medically aborting an unplanned pregnancy at home with no doctor or anesthesia. 

People pleaser

Through it all, she was “almost too nice”: “I had always tried so hard to please,” she writes, “to please my parents, to please audiences, to please everyone. I must have learned that helplessness from my mom…how she just took it.” 

When she couldn’t please, she self-isolated. Spears shares a series of telling incidents about a kind of paralysis that overtook her in 2002 after Timberlake broke up with her and she returned home to Louisiana to heal (“I could barely speak for months”). It didn’t help that, she says, her mother and sister ignored her, and she was booed in public. Taking time off to heal after completing another tour, she hid out in her luxe New York City apartment, feeling like she couldn’t face anyone. But when Jamie and her handlers insisted she invite Diane Sawyer into her home for an interview on the Timberlake split, she felt she had to participate. It was hostile, portraying her as the villain. She writes, almost prophetically, “I felt myself turning, almost like a werewolf, into a Bad Person.” 

Marriage and motherhood

Months later, touring again but tired of working and longing to form her own family, Britney fell for backup dancer Kevin Federline because he “liked me the way I was.” They wed, and she looked forward to a more peaceful and stable life, of building “a cozy home.” (Unbeknownst to her, he already had a child and a still-pregnant ex.) Giving birth to two sons in two years, she felt a love for them she’d never known. She writes, “My most special moments in life were taking naps with my children. That’s the closest I’ve ever felt to God.” 

But she also, she admits, became “weird”: overprotective (at first, she wouldn’t let Lynne hold the baby) and obnoxiously perfectionist. By then, the marriage was failing. Kevin was absent, pursuing a rap music career; Britney writes that he sometimes flatly refused to see her. Tearful, anxious, exhausted, she describes learning to parent alone at home, always aggressively pursued by cameras and reporters questioning her mothering skills. 

After she and Federline parted ways, she fell deeper into “severe post-partum depression.” “I had no freedom and yet also no security,” she writes. A custody battle ensued as Kevin kept baby Jayden and toddler Sean Preston from her for weeks at a time. According to Spears, the separation (“I was simply out of my mind with grief”) and fear of losing her kids altogether led her to refuse to return them to their father as scheduled. Soon “a SWAT team” barged in and ferried her into the psychiatric system for an involuntary hold. 

Acting out

Sadness turned to rage: Not long after being released, she famously shaved her head, calling it “my way of saying to the world: Fuck you.” She continues: “…I’d been the good girl for years…. And I was tired of it.” A “wild” period of partying and risk-taking followed, during which she admits she misused the ADHD stimulant Adderall to feel better. 

During this frenetic period of acting out, Spears states that she needed and wanted support. Instead, she got an ambush. Beckoned to her beach house by her mother, Britney soon heard the whir of police choppers overhead. She was sectioned again and informed that conservatorship papers had been filed stating she had “dementia.” Soon, she became the permanent ward of the father she’d always feared, and of a lawyer appropriately named Andrew Wallet.

Inside the conservatorship

Spears’ 2021 live court testimony about the conservatorship’s abuses is now a matter of public record. But reading new details about the almost sadistic extent of the control imposed on her, I more deeply understand and feel her outrage. Early on, she recalls, Jamie sat her down and chillingly declared: “I just want to let you know…I call the shots. You sit right there in that chair and I’ll tell you what goes on.” He added, “I’m Britney Spears now.”

She was, she writes, treated “as if I were a criminal or a predator.” Deemed too disabled to manage her own affairs, she notes the irony of being forced to work and serve as the breadwinner for both her family of origin and her family with Federline. Yet she says she had no say in her grueling schedule of performances and appearances, no matter how exhausted she was. 

She also had no access to her own money. Her weekly “allowance” was considerably less than her father’s salary. And she quickly concluded that Jamie “saw me as put on the earth for no other reason than to help their cash flow.” Later in the book, she notes the extent to which he and her former business manager profited from her “Circus” tour, both becoming multi-millionaires. (In her 2021 testimony,  she compared the arrangement to “human trafficking.”) 

It didn’t help that her mother had published and promoted a tell-all memoir early on, which Britney viewed as profiting off her pain. 

“Child-robot”

The Woman in Me also reveals the full extent of Spears’ father’s and co-conservators’ infantilization of her over those 13 years, during which she felt like “a sort of child-robot…stripped of my womanhood.” She writes: “Security guards handed me prepackaged envelopes of meds and watched me take them. They put parental controls on my iPhone. Everything was scrutinized and controlled. Everything.” 

Indeed: She could not drive her car. Told she was “fat,” she was placed on a strictly enforced diet; she was forbidden not only alcohol but also coffee. Dates had to undergo background checks and be briefed on Britney’s sexual history. She was forbidden to stop using birth control and to marry. Even her bathroom breaks were monitored (“I’m not kidding!”). And her family and colleagues went along with it. “I started to feel like I was in a cult,” she writes. 

Here, we finally learn why she went along with the conservatorship for so long. At first, she figured, “If I play along, surely they’ll see how good I am and they will let me go.” They didn’t. And she quickly realized that asserting herself wouldn’t work: “After being held down on a gurney, I knew they could restrain my body any time they want.” Cooperation, she learned, was the key to gaining access to what mattered most: access to her children. 

Still, she pushed back in small ways, such as delivering rote stage performances and (unsuccessfully) smuggling in burner phones. Her frustration reached a boiling point in 2018, when she fully grasped that the level of professional success she had accomplished, by definition, meant she was both sane and strong: “[M]y little heart said, ‘I’m not going to stand for this,’” she writes. So instead of performing at the debut of an upcoming Las Vegas show she didn’t want to do, she walked off the stage and into a waiting car. Soon thereafter, in a rehearsal, she balked at a bit of choreography. From her father’s perspective she was clearly getting out of hand, and there would be consequences. 

Forced treatment

He had already coerced her into “rehab” numerous times, we learn; once after he discovered Britney was taking over-the-counter energy supplements. And, though she was already forbidden to drink, and he had drinking problems of his own, he made her attend AA meetings several times a week. 

But after she challenged that dance move, Jamie and her therapist accused her of uncooperative work habits and stopping her daily medication (which she points out was impossible because she was watched taking it). She was then forced to take an extensive “cognitive test” which, she was told, she failed. That meant, Jamie told her, she would now be moving into a psychiatric facility to undergo a custom designed, intensive treatment plan. Britney was to announce she was taking a break to tend to her father (who had in fact been seriously ill) and her own mental health. The news media reported it as true. 

Psychiatric abuse

In some of the book’s most disturbing passages, we learn that the involuntary program, which lasted four months, was anything but therapeutic. She was yanked off the usual “meds”—possibly putting her into withdrawal—and forced onto lithium and, later, the antipsychotic Seroquel. She had no privacy, watched while she bathed and dressed. She was denied fresh air and required to sit in a chair all day seven days a week, talking to psychiatrists. (Her description of aching to move in that chair suggests the new drugs may have caused akathisia: “I felt anxious in my feet and in my heart and in my brain. I could never burn off that energy.”) And the exit goalposts kept moving: “If I became flustered, it was taken as evidence that I wasn’t improving,” she writes. “If I got upset and asserted myself, I was out of control and crazy.”

To add insult to injury, she says her family didn’t visit. They and her court-appointed lawyer refused to help her gain release. It sounds more metaphorical than paranoid when she writes more than once that “I thought they were trying to kill me.” 

To Britney, it felt Kafkaesque: punishment for a crime she didn’t know she’d committed. To me, it sounds like torture (a U.N. human rights violation). But when she finally returned home, she says her parents gaslighted her by acting “like nothing had happened. Like I hadn’t just endured an almost unbearable trauma in that place.” 

Finding freedom

Rather than cowing her, the cruelty steeled her resolve to end the conservatorship. She notes that when a nurse at the psych facility had shown her videos of the #FreeBritney movement, she felt supported enough to believe she someday could.

The rest is history—after two more years of growing estrangement from her family and trying to get her court-appointed lawyer to assist her, Britney called 911 and “reported my father for conservatorship abuse.” The next day, she testified about it before a judge and won the right to choose her own lawyer: a former prosecutor who helped her remove her father as guardian and then end the arrangement altogether. She was freed on November 12, 2021—just shy of her 40th birthday. 

Aftermath

The remainder of the book is mostly upbeat, describing the joy of doing everyday things on her terms again, with a goal of figuring out who she is and what she wants going forward. Spears skims over major events in her life since it ended, though. She mentions her marriage to and pregnancy loss with her longtime boyfriend, Hesam Asghari—but not their impending divorce. She also omits her ongoing legal battles with father Jamie. (She’s alleged financial misconduct. Filings show he’s also tried to compel her to pay his legal bills from the conservatorship and, according to her lawyer, he’s been using the court system to harass her.) She also sidesteps her tense relationship with her teenaged sons, who reportedly seldom see her. 

Given the Spears family history, such domestic drama could almost be predicted. Indeed, she writes, “I don’t think my family understands the real damage that they did.” One relic she describes is disabling migraine headaches. According to her book, though, what matters most is that she’s writing the narrative: “It’s been a while since I felt truly present in my own life, in my own power, in my womanhood. But I’m here now.”  

The bigger picture

The Woman in Me was not released in a vacuum, legally or culturally. While there was much press and public sympathy expressed upon her 2021 court testimony and a documentary revealing the extent of its corruption (including spyware planted on her phone and in her home), society has learned little from her ordeal about the problems with the larger guardianship system. 

On one hand, Spears’ case, along with years of work by disability rights advocates, led to  the passage in September 2022 of California’s Probate Conservatorship Reform and Supported Decision-Making Act. On the other hand, a new, regressive program of CARE Courts has been implemented in the state. Targeted at unhoused individuals, the system not only allows just about anyone to refer someone else for involuntary psychiatric treatment but makes it easier to place them in a conservatorship if they do not comply.

Nor have we changed negative attitudes towards people with mental illness labels, including Spears. Prior to and since the book’s release, the news and social media have reverted to salacious and judgmental coverage of her, scrutinizing and documenting her every move and framing anything quirky or negative as confirmation of instability. 

But how easy can it be for a traumatized former conservatee, rusty in leading a “normal” routine, to put a life back together? According to press reports, she appears to be trying to reconcile with her mother. A recent photo of Britney at her 42nd birthday party, curled on her side, head cradled on Lynne’s shoulder like she’s 4, speaks volumes about that task. I wish her luck.

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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

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74 COMMENTS

  1. I’m grateful to see someone reporting about this because so much of what happened to this woman is what happened to many psychiatric survivors and patients harmed by psychiatry. Britney Spears spent a large amount of her time being psychiatrized at UCLA Medical Center’s psychiatric hospital.
    This place is well known for their high rates of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT); mainly involuntary. Most of the general public has commented that Britney Spears doesn’t seem like her old self anymore and her behavior and speech is “weird.” I can only suspect years of psychiatric drugging and forced ECT are to blame. She mentioned in her book how the right side of her body is still “numb” and she suffers from nerve damage. Something that many people who have been harmed by psychiatric drugs and ECT have also reported.

    However, what truly infuriates me is the amount of the public who continue to believe psychiatry has a place in our society and who cannot see the unbridled power psychiatry has in destroying people’s lives. Some people still say Britney was mentally ill and needed drugs instead of seeing a woman who had been abused and traumatized.
    No one deserves to have their human rights taken away an forced drugged, no matter what mental health issues they’re experiencing.
    In my opinion, Britney Spears didn’t need psychiatric treatments or a conservatorship, she needed a trauma-informed therapist and a non-toxic support system. She needed a caregiver in her childhood who protected and removed her from the abuse.
    Many people who have a history of trauma end up in the hands of psychiatry where they unfortunately, lose the best years of their life.

    Psychiatry continues to have the power to do this to people, regardless of whether they’re a celebrity or not. Britney Spears’ father only had to find one psychiatrist who was willing to label his daughter mentally ill and he did. I completely understand and relate to the total betrayal and anger she writes about in her recent Instagram posts. Rebuilding one’s life after psychiatrization is a feat in itself. May she (and all psych survivors) heal and get justice for what has been done to them.

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  2. Thank goodness Britney Spears eventually found a way to free herself from what can only be described as a profoundly toxic system. Her story reveals not only the legacy of toxic family dynamics but how easy it is for psychiatry to continue this legacy by way of the legal system, which it ultimately can control as much as its “patients”.

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  3. It’s terrifying that the talent and work ethic Britney displayed from a young age, which led to incredible fame and fortune, wasn’t enough to protect her from the toxic combination of a dysfunctional family, a misogynistic society, and a psychiatric/legal system that stood ready to remove her rights. In fact, of course, her talent and hard work that led to fame and fortune simply attracted more predators looking for a piece of her.

    It’s very sad that Britney might have been better off had she not achieved great fame and wealth.

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  4. Yes, she was treated horribly. Yes, her family is disgusting. Yes, there are a lot of truths in this book. No one is disputing that.
    I am taken aback by a few things. Starting with her medical abortion. In this article it states she had to do it with no help or anesthesia. A medical abortion like the one she had consists of 2 pills taken at home. The first ends the progression of the pregnancy. The second causes the body to essentially miscarry. You do not use anesthesia or go to a medical facility. Its called the abortion pill.
    Second, there are some pieces of this that do not make sense. Like Kevin being able to keep the kids over his allotted time yet, when she does, a “SWAT” team comes after her. Thats one of many things that just seem off about this story. Theres never any accountability on her part for what she did. She is always the victim.
    As anyone who has an Instagram account and follows Ms Spears would know, something is definitely off. Her odd rantings, constant super sexual dance routines in a thong, smudged make up and little else, pictures with guys in weird places- something is not right. The fact is, she has mental health issues that are not being treated. Thats not hard to see. Eccentric artist argument doesn’t work with this one.
    Her sons refuse to see her. Whether this is due to their dad, seeing their mom out of control or both, who actually knows. They are old enough to reach out.
    There are just too many weird things. Was she abused- absolutely. Was what happened to her right- of course not!! Should her dad go to jail- 100%. But is she completely with it and just a victim of their manipulation- no. She does have some serious issues that, now that her father completely turned her against the medical system, she might never get. Another injustice done to her.
    Maybe, for once, she should have neither “yes men” or captors around her. She should have stable, educated, loving people to give her real advice and direction and help her manage her life until she is independent AND stable. That is one of the saddest things about Britney Spears. Until she finds those people and makes solid choices for herself, shes going to be caged either by herself or someone else.

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    • The conundrum is that the people around Britney are either going to be financially contracted to support her (and she has already been harmed many times over by those arrangements and those people and systems), or they’re going to appear in her life as so-called natural supports (and Britney has already been harmed by many people who professed to care about her). I don’t think anyone is claiming that Britney is perfect or even that she is well. We don’t know all of what she experienced or how profoundly it impacted her. We also don’t know what it’s like to have our mental state be the subject of worldwide casual debate, or what it’s like to go through trauma on a public stage.

      Did she lie in her book? I don’t know. Possibly. She’s been surrounded by liars her whole life. Maybe some of it rubbed off.

      The fact is that many people who had the opportunity to help, some of whom were paid to help, some who were her flesh and blood, some both, clearly did her a lot of harm. I would imagine that at this point, she doesn’t know who to trust or whether she can trust anyone.

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    • At first, I didn’t want to bother replying to Tayya’s “concern troll” -like comment. But I’ll bite.

      Because this is a memoir, everything is from Spears’ point of view, but I think that’s more than fair because her story has been told at least 1 million times by others with various agendas.

      Also, if you read the book, you’ll see that she is willing to own her mistakes and personal flaws; if anything, she’s sometimes too hard on herself, IMO.

      I’m well aware of what the abortion pill is—while it places more control in the hands of the person using it than a surgical abortion, it is also more painful generally, and has the disadvantage that there are no medical personnel around in case of anything going awry. But what struck me most about her description of it was that she implies she didn’t really want to have it, but was bowing to pressure from others. I find it very believable that it happened this way.

      Other than that, I agree with Kate L’s reply.

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        • Well, the bleeding can’t be managed with non-steroidal analgesics without a prescription.

          That requires a physical, lab work, consultation etc.

          Without making reasonss and excuses, being a retired physician with NO knowledge of the case, the guitar might have been the best attempt by Justin since giving Britney an analgesic might have prolongued or increased the bleeding, even if it calmed the spams. So even an aspirin, particularly a baby one, might have been harmfull.

          As a testimonial, in Mexico we used metamizol, with the belief it did not increase bleeding and pretty much nothing else in abortions, surgical ones.

          That medication as far as I know, was banned then in the US. So, music, since perhaps, nothing else was available.

          That speaks, if at all, of bad medical practice, not bad judgment on Justin.

          Then again, to reiterate, what do I know?, I have no specific knowledge on those issues.

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    • I don’t think anyone who’s suffered as much betrayal as Britney deserves the kind of criticism that Tayya seems almost happy to dish out. And imo psychiatry and the courts are as much to blame as Britney’s parents for the struggles she’s faced, and is trying to overcome as best she knows how at this point in time.

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    • I don’t think anyone who’s lived through as much betrayal as Britney deserves to be criticized the way some people seem almost happy to do. And it’s my belief that psychiatry and the legal system are as much to blame as her parents and the entertainment business for the struggles she’s faced and continues to face yet is trying to overcome as best she can with what she knows at this point in time.

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    • I agree 100% with most of the points that you make. It’s truly bizarre and ridiculous how her biggest fans or supporters including the writer of the article look at the situation as if Britney is basically fine and has not ever needed psychological nor psychiatric treatment. These treatments do help people who obviously need it and who are open to it —and who commit to accepting the truth about how sick he/she is because of a very serious illness and about ultimately needing to be responsible for his/her own health. Odd how in the book there is an almost complete denial of her own responsibility for herself and for her actions and for her own choices about her disease—and about her necessary treatments. It’s sad how she missed an opportunity to seriously address her medical condition-a serious mental illness-to directly educate and help others who struggle with the same disease. Disappointing how she truly lacks insight and discernment.

      The fact that even her sons have had limited contact with her is very telling. Children tend to be very forgiving and will typically always love the parent but still might choose to distance themselves for their own protection from the chaos. Her supporters act as though her issues and struggles are everyone else’s fault and that basically Britney is fine and never did need major medical treatment. She was obviously diagnosed correctly early on in her life as having severe Bipolar Disorder. This condition is real and it’s a very serious disease that in and of itself can and does destroy people’s lives including the lives of their loved ones too. It’s genetic and just look at how her grandmother obviously had BPD and how she took her own life. Lithium & Seroquel are prescribed because a patient needs to be treated successfully so that the patient is stabilized and has a shot at living a life of normalcy. These medications stop people from committing suicide. They save lives. It is a fact that people with BPD are at a high risk of suicide. They are very sick and they do need a lot of help including medication and they do need to have caregivers, sometimes conservatorships are necessary, the patient does need to be on medication. The patient is basically disabled. The mania involved with the highs & lows of BPD drive periods of boundless energy and artistic expression. It’s a known fact that anyone who has BPD will have relationship struggles because the person & the disease exhaust the people closest to them, the people who are trying to help their loved one—because sometimes their loved one is literally out of his/her mind and is difficult, aggressive, who typically has terrible addictions and who is at risk of overdosing. Some of the actions of Britney’s loved ones surely saved her life. Interventions were absolutely necessary and probably will be again.

      Just because you are an entertainer and famous and make a lot of money does not mean that you’re fine and that you can be completely on your own without any help. Periods of stability and independence are possible but if the person stops taking the medications then all hell will break loose. Her illness is basically the driving force behind all of the sickness and drama in her life. it’s not the fault of everyone else around her. Where is the concern for them—especially where is Britney’s concern for them and them and for the impact of her disease, her insanity and her addictions on their lives?

      Where is her ownership of her illness and of her poor choices and mistakes? She has access to the best care and medicine in the world yet she really seems to reject it. That is a choice she makes. Her prognosis could have otherwise been so much better. To me the book shows how self-centered and self-absorbed she chooses to be. Thank goodness her sons have had a devoted father. Where’s the concern for them about the impact on their lives as a result of their mother being truly sick from a very serious mental illness? Sure some of the people around her made some poor choices. Being responsible for a loved one who’s very sick with mental illness and to that degree is very difficult. Is it any wonder that her father was obviously driven to drink due to his own childhood trauma? His mother had BPD and probably did need to be hospitalized and for a child to witness that is a scary thing and later on she took her own life. How could that man not have his own struggles? Who exactly should handle her finances if not her parents or husband when she’s not capable and would be reckless and at risk of dying if a family member does not intervene? Who should do it—a stranger? Isn’t it the point of family to help each other? Walk a mile in their shoes. Where is her genuine expression of gratitude and appreciation for the love and support from her closest loved ones over the many years when they were there for her in her darkest moments? Yes she acknowledges her most recent husband but what about the rest of her family who was there long before him? What about being thankful for medical treatment that has saved your life and sharing your gratitude for it? The conservatorship ended and you still are having terrible struggles including another divorce and continuing instability.

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      • You say a lot of things here you have repeated because you heard them somewhere, but most of the people on this site have a lot of direct experience with the system themselves and understand it’s not so simple. Clearly, Brittney’s life didn’t suddenly get all better when she got treatment, did it? Additionally, the issue of the guardianship was fraught with all kinds of conflicts of interest and personal agendas above and beyond any “mental health” concerns. You might want to read Anatomy of an Epidemic and get an idea why people have concerns about the “mental health” system instead of assuming everything you’ve heard is automatically true and people who don’t agree are irresponsible or ignorant.

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      • Figgy, why are you so judgmental? What is it about Britney that disturbs you so much?

        There is no evidence that BPD symptoms are caused by a biological/genetic “illness”; it’s merely a label that indicates extreme highs and lows which are usually the result of sustained and/or severe emotional/interpersonal/generational trauma, or even overwhelming stress/burnout, all of which Britney experienced to an extreme degree.

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      • Speaking of taking responsibility, you should take responsibility for regurgitating a bunch of lies told by the APA. Where is the proof that “BPD” is real? Where is the proof that it’s a “disease”? Your comment is a terrifying reminder that there a people in this world who won’t hesitate to take away another person’s basic rights because you don’t like their choices. Or maybe you’re just jealous.

        Anyway, hope they never come for you. It’s so easy to get someone committed and put them in a conservatorship. As long as you’re broke, though, you probably don’t have to worry about the conservatorship. They only came for Britney because she was rich and still had incredible earning potential. And also Papa Spears wanted to be in charge. Who could forget, “I’m Britney Spears now!”

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        • Brilliant.

          It’s also a semi-surprise so many wrong, false ideas are retold in a place FULL of evidence to the contrary. Just browse the headlines and you get an idea what MIA thinks about your thoughts and “understandings”.

          I haven’t read a comment by one of the promoters and endorsers of psychiatry to admit: I was wrong, I made THIS mistake.

          There was the Joana/someone else admition on neuroleptics, but that came not even close to honesty. Fatalities missing and all…

          There were several on I used antidepressants and can’t shake them off.

          But again, that came incomplete.

          Like fundamentalism pro psychiatry: little can be done to change people’s mind in a visible way.

          I guess one step at a time, like Britney did.

          It was very tough on her, before judging I recommend watching her interviews, to see how difficult it is for a woman, a young one, a teenager to be there with such pressure. People really don’t know how hard is to look perfect under such surveillance…

          And that comment shifts the blame from his father, his mother, to the victim.

          Doubly injurious and veiledly misogynist, I think.

          And see now, everything she does get’s scrutinized like she was nothing more than a mental illness.

          She can’t play with anything sharp because, oh, oh, she is a danger for herself.

          She can’t go, yes or no, to a party, even a sex one, after a, I assume a tough breakup. Etcetera.

          She is still judged like she was not a full woman, a full person. And like she needed judgement instead of appreciation, like everyone else.

          Even her fans apparently think of her like someone in need of THEIR help, regardless many, ehem, don’t know, or can’t at a minimum be in her shoes. You have to pay to have a shot… sadly, and regretably…

          Saying she does owe something misses the 60million dollars. The talent, the smarts, and yes, the beauty she always was. The effort and the commitment, the stamina and the determination to put up with ALL that came with it…

          And that includes her choices. ALL of them, we don’t get to be some choices and some not. And I think she knows that. She does not need someone who can’t understand to tell her what she did wrong, if at all.

          Let alone what she needs to DO now. Get 60 millionon in her shoes, and then you can tell her: don’t play with anything sharp.

          She can do more with a pinky, than some of us with our lives. Be respectfull of that, she is not a flower, she is a giant…

          Think of this: I she was a not so big pharma who actually doped innocent americans she would have to not “owe” anything to anyone.

          Yet, because she is a woman, she owes her mistakes.

          Hum, how twisted, one is better off by having no soul, no heart and no gender…

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      • Figgy you seem to be saying several contradictory things and a lot of nothing. You keep saying that some people are sick and some people have this thing called bpd which you don’t define at all but profess to know a lot about. Can you define it please? After you define it, can you explain why you keep bringing it up? Because you seem to know everything about it why it’s relevant to this article but you never explain yourself. You talk a lot about what people with this imaginary illness need. You want those people to subject themselves to the authority of others and let others make their decisions for them and tell them what kind of pills to swallow. And yet at the same time you want them to take responsibility while giving up all their freedom. You’re really not making any sense and I think you’re very confused.

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    • Let me put it this way:

      If she were to lie on a casket and have a magician saw her in half would someone call the police to check if she is ok?.

      So, her holding a snake in her shoulders with a scared faced on her is entertainement, yet all the things and more you mentioned are “off”?, are concerning?, are worrying?.

      How does that work?.

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    • It becomes quite apparent what is going on when someone as much in the public eye as Britney Spears can’t even share Instagram videos without the mob becoming arm chair diagnosticians, and adding on scientific knowledge that science itself actually contradicts. Examples of both are exhibited above. There’s no proof, no real proof that ANY mental illness is genetic, the medications haven’t been proven to treat a chemical imbalance, they’ve been proven to cause one as well as their implementation correlating with the current spike in “mental illness.” In fact, the drug companies can’t make those claims, all they can do is imply there’s proof (we are making headway, there’s compelling evidence, this study shows that it could be etc. [in fact they have stopped looking for this proof, or toned way down their search since they through all the years they implied it existed couldn’t really find it]), and then well meaning people fill in the blank and start saying there’s proof the drug companies can’t back up. Because the drug companies CAN NOT back it up. You’re being manipulated. It’s called advertising and brainwashing.
      Why is the mob watching Britney’s Instagram, to begin with other than it’s reported that Britney has this disease, so go and watch and you can find proof? It’s Britney’s business what she does on Instagram. It’s also mind control 101, tell a person society is in danger by said disease, and watch them go with their voyeurism!
      There’s the statement: ” Isn’t it the point of family to help each other? Walk a mile in their shoes. Where is her genuine expression of gratitude and appreciation for the love and support from her closest loved ones over the many years when they were there for her in her darkest moments?”
      Read Britney’s book, and you’ll see where her family was in her darkest moments; and no she isn’t showing appreciation for abuse, no. Who hasn’t walked a mile, or around the block in whose shoes? Britney wasn’t even allowed to express how she was made to feel, this regarding her mental well being. Call abuse by another name, and it’s still abuse. The same I don’t think that Iran is supposed to thank the US for project Ajax that got rid of Mossadegh (a democratically elected leader) because Churchill didn’t want to pay for their oil when the oil companies were nationalized, Iraq isn’t grateful the US filled their country with depleted uranium from shells causing more birth defects than in Nagasaki or Hiroshima from the radiation nor the 300,000 civilian death for weapons of mass destruction that were never found, nor that Palestine is grateful for the present onslaught what South Africa calls a genocide. Or Read Anatomy of an epidemic, or Moncrieff, and you’ll know further what’s going on regarding “treatment”.
      There are lots of families where a child may move away from one or both parents, if in ALL of these cases this is proof there’s a mental illness that needs treatment from the very system which correlates with the spike, lies about the scientific truth of the treatment, takes away people’s freedoms to do this, and adds up all the money they get to flush people’s consciousness with propaganda distracting from the truth….. the numbers add up don’t they. Who gets the money for all of this “treatment?” As anecdote, I’ve seen families with child survivor adults whose parents were put in a mental health facility, and how they disassociate from anything but the mainstream narrative, regarding their parents or others; while in families that the parents showed the same behavior but were never “treated” in a fashion that made everything worse, but was touted as what to do, these children understand the emotional vulnerability of their parents, and the parents actually are recovered. Children have problems with their parents all the time, also. It’s no one’s business to make diagnosis regarding a parents need for psychiatric treatment based on that, or a whole number of other issues that when “the parent has a mental illness” isn’t involved it’s considered quite normal. People’s obsession once it’s claimed a mental illness is involved is hard to even fathom unless you’ve seen how wrong they can be. Not just wrong but aggressively so. Neurotically so. Obsessively so.
      The basis for diagnosis, or the analyses of behavior regarding mental illnesses has no concrete basis in science or chemical imbalances, or genetic flaws, or even genetic vulnerability, what it is grounded in are the same sociological constructs concerning minority status, poverty, living in a war zone and eh consequent result regarding behavior. This is crowned by such statements as not showing consensual reality deportment, or not fitting in with statistical norms. Non reality based thinking falls a bit short from people whose treatment correlates with a spike in what it’s said to fix, rather than a lessening, while creating a chemical imbalance in the guise of treating one. One could make out that minority status, poverty, living in a war zone, or any other number of environments that are traumatizing show that a person needs psychiatric drugs, and/or has a genetic flaw. That’s a flaw in logic to make such a determination. Neither does causing a spike while implementing such treatment based on ideology make it valid. That’s a non sequitur or causal fallacy. You can look up more of such prominent fallacies of logic going on, such as the bandwagon fallacy https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/common-logical-fallacies#:~:text=Logical%20fallacies%20are%20deceptive%20or,does%20not%20support%20the%20conclusion. It’s akin to saying that global warming isn’t caused by greenhouse gases, because at other times the earth has gone up in temperature by itself, and so one can disregard all the true science as to what the green house gases have been shown to do, and leave the corporations reeking profits free to continue, while disassociating from the truth. Convenient isn’t it? You don’t have to see what society really is doing, and get points for ignoring it. Game theory and brainwashing 101.
      And it’s basically cruel, when psychiatric treatment correlates with MORE suicides, than people with the same condition NOT being “treated,” to then use such suicides as an excuse for more of what torments and traumatizes people into seeing no way out!
      It becomes past disconcerting when Britney’s father’s alcoholism (interestingly enough his fights with his wife aren’t mentioned), but his alcoholism is excused above because his mother had BP!? AS LONG as he wants Britney institutionalized as his mother was then that’s reason for him to drink because he can’t “deal” with them!?

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  5. i find Britney’s story heartbreaking on so many, many levels. She has clearly struggled at times throughout her life: how sad that rather than helping her, her family, especially her father, took advantage of those struggles..of course, one can see the generational issues going on, too. it’s too bad there’s no one healthy to help her and her family.

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    • Perhaps she needs not help but respect and admiration.

      From one stuggler to another, appreciation for someone else’s struggle without help from someone else is perhaps enough.

      Sometimes that look: I survived!, Mee too! is better than help.

      Why is it that Elvis got a “He is Elvis!”, and she got “She needs help”?.

      That fellow apparently fondled teenagers in front of the camera…

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  6. To the writer you hacked my computer and phone. Plagiarism we are all fighting the same battles against abuse of authority you probably did well in the mental health treatments you’re just like them psychopathy cannot be treated cannot heal from criminality and having no conscience send me the pay check thoeves

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  7. Steve, this person is probably a NAMI troll or a member of Britney’s family.

    I have already addressed many of the issues they raise in both my review and subsequent comments here. But I would ask them, how in the heck do they know what her diagnosis is much less what she needs? It’s literally never been confirmed and likely won’t be because of HIPAA.

    From what I’ve seen over the years, many people are for some reason very invested in the narrative that Ms. Spears is very very very sick, cannot get better, refuses help, and is ruining her own and everyone else’s life. Nothing anyone can say or show will convince them otherwise. (And no one has alleged that she’s perfectly fine –she is traumatized and is the first person to admit it.)

    I think this belief comes from a general hatred or fear of people who have or even might have “mental illness” — people who they believe must be controlled by any means necessary. It’s an ideology that, as you say, Mad in America works to debunk every day.

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    • Many people, I don’t know if she, made the claim correctly: how could she need guardianship when working so hard under so much oppression?. And im Vegas, baby!, Vegas!. Not even Elvis survived that in the end…

      Was she SO ill that she could work so hard?

      Are treatments, coerced ones THAT effective?.

      Get real, just read MIA and probably one come out convinced all claims against her were not only patently false, but made against her and for the benefit of a lot of people, despite her harm and at least her hard work.

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  8. Appalling on every level. That Jamie guy is not perceived in a very good way as per media outlets which is a no brainer to figure out & see. Why is he not in counseling? In AA? He was most likely coached by some authorities to do this to his own daughter at the same time he did receive PERSONAL gain because of his own inept and severely dysfunctional self. SICK. What is even worse is this happens all the time every day because it is such an imperfect world, and because she is a public entertainer anything was broadcasted. It is very loud & clear what he went along with & what the system did to this extremely talented woman & person. No one gained anything but misery out of this extremely wrong approach of an “intervention”. There are huge unethical red flags everywhere in this situation, and basically a violation of a persons human rights. Taking any medication not compatible with an alignment alone can & will cause catastrophic repercussions. This is extreme and very sad to have seen played out, in the media, over the years this took place. Actually, just sick how she was tortured to the benefit of others. What did/has Brittany gained? Nothing. Guess what, she is still talented. Kevin is a piece of $hit from the start and that is where Brittany’s life ended in this “conservative ship”. It look like it was done to provide a good future & outlook for her children. Children deserve the best but not at the expensive of the sacrifice of torturing their mother. Again, what has Brittany gained? I hope those kids find a way to understand what was done to their mother and on every level was wrong, and in hind sight discern what better options could have been implemented, and love their mother. Thank God for that attorney who actually came to Ms. B. Spear’s aid. He saw the opportunity to help a victim of circumstances. I do not know who you are but thank you sir for stepping in and going to bat for this beautiful human being. Ironically, the author of this article, her last name is Spence. God be with you Harry, his family, his brother and his brothers family too. Some similarities noted of the two circumstances. Final note, do not think for one second anything less of yourselves for what you have and go through. These individuals are fine upstanding citizens of our world today. Thank you & big love for who you are, what you do, and what you stand for. Keep doing what you do because as a whole, we are better than our circumstances.

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    • Well, the guardianship industry works against the “guarded”.

      There are several articles in MIA, the NYT, books and at least a movie in Netlfix that show how canibalistic that whole racket is.

      How the system of guardianship seems to violate several awards rights that are in that shituation.

      And how judges are either ignorant, on the take or callous. Or overburden…

      How little evidence is presented for or against one’s ability to conduct one’s affairs. It’ s just “expert opinion” without science behind it, irrational.

      And how difficult, almost impossible is to get out of such situation.

      Even willing to fight, with resources caring ones find impossibility to extricate a loved one caught in that racket.

      And when achieved, how little wealth is left after the “incompetent” label is assigned.

      It is not society at large, it’s a niche boutique predatory racket that lawmakers can get rid off.

      Just, lawmakers need to be payed at least in votes… and victims don’t vote, as the dead tell no tales…

      The Daubert Standard does not take into account that for something to be scientific needs to be able to be reasoned as symbols in an argument.

      In an argument, when one manipulates symbols. i.e. words, the operations on the symbols are operations on the concepts. One can see that in argument, you move a part of a premise to another and you can see that is an operation on the concept, not just on the symbol. That does not happen with most words, that’s why old artificial intelligence failed, and why emotions are called irrational. That’s why many thing are interpreted nor reasoned about: they are irrational. If it’s interpreted it’s not scientific.

      In most human concepts and ideas, that does not happen, operating on words for love, hate, anger, rage, anxiety, ingisht, depresion and psychosis does not lead to that.

      Take this: Love is hate, I hate you love me so much, your imperfections make you perfect!. I am so different because I am just like everyone else…

      Those statements are irrational since no argument can be built starting from those concepts to reach a conclusion that following the argument is obvious, is evident.

      Rule 703. “…If experts in the particular field would REASONABLY rely on those kinds of facts or data in forming an opinion on the subject…”

      To be reasonable does not mean hermeneutically reasonable. That’s how courts and judges have INTERPRETED it because that what they DO: interpret law, legal hermeneutics. They strictly speaking can’t do legal science.

      To DO SCIENCE one needs to argue AND prove the conclusion of those arguments matches reality. A double argument: a hypothesis to be tested that is conclusion of an argument, and the argument behind the experiment and it’s methodology.

      One cannot do science, and therefore one cannot emit expert opinion if one cannot DO arguments with data and facts in a field of KNOWLEDGE.

      That only happens if manipulations on the symbols, the words representing concepts actually represent manipulations on the concepts in an EVIDENT, OBVIOUS way. On every step of the argument one can follow the transformation of the concepts by just looking at the symbols for them.

      That does not happen with most words, only physical, mathematical and some chemical symbols, even words, and concepts allow such transparency.

      A 1, is always a 1, regardless of the context. A circle is always a circle, in Freedonia as in a white paper. Freedom of speech, fairness, equity, justice, access and redress are not. That’s why they are interpreted as almost arguments, but not really arguments, and therefore can’t be ever scientific.

      Justices on the Daubert appear to miss that because they were hermeutians instead of scientists, competent ones…

      That’s why those are sciences with scientific method and the rest, as clinical psychology, the whole of psychology and the whole of psychiatry are not sciences. It’s humanities and therefore irrational, and therefore the reasonably stardard of Rule 703 is anti-scientfic.

      So, as a proposal: All expert testimony should be amenable to symbolic manipulation that obviously reflect operations on the concepts. The is reasonable because it is rational. Not rational therefore not reasonable.

      It is not reasonable what psychology and psychiatry DO: their manipulation of WORDS does not reflect the manipulation of their concepts. And no argument as such is obvious, let alone true, it can’t be. And testing it against reality requires arguing for the expertimental methodology too… Mere testing is empiricism not science.

      As another irony: defendants can’t prove a whole field of knowledge can’t be argued with, despite scientific evidence burden of proof falls on the experts, on the claimants they know something, in the scientific sense, not in the hermeneutical one.

      Psychologists and psychiatrists have not proven their words can be used in arguments, as judges very well know they can’t. That’s a HUGE difference to the judges and justices credit. They have never done that PROOF. Those words are called irrational for millenia…

      A brain circuit for love is a brain symbol for love, a brain word for love. That does not obviate the need for proof that symbolic manipulation on ANY symbol of love is rational. As is for anger, sadnness, anxiety, insight and psychosis…

      A scientist has to prove it’s claims are true. A skeptic does not need to prove they can’t be true, it could, but the burden of proof rest on the scientist. A defendand can’t do that against psychiatry and psychology because the Daubert standard and Rule 703.

      Like: “Dear expert opinionated psychiatrist/psychologist, prove to the jury that your ideas and concepts are actually amenable to argument, that they are rational. Since, last time I checked being angry, being sad, being in any emotion has been and is irrational, and that does not mean crazy, but it seems crazy to me to be called expert in irrational claims, and worse, give an opinion about it like an expert!, talk about long hairs, spaghetti ones!, and short ideas!”.

      But, I am no lawyer.

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  9. Other things to consider:
    I concur with Figgy up there in the comments on points that were made about the reading, especially taking responsibility for and owning up to ones own actions. If we can not do that one very simple task in life then there will be troubles.

    Important points to hit home at is that there were factors involved where certain specific individuals that stepped in, took this bull of a situation by the horns and made huge decisions for a public entertainer and her family. I am thankful people could help this woman. Do I agree, does not matter. What can be learned from others in life is what is important. Take the good with the bad, sort it out, and give it to God.

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    • Taking responsibility for an owning up to one’s own actions…something that psychiatrists and others working in the mental health system have shown a complete inability to do. It seems clear to me that people who comment about “taking responsibility” are ignorant to the reality of how many lives have been destroyed by psychiatry and the mental health system.

      As one example of this, psychiatrists will claim that the drugs they prescribe are evidence based, safe and effective, right up until the point that it’s proven that the drugs they prescribe are none of these things and that they have actually caused death and disability to millions of people. At that point, psychiatrists will claim that they have been misled by pharmaceutical companies, by their training etc. When they can no longer blame patients for being non-compliant, too severely mentally ill, untreatable etc, they will complain that they were just following orders/their training and that someone else is at fault, whether it be the system, insurance companies, general practitioners, psychiatric nurses (“noctors”). And finally, they will complain of “moral injury” when it’s no longer possible to deny that they are complicit in a corrupt and abusive system.

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    • Tazzie, your second comment sounds like you have no compassion for Britney. The conservatorship imposed on her went on for far too long, and thankfully the court shared that conclusion. Moreover, Britney’s the one who took the bull by the horns (“responsibility”) so that could happen, which couldn’t have been easy for her. She deserves all the love and support the world has to give.

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    • Britney Spears was more than a victim of circumstance. She was a victim of crimes, abuse and exploitation. She endured inter generational trauma. The men in my family have had women locked up in institutions since 1900 when my great grandmother an immigrant was committed by her husband. My great grandmother died at 99 after being there for over 60 years. The last woman I know if to be institutionalized was me when my father committed me for reporting incest but I haven’t seen my family in 45 years. He had local political power and he was not about to let me ruin any of his 5 son’ political careers. I have a brother who is greatly admired in legal and political circles but I also have a police report with his name on it from him and my other brothers beating me up. No father should be allowed to weaponize the mental health care system to incarcerate, drug and have his daughter who is being SA in the home labeled seriously mentally ill for reporting sexual abuse. No psychiatrist should ever accommodate an abusers desire to protect his political career or that of his sons. I was 14 years old when my dad first institutionalized me but the ‘seriously mentally ill’ label haunts me everywhere I go and I am 65 years old. Between the ages of 14 and 25 my dad controlled every aspect of my life. I was on 800 mg of Mellaril. I was so incapacitated by 800 mg of Mellaril and other drugs I couldn’t fight back when I was being SA. Sadly the Patriarchy still exists as does racism, classism, sexism etc — all rooted in white supremacist colonialism. Women don’t need our fathers to police us especially when they are our abusers. Psychiatry need not play into the hands of those who oppress women and others in families especially abusive fathers. Psychiatrists need to listen and believe women when we say our fathers are mistreating us. Finally the public needs to stop judging and policing women’s reactions to severe trauma, abuse and exploitation. It’s time to stop pathologizing women’s rightful hurt, pain and grief after experiencing trauma. It’s time to stop believing that all fathers like my political powerful dad and now my brother and Britney Spears dads have their daughters’ best interest at heart when they psychiatrically incarcerate and drug their daughters. I am 65 years old and just escaped this brutal Carceral surveillance system that was never meant to help me but to control me and protect my rapists. My 5 brothers are doing great. They never spent a day in jail not were they committed. They have always been free. Somehow, like Britney’s family in my family too it’s only women who get committed and surveilled and drugged and somehow it’s the men in the family who have committed crimes against us go free to live fulfilling lives. Psychiatry is part of white culture rooted on Patriarchy and colonialism. Lastly Britney Spears is not bothering anyone. When she posts on IG she is not hurting anyone. Why do we care what she does. It’s time we let Britney Spears be truly free and stop picking her apart underneath a microscope. Hasn’t her dad and psychiatry done that enough already. It’s time the public and people who have judged her harshly in these comments to just let Britney Spears BE. Let her live free.

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      • Thank you for this comment, Andrea. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the profit motives of the psychiatric system, the junk science (made up diagnoses, drugs that cause the problems we’re told they treat), I forget that the one of the primary roles of the psychiatric system has always been to silence and discredit victims.

        I agree, it’s time we all let Ms. Spears be.

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      • Well, mostly I have been abused by women in my family.

        My mother and my now ex wife, and one of my aunts that believed in the paranormal somehow. I was almost killed by a great aunt, at least twice, once with a pair of scisors, once a pan happily cold, and at least twice with her bear hands… so, that’s at least four I almost died under her care…

        But I have been helped by my female friends and other female relatives and screwed by some of my male friends. You know, having a “best” friend having sex with your ex is not what one call neither friendship not girlfriend.

        But my girlfriend’s mother was beyond commendable, really she was great, at least to me, to my girlfriend she never said, saddly…

        I was assaulted, apparently, by a female with “psychosis” and a female, apparently resident in psychiatry. In front of many males that did nothing else than supporting the “psychotic” female in mobbing me, after she assaulted me…

        I was spitefully/hatefully treated by one of my girlfriends.

        And the psychiatrist who almost killed me and never saw me was a female. The one who defamed me was a female, but the incompetent who comitted me was a male.

        The human rights comissioner who never gave full proper notice to the district attorney was male. But the ones who threatened me when asking me to go to the district attorney were females…

        One who threatened me and refused to help me when I complained recently of domestic abused against my mother and father was male. But the receptionist who did similar was female.

        The psychologist who accepted a forged therapeutic contract either from my mother and/or ex-wife was female, and very odd looking/behaving. Despite my denials, three times, I ever signed such a thing. Talk about prejudice, despite me showing her my ex-wife had corroborable psychopathic/antisocial behaviour in her past. And she lied to her about that and then some. But I was the male acused without hearing of being abussive.

        Most of the people who harass me in the street are females, 3-4 of them in groups of pairs, in the past. I guess my appearance is triggering for their bad experiences in psychiatric hospitals. Dunno the gender under that influence.

        But the two persons I have been most intimate without intercourse were females, no complain there, only gratitude… but it only lasted so little, we were so young.

        Most of the kids who kicked my arse when defending younger kids were male, but the female with box gloves who knocked me down was female and I am so glad she did, hitting her was to say the least a moral conundrum, even if just sport. But his brother was one of my best friends, no complain there.

        My carer was a very beloved female, as many females of her family, even his husband! were to me and she spent her last day of life to be with me, I never got a chance to say thank you, I love you, I will miss you, I will honor you anyway I can. She knew she would die that day, she told me, and yet, spent it with me and not with her family.

        Oddly enough, when in agony the only person who help me help her was… a female… no single other human approached me to see what I needed, despite my profuse and notorious crying. And my mother took hours just to show up to see what “could” be done. I know because I counted the tv shows while…

        Most of my mobbers in med school were males, but there were rumors…

        As for my teachers, the one who passed me out by making me stand for hours with at LEAST 2 genetic conditions, unknown back then, the only who rarely showed care for my eye conditions, and the one who humiliated me on my writing despite my transitory disability were females.

        Then in contrast, the one who shines for her literature was female and somewhat “old”.

        My friend who didn’t want to be my girlfriend because we were too young to “fall inlove” was female, in her defense she refused to lent me an explicit and saddistic movie from the 70s I think: “you will be traumatised”. Those beautiful Merkel’s, german blue eyes from an outstanding student were also from a female.

        The most beautifull theorem demonstration of calculus I have seen was from a female. Sad, she had no romantic interest in me, sad, sad, sad.

        I can see the oppresion against females, but I am not convinced it is a gender issue alone or dominantly. Then again, I might be different from most male’s experience, I know, my female cousins said that… just for them, the bar was too low: don’t hit them. I never did, not even a shout, for me, they were beautifull and great as they were… the caveman would have to be me, there was no other way with them, it was obvious…

        Oh, oh, the most beautifull kid that could literaly fall on this caveman’s amrs was a boy. Without a single evil hair in his body, and guess what the preponderance of gender separated me from him because they were trying to kill me?, hum?, females…

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        • So, perhaps it is a gender issue, but a genderized one.

          Where is my freedom and support, my forum to find confort, solace and redress of the feministic mysandric mental illness ladden violence against me?.

          I will always be suspect despite ALL evidence to the contrary of my inexistent mysognistic behaviour, even inexistent beliefs. My inexistent mental illnesses…

          Where, outside MIA is that forum for many of us?. For all those males who are silenced by the feministic mysandric/mental illness creed?.

          So, even I payed for the small freedoms of many females around me, and they did for me, this shituation is not working for many of us.

          “Not even paying” I got what my human dignity deserved…

          I can see a Britney in me too, a woman in me too, and that didn’t work for me neither.

          As a final thought, hopefully, if I don’t get to be free for my thoughts and actions I can’t be responsible for any of them.

          A creed cannot be responsible of anything, only believers can if they are free to use that creed. That’s responsability 101.

          Believing such creeds and acting upon them without reponsability is sending GOOD to the toilet of dogma. Only BAD can come out of that.

          I always refused to do that because I always wanted to be responsible of my OWN actions, not of others nor their CREEDS.

          I payed for that for others, and others did for me, I could not pay that for myself, and I am proud of that, even if it lead to me being persecuted, without forum, without redress, without real opportunity. And sometimes without hope.

          And my son, without any fault, not a single speck of it, payed for that too. How do I explain that to him?, without making him feel guilty?. Without giving him an obligation to reciprocate?.

          I just wanted for him to be more free than me.

          And I can see, I am not alone in that, regardless of gender.

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          • That woman in me too was beaten by other women because it was dressed in a male clothing.

            And I am proud of being a male who loves women just as they are.

            Just, you, other gals, you didn’t need to beat me too…

            Thanks younger generations, you showed this old beaten male there is a woman, a queer, etc., in me.

            Then, perhaps, I am an X too!, and thanks to you, I can now be more genuinely proud of it!. Even if the clothing just won’t go away. I refuse to use an x in every genderized word.

            I guess I sound delulu, but I guess you know how that goes…

            I attributed somethings to masculinity, queerness, femininity, X, erroneously, and that was not my fault, I was not taught, didn’t learn otherwise despite all evidence to the contrary. I think.

            Hopefully it will come/become trululu for me at some point.

            Thanks younger generations, I could not have gotten that without you. Despite my clothing 🙂

            You really served me with a heavy dose of trululu.

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    • No one ever repaired the harmed done to Britney as far as I know.

      No one ever owned their wrong deeds and harm to her. Not even some of her fans.

      Not the people calling for her to he helped. That stil undermines her dignity, that intrinsic quality that makes humans valuable, not a single one in this thread of comments seems to acknowlegde that dignity WE all have.

      So, to try to be the first, aware many did and did not reach this thread post:

      Britney, you are such a wonderfull human being. You always were, I had a privilege just knowing you existed.

      You, silently to me, made my world a better place by being in it. As far as that was, that’s how great you are to me.

      If she needs help she can ask for it, does not need to be told she needs it, let alone what that help is.

      Behaving otherwise is indignant to her and to me negates any compassion or love spoken around her…

      And ironically, it took for her so long to ask for help precisely because she was in a conservatorship with ALL the help that showered her with. Let’s think about “asking” or “needing” help….

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  10. I had a breakdown in the ’80’s.
    I was treated very similarly. Forced to take medication
    while others watched, regimented, and treated me like I
    was a problematic, willful child. I was 25. The psych system
    regimented everything. And the ultimate betrayal was my husband used the situation to smear me so as to not be shouldering blame in in his parents eyes.
    I had trust issues going into the marriage and later learned I’d be abused by an adult, which was, I think, the catalyst to trigger the breakdown once I thought I had security with my spouse. I truly didn’t think I’d had anything wrong with me until everything started to blur.
    I learned very quickly how to be my own best friend. The Mental Health Industry – and I do mean Industry – is nothing more than legalized substance abuse and mental abuse and torture. Psychology is simply a conversation…”What’s the matter?”
    “How can I help?” Unfortunately, this fact seems to get lost on the Religious Right who prefer to blame a boogie man instead of taking the responsibility for their own uncaring selves and muted actions. Maybe that’s why the Christian church is failing… few people believe the message. Like Mr. Rogers says…
    Look for the helpers.

    I’ve actually never really been a fan of Britney’s music….
    too busy trying to work out my own life. But I’m very empathetic about the treatment she received from the same people who were supposed to care about and for her. I carry trauma too, as I’m sure she probably does.
    She has the luxury of financial freedom, though, unlike myself. If I were to give her advice I would tell her that she needs to create new experiences and memories for herself. She’s got the ability to go to school, leisurely travel, etc. Learn what it is to be independent and productive on your own terms. Make friends with women your own age who simply like you for you. And don’t poison the relationship with your past.
    Best Wishes to her.

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  11. Britney Spears wasn’t supposed to have whatever it is they use to make out she was bipolar or whatever right? She wasn’t supposed to actually expose that she was being highly exploited she wasn’t supposed to rebel she is supposed to say yeah there’s some wrong with me there’s no reason for all her behavior right? She was just supposed to be a good entertainer sort of like a drug press the button and out it comes right? What is this actually exposed about society but what we think entertainment is about the whole media world about psychiatry? And so it goes with every single diagnosis, wish I’m just calling it such because that’s how it goes they call it the diagnosis. A person with what they call psychosis isn’t supposed to be psychotic because you know this my point something out you might have to look a little deeper there might be a reason for it right? The same with depression this person is not supposed to be said how could this person be sad is it everything perfect just like Hallmark card to Disney movie or going to the mall and buying whatever you want cuz you have enough money? Same with all of the “diagnosis.” How can this stuff be going on to betrays our superficial our society is oh how offensive!? Whatever was going on with Britney that’s not for the problem is the problem is what people don’t want to see. It’s there if you would care to see it it would change society. Fussing about somebody who’s behave for you points out you need to take a look at what you don’t want to see that’s just going to take care nothing becomes what it’s meant to be. Oh Christ I don’t want to see what’s wrong with society let’s use Britney to distract from that, wasn’t she supposed to be an entertainment sort of like a drug or button you push to escape responsibility? How dare she actually be human! Hey and I get it, there’s an awful lot of stuff you have to let go of just to see what’s really going on, and all the stuff you thought you were doing well that was getting in the way of what might take care of itself if you would let it. All these drugs in the whole system of locking people up forcing them on treatment and it created more of what it’s supposed to be solving and the rest of it the societal imagery the statistical base norms a consensual reality department the status quo getting rewards from the system playing game theory…. That’s a lot to let go of thinking you’ve done something when you’ve done nothing or made it worse..

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      • Sorry, I was doing auto-detect, and didn’t notice all of the un-detects with auto. My basic premise is that all of the symptoms, and all of the diagnosis are responses to something in life that need attention. When a person is “psychotic” there’s a reason for it, it’s not a malfunction of the brain, and to start referring to what can lead a person to better understand their life, to know what’s affecting them that they haven’t been allowed to be aware of, to turn this off doesn’t help the person. In fact, the spike, the epidemic of what’s going on, thanks to making out its a malfunction of the brain, has SHOWN this. If a person can’t deal with “reality” this is because they REALLY have had stuff going on they weren’t allowed to express, weren’t allowed to navigate through, were abused an punished when they tried to, that’s not a malfunction of their brain; when a person is “sad” there’s also a reason for that, denying what they might have to look at in their life, as challenging as that may be, this denies the natural function of our emotional awareness. The same with the rest of the diagnosis.

        Britney was supposed to ameliorate this celebrity status, and be a model for the perfect privileged rich celebrity that becomes a commodity for whoever is selling her, and that didn’t happen. She was the one making herself vulnerable as a performer, and it seems neither the father of her children or her family understood that at all. When she acted out, that was even less understood. It is quite amazing that during her whole imprisoned period, that she by whatever miracle was able to stay together enough to challenge the conservatorship, and win. That’s of course a deep insult to all the people that would never make themselves vulnerable enough to have anything to say, other than their robotic behavior thanks to their investments in the game theory that ANYTHING that might go against some accepted norm is a sign of mental instability. And so all of the mobbing regarding what she shares on Instagram, and all of the self righteous sanctimonious going on about someone who really isn’t hurting anyone, just behaving in a way that seem to insult the compromises others have attached to for their self worth.

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        • Thanks for your reply 🙂

          Respectfully, I think part of your first paragraph still looks for reasons where only values can be found. Like arguing for things and with things, ideas, concepts, words, that can only be believed.

          I respect that and appreciate that. Your point, to me, seen under my distorted reality interpretation is correct as such. 🙂

          I think they saw and understood the value in Britney, they just used that to their own advantage without respect and with somewhat of ill-will against her. That seems to be a bad core value exhibited effectively by society dressed in sheeps clothing. And many people agreed and contributed to such course of action.

          I disagree it went against some core good values effectively exhibited by society, I think on the contrary the society around her actually agreed, aquiesced or profited from harming her.

          Even I am using her case, to argue for my beliefs. In a way I am doing sort of similar for what seems to be a good cause, a personal one.

          🙁 🙂

          Saddly, this whole racket of ideas, concepts and words, makes us all a little bit like Luther: “We can do no other”?.

          Kind of divide and conquer thing.

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    • Thank you, Miranda. At the risk of sounding grandiose I relate in many ways to Britney Spears’ story. I am 65 and it took me decades to escape the cruelty but the label of seriously mentally ill lives on and will always affect my life and how I am viewed and treated. Thank you for your article. It was because of Britney’s ordeal that I finally began to tell my story of psychiatric abuse and torture used to protect my family and I am still trying to find my voice. Thank you for your article. It helps give me courage. Maybe one day I too can write my story for Mad in America but it’s an overwhelming one. Thank you again. And I am so happy to be drug free for the first time since 14. I got drug free in 2023. It took 15 years to taper as my health was quite compromised and I was on high doses of 14 meds. I don’t know I survived. I am so much stronger and healthier off those drugs. Thank you again.

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      • I agree but when one is up against political power and money OMG there are no words. When you or your family is always in the news OMG. When you have an offender praised by the media and elected officials and has an human rights award named in his honor it’s just an extra layer to add to the cruelty of the trauma and the system that protects people in power — even our elected officials in both parties. It’s like Jamie Spears being praised for having Britney Spears best interest at heart by putting his “mentally ill” daughter in a loving conservatorship and the public fell for it. That’s Patriarchy.

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  12. Miranda, congratulations on your excellent article!

    I followed Britney’s Instagram after I saw “Framing Britney” and then delved more into the stories surrounding her. I was appalled at the abuse she suffered. To the people who write she takes no accountability, she does indeed take accountability in her book. And yes, a squat team showed up at her house, video footage is available.

    I also think that no person, mentally ill or just unlucky with the family they were born into, should ever be abused by taking financial, emotional, and medical advantage of them. It’s a human rights issue and a shame that it happened in a country that paints itself as a beacon of freedom.

    The general public like me has no idea such abuse is commonplace. Even if Britney is unable to advocate for similar abuse victims right now, maybe she will be in the future. Her fame gave other advocates more power, at least I hope so.

    To speak of other cases, 77-year-old singer Cher, who sent her son Elija Blue to boarding school at the age of 7, is now trying to put him in a conservatorship. Britney fans tell me she was the artist who drew attention to the abuse Britney suffered.

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    • Sometimes abuse survivors need to just live. We should not expect her to advocate. If she does fantastic but this woman owes society nothing. She deserves to live and live free and on her own terms. She owes the world nothing. More power to Britney Spears.

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    • So, kind of you can see it in others but not in yourself. It is bad when others do it, but when one does it, it is ok, everyone else around me shows me I am right…

      Like inability to learn from one’s and other’s experience because there is always some psychophancy and perhaps denial that, ironically, proves me right.

      Like I can choose to believe whatever I want, there is always someone who agrees with me, regardless what I think I knew, felt or thought.

      That is not “madness” nor delusion, perhaps mere stubborness and the old dispair and intrinsic human thinking, in a world that tends, by market issues, to give you what you want if you can afford it.

