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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Britney Gets Some Help

posted by on January 31 at 9:28 AM


…and all it took was an ambulance, a dozen motorcycle officers, two police helicopters, and a meticulously planned “snatch and grab” intervention led by her formerly estranged mother Lynne.

The bred-to-be-insane pop star will reportedly remain involuntarily hospitalized on a “mental health evaluation hold,” which will last at least 72 hours and could extend to two weeks.

For those who care, the story’s here, here, here, and here. (And probably a zillion other places.)

Speaking of troubled American product: Starbucks has announced it will discontinue its line of breakfast sandwiches.

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For all the jokes that are sure to ensue, I just hope she gets the help she needs.

Posted by Fnarf | January 31, 2008 9:34 AM

Any concrete information about exactly what is going on with her? It is looking like she is suffering from some severe form of mental disorder beyond just ordinary nervous breakdown. For example, she is a little on the old side but still young enough to be having an onset of scitzophrenia. Any speculation based on more than just pulling out of one's ass?

Posted by mirror | January 31, 2008 9:35 AM

Or is she just doing too much speed?

Posted by mirror | January 31, 2008 9:36 AM

Finally Starbucks is dropping those nasty ass sandwhiches that were just disgusting.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | January 31, 2008 9:37 AM

Wow, today really is going to be the best day ever!

Posted by monkey | January 31, 2008 9:37 AM

2: Reports linked in the post specify that she's being treated for bipolar disorder.

1: Agreed.

Posted by David Schmader | January 31, 2008 9:37 AM

i liked those breakfast sandwiches but they didnt seem like they were really worth the 5 or so bucks they wanted. i can fry some bacon and toast an english muffin just fine thank you.

i always got the starbucks ones whenever i received holiday starbucks giftcards as company gifts.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 31, 2008 9:38 AM

"Leave Britney Spears alone"

Ben Franklin, 1772

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | January 31, 2008 9:41 AM

The saddest thing about all this: no more breakfast sandwiches.

Posted by Ziggity | January 31, 2008 9:43 AM

Is crime so low and everyone else so healthy that those police officers and medics couldn't have found other people to help?

Posted by Johnny | January 31, 2008 9:44 AM

Dang! I love those spinach Florentine sandwiches!

Posted by Dod | January 31, 2008 9:46 AM

I'm gonna miss those sandwiches. Oh, and Britney is probably self-medicating as most bipolar people do - so the speed thing could be correct (look at her face! Blech)

Posted by maxine | January 31, 2008 9:46 AM

I am imagining One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest with Britney as McMurphy

Posted by vooodooo84 | January 31, 2008 9:46 AM

Not that it matters, but I really liked the ham, egg and cheese sandwich. The perfect breakfast for people buying breakfast on a corporate card. Otherwise, they were too expensive. One sandwich, a venti vanilla latte (extra shot) and a banana was $10 in Chicago. A really good, expensive breakfast.

Posted by Lou | January 31, 2008 9:48 AM

Oh, and B has the crazy eye going on in that pic. One looking at the camera, one looking up and to the left. Up and to the left. Up and to the left.

Posted by Lou | January 31, 2008 9:50 AM


Now I have NO REASON to visit my local Starbucks store. Those breakfast sandwiches really got me up in the morning. Now what? Yogurt? Hrmph…

Hey SBUX readers, can we fix this? I’m willing to start a grass roots and media campaign.

Posted by Chris | January 31, 2008 9:52 AM

I'm going to guess that diagnosing mental illness from tv and tabloid news reports isn't sanctioned by the American Psychiatric Association. Even if "Doctor" Phil does it. I'm also going to guess that Britney's docs are bound by the same patient confidentiality rules as everyone else. So, barring a press release from her so-called mother (of which I expect fifty of a day or so) nobody knows and it's nobody's business.

Posted by Fnarf | January 31, 2008 9:55 AM

if she is bipolar, I officially feel bad for her for the first time ever

Posted by aw man | January 31, 2008 9:57 AM

I'm wondering why "for those who care" doesn't preface practically all Slog posts...?

Posted by come again? | January 31, 2008 10:15 AM

I love those sandwiches, i always get them before going skiing. Now what am I suppose to do!?

Posted by blip | January 31, 2008 10:16 AM

It would be a particular betrayal if Britney has been showing symptoms for a long time -- dutifully ignored and covered up by her mother and handlers.

Posted by keshmeshi | January 31, 2008 10:19 AM

Gee, Mr Schmader was it intentional for you to post this bi-polar report on well-known, rumoured to be bi-polar sufferer Britney Spears AND those soon to be mourned Starbucks Breakfast Sandwiches?

