Only Britney Spears could steal headlines from the presidential elections. Last night while Iowans were casting their vote, Britney Spears was admitted to Cedars Sinai Medical Center, reportedly under the influence of an “unknown substance.”
Police were called to Spears’ home as part of a court order to return her two children to the custody of their father, Kevin Federline. Police reports called this event a “family custodial dispute.” Several emergency vehicles were called to her home, including police cars, an ambulance, and even a fire truck. The ordeal ended three hours later when Spears was removed from her home on a stretcher.
Photos were taken of Spears sitting on a gurney, smiling from the ambulance. The ambulance may have been standard procedure when admitting someone into the hospital. Spears was reportedly admitted to undergo tests as part of a mental evaluation.
Perhaps most troubling is that this event coincided with Ms. Spears’ refusal to obey a court order that required her to relinquish custody of her young sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James.
Spears was required to attend parent coaching following a judge’s admonition that the singer is a “frequent and habitual drug user.” Both parents were required to avoid alcohol within 12 hours of a visitation with their children. During these visits, Britney was regularly supervised by a court-ordered social worker.
Despite this, she was often seen driving recklessly with the parent coach sitting in the back seat of her car. Spears has been regularly photographed at nightclubs, obviously intoxicated–not the behavior of a woman concerned about or perhaps even aware of the danger of losing her children.
Initially, Spears had 50/50 custody of her children, but her recent behavior changed this ruling. Things got worse when Spears missed a court ordered appearance two weeks ago and then again last night, resulting in the judge’s order to return the children to their father. Federline now has full custody of the couples’ children.
Bad behavior something more serious?
It’s easy to attack Britney Spears, and that’s what many of the tabloid papers are making millions doing. While some claim her behavior is a desperate bid for attention, it may be indicative of a more serious problem.
Despite the imminent danger of losing her children, Spears’ erratic behavior has increased. Some examples of this:
- When Britney Spears lost full custody of her sons on October 3, later that afternoon, she was photographed shopping for lingerie in Los Angeles. She went “clubbing” later that night.
- At a custody-related court hearing, a judge told Spears that a refusal to submit to a drug test would be considered a failed test. She missed the last two appointments.
- In recent weeks, Spears angrily confronted a mob of paparazzi during an evening drive. Following the incident, she jumped into the car of one of the photographers, leaving her assistant to drive Spears’ car.
- Minutes later, Spears was seen checking into a hotel with the same photographer, who stayed with her for four hours. She reportedly spent last weekend at a beachside hotel with this same man—by all accounts, a relative stranger.
In particular, Spears’ blatant refusal to follow court orders despite the danger of losing her children, is difficult to comprehend. But her behavior could be taken from a checklist for bipolar disorder (sometimes referred to as manic depression), a serious mental illness. Some of the symptoms include recklessness, aggressive or impulsive behavior, increased sexual impulses, and poor judgment. Suicide occurs in 10% of people with this disorder.
It’s easy to judge Britney, especially because she lives so much of her life under such scrutiny. But perhaps this recent episode, difficult as it may seem, could result in getting Britney Spears the help she may desperately need.