      Like freedom and abuse: you can get away with it if you can pay for it… someone will try to provide if “we” let them.

      And perhaps the old racket that believing my intentions are good, somehow my actions have to be good, despite the complaints of the victim, because, what does he/she/x know?, addiction, mental illness leads to stripping human dignity.

      That previously human can’t decide for his, her or x-self, I need to step in because I know better.

      But, as the obvious: if one knew better, why does one get to take such dramatic actions?. I learned from my mistakes?.

      As you stated, if correct, one does not sometimes learn anything effectvely if one is not willing to listen to someone else’s opinion and knowledge, and respect their dignity.

      And as somewhat also obvious, if someone can not argue and agree with an adult son, it’s obvious perhaps the adult son or daughter might not be at fault here. Mere admission of past wrongdoings/omissions, and yes the dangers of the world, might provide impetus instead of restrain from doing further harm… or not…

      Acceptance and resignation are verbotten words for some people, too christian, too AA*, etc., but one can see them somehow there. Feeeling guilty without effective understanding, which I don’t know it’s the case is tough on everyone.

      I thank MIA for fighting against false acceptance, and perhaps false resignation.

      Some practitioners and proponents know better, even if expressed in callous ways. Because some folks might look for acceptance and resignation in OTHERS but not in oneselves’. After all they are still in the racket, despite all evidence in favor of it’s harm in the aggregate, aren’t they?.

      Complicated, but it looks this sort of field, to me, is not very very different from religion. The words, concepts and symbols can’t be argued with, and therefore all we could have is false belief that can’t be disproven nor proven. Only felt dogmatically like the love of God.

      At least because we were willing to admit, as in religion, that there must be some truth somewhere in it, when that CAN’T be the case, by just the mere words being irrational.

      Like a secular religion is all around us in a patina of “science” by deception of the so called expert opinion providers…

      Nothing new there, just the recent cases bring them to light, to rehash… no real progress as ideas and practice, just like as in religion: mere recapitulation (from “the Name of the Rose”).

      Thanks, I did not know that 🙂

      And ironically, happily but perhaps wrongly, didn’t change my mind 🙂

      * I think AAers peddled for abrupt withdrawal, as partially most practitioners did with reducing quarters of dosages. Now, widely know and evident as harmfull. Dogma that went and goes happening because one can choose to believe despite evidence, it’s a faith issue and as such impervious to reason, and sometimes strenghtened by it’s mere appearance. Like “the power of Christ compels you” making things worse, not better…

      And replacing alcohol for a more addictive and anxiety inducing drug like benzos might make things worse, not better. Hence the coercion and AA acceptance of a greater power being available to submit to: otherwise one might not do it, no matter how worse or bad it looks. Trial by fire.

      Yeah, like religion like permeates the whole mental illness field of, scientific knowledge?.

      Fighting revelation with revelation leads to religion wars, not enlightnment nor understanding, perhaps. And that very is visible to me here.

      We don’t take religious wars into the courtroom, the courtroom with all it’s flaws and possitive attributes is the best we have to settle, attribute scores and stop the fighting between individuals. But NOT of ideas outside the law.

      But we still take there the next best thing to religion: mental illness. That as in faiths, human and humanely, we believe somehow it must exist… show me the argument for it’s existence and objective presence in the real world, then I will know, not believe!.

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  13. I was locked in a psych ward for the last 5 months of my pregnancy with my son because I was homeless and because my family and my son’s father had abandoned me and because several months prior to getting pregnant I had made a suicide attempt and I had been stupid enough to be honest with someone about that. I was not suicidal. I was not out of touch with reality. I was homeless and abandoned. I was also verbally abused in the psych ward, called b**** by a psych nurse on a daily basis. I got no counseling. I was discharged to homelessness while my son went to foster care and I went to live with another patient from the hospital. It was a bad situation but I didn’t have other options. Over the next 35 years of being in and out of treatment at every level from inpatient to various forms of outpatient, it was never addressed. Yes, I think I am aware that this is about more than Britney Spears.

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  14. I think Britney’s case is very important when considering the negative impact psychiatric drugs and the authority mainstream psychiatry can end up having on an individual’s life.

    Mainstream psychiatry has continued to expand and is practiced by more than just psychiatrists as primary care and other healthcare providers screen for and prescribe mind-altering psychotropic drugs to treat mental disorders.

    In reality, whenever we seek help from professionals who utilize the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in their practice we are handing over a certain level of authority over our lives to them.

    We are allowing professionals to assess and categorize our moods, behaviors, thoughts, feelings, actions, habits and many other aspects of being a human, as that of a normal or an abnormal individual.

    The DSM is nothing more than an instruction manual to determine what category/categories of abnormalities we fall under, with most providers just labeling apparent symptoms while failing to test for actual underlying medical conditions or substances, that include many prescription drugs, known to cause the symptoms.

    Considering commonly diagnosed mental disorders like depression, bipolar and schizophrenia to be an actual brain disease or permanent illness a person suffers from is a common misconception in our society that leads to stigma, discrimination, misdiagnosis and in cases like Britney’s, extreme coercion and abuse.

    Our society faces a growing pro-psychiatry movement that supports concepts of parents practicing tough love and becoming the enabler so that, regardless of adverse reactions or freewill, their child will continue taking psychiatric medications to control their perceived mental disorder.

    Personally, I have had very negative experiences with psychiatry and psych drugs.

    Despite my own experiences and those of several of my immediate family members, I try to maintain respect for individuals who claim psychiatric treatment saved their life or the life of someone they love.

    I recognize that we are all in this together and understanding different perspectives is the first step in transforming the care we provide to those in need.

    The current trial of Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of the Oxford High School shooter, is an example of a case that will most likely increase the public perception that supports a pro-psychiatry agenda and beliefs that increasing mental health screening and psychiatric treatment will prevent tragedies from occurring.

    The ghost writers who worked on the Woman in Me were tasked with synthesizing a lot of information on Britney’s life.

    Of course, they needed to put together the information in a way that would protect her medical privacy, but they also seemed to have filtered her story in a way that shelters psychiatry and downplays the dangerous nature of psychiatric medications.

    According to her book, when the conservatorship took place Britney was taking a lot of Adderall and she describes herself as “hell on wheels”.

    Common signs of Adderall misuse are listed as: talkativeness, rapid weight loss, euphoria or heightened energy level, risky behaviors such as dangerous driving, financial difficulties due to excessive spending on Adderall or other drugs, mood swings and irritability, withdrawal from friends and family.

    Mixing Adderall and alcohol is a dangerous combination that can have serious side effects and increases the risk of adverse health consequences listed as: increased impulsivity, heightened risk-taking behaviors, decreased motor skills, agitation or aggression, higher chance of overdose, cardiovascular complications, memory lapse, organ damage.

    At that time, Britney’s book also describes how she almost drove her car off of a cliff with her boyfriend in her car. The book states the near-death experience made her feel alive. There is also a video clip on YouTube of Britney visibly shaken and dealing with paparazzi after an incident claiming she almost drove her car off of a cliff and shows her inviting a stranger in her car to help her drive home.

    The use of a lot of Adderall most likely put Britney in a position where her family members did not recognize the adverse reactions of Adderall and instead felt concerned that she was a danger to herself or others, including her young children and that she was in need of coercive psychiatric treatment.

    As compared to her book, Britney’s passionate 2021 testimony was much more raw, unfiltered and definitely revealed her apathy towards psychiatry and psychological testing as she even made strong allegations of psychiatric abuse.

    During her conservatorship, the court failed to protect Britney to the point that even her fundamental right to procreate was inhibited, perhaps because of her medical team’s perspective on her mental state, in a way that she might be considered a modern-day Carrie Buck. Carrie Buck was the plaintiff in the United States Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell, after having been ordered to undergo compulsory sterilization for purportedly being “feeble-minded”.

    Court filings from Britney’s lawyer Matthew Rosengart include an email from her former management team involved in setting up the conservatorship that stated: “We have run into a problem with [the] judge selection… the only judge who will be able to hear our case on Friday is the one drug [sic] who will not give Jamie the power to administer psychotropic drugs” to Britney Spears.

    This statement, along with other factors involved in her case such as the voicemail from the paralegal, makes me wonder if her father was seeking this power at the advice of her psychiatrist to practice tough love and how much of her life was actually sabotaged by the practice of coercive psychiatry.

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  15. I’d just like to point out that having people locked up for “madness” dates back to before Freud and modern psychiatry.
    Reading it in high school I didn’t realize what was going on in “Jane Eyre” when Rochester talks about his first wife who “had” to be locked up. When I reread many years later, I thought of course, anyone would have gone mad being locked up 24/7 in an attic.

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