(and yeah, the florentine one was good, but like everything else at Starbucks, ridiculously expensive)

Britney is a joke, but a sad joke, and hopefully Mama Spears will get her whisked off to Louisiana. The locals there won't be putting up with the ridiculous crap dished out by the 'razzis.

Posted by michael strangeways | January 31, 2008 10:21 AM

How the hell else was I supposed to eat spinach for breakfast? The spinach Florentine sandwiches are what late-waking dreams are made of in our household.

And I do honestly hope Britney uses the help to get her shit together and her kids back and her life in gear.

Posted by Jessica | January 31, 2008 10:23 AM

Breakfast sandwiches--totally sucks that they're getting rid of them. I guess people (including baristas) were complaining about the smell overwhelming the coffee, so our grassroots campaign should tell Howie to figure out some way to fix the smell issues without depriving us of our awesome morning egg fix.

Totally the best thing at the 'bucks.

The wraps are going too, I think...

Posted by leek | January 31, 2008 10:24 AM

21: For what it's worth, it seems Britney's inherently awful mom has been trying to get Britney help for a while--according to lore, it's what earned her "estranged" status.

Which brings up another tragic twist of the Britney saga: Because she's been working her ass off as an internationally beloved erotic dancer since she was 17, Britney has the means to freeze out anyone who might tell her something she doesn't want to hear.

God what a mess.

Posted by David Schmader | January 31, 2008 10:25 AM

Plus, the sammiches were like 2.95, not five bucks... which isn't really that bad compared to prices anywhere for a regular sandwich.

Posted by leek | January 31, 2008 10:27 AM

I heard somewhere she gets $700,000 a month.

About the sandwiches: jeez, if you need fast food so bad, why don't you just break down and have an Egg McMuffin? Ooh, but McDonalds is all evil and corporate and shit, I forgot.

Posted by Fnarf | January 31, 2008 10:43 AM

This is what happens when white trash makes too much money.

Posted by MGD | January 31, 2008 10:48 AM

I liked those nasty sandwiches, it's the rest of their case they need to work on. Everything else is all beige and they rarely rotate treats. Tully's coffee blows but they are way ahead on the snack train. They've got healthy options, little bites, big bites, fresh colorful local pastries, etc...

Posted by defman23 | January 31, 2008 10:49 AM

Because the 'bucks is closer than McD's, and they have both veggie and reduced-fat versions of the sandwich. Dammit.

Posted by leek | January 31, 2008 10:52 AM

Um, just curious, but what's the legal ramifications of this? Involuntary commitment isn't something that can be done just willy-nilly, is it?

Brit may be messed up on a comparable level to say, Courtney Love on one of her better days, but does that give someone, even an "estranged" parent of an adult child legal recourse to have them kidnapped and institutionalized against their will? Particularly, if they don't represent some sort of imminent threat either to themselves or others? Or, would that be the argument used to rationalize the "intervention"?

And seriously, what justification is there for involving LAPD, especially at the level indicated? Did Brit gun down a bunch of people in a 7-Eleven or something?

And those sandwiches sucked - just like everything else at $tarBuck$...

Posted by COMTE | January 31, 2008 10:54 AM

please, stop making horrible remarks about my special lady.


Posted by josh bomb | January 31, 2008 11:16 AM

@14- Im pretty sure it was the venti extra this and extra that that made your breakfast come to $10 because the drink alone has to be over $5. The sandwich is 2.95.

I am saddened about the breakfast sandwich, it's more filling and actually better for you than getting them at mcdonalds or any other fast food joint. I will not miss the bacon sandwich though, the bacon's not even crispy.

Posted by a.d. | January 31, 2008 11:28 AM

@31, maybe commitment laws in CA are different but you can't just kidnap and hospitalize, never mind force medications on someone here in WA. My wife spent years evaluating mentally ill people in ERs to see if they qualified for involuntary commitment and they really do have to meet a pretty strict "danger to themselves or others" criteria. If the CMHP (county mental health professionals) agree or a judge can be convinced, that can force a commitment...

Posted by sad | January 31, 2008 11:29 AM

Please leave Brittney alone.

It's just sad to keep doing this when you know it's making it worse.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 31, 2008 11:32 AM

Hardly any restaurants opened that early where I live, except for the starbucks, and I really enjoyed the Spinach Florentine sandwich, which was only $2.95.
It was great if you had to be an early riser for work.

Damn you Schultz!!!!!

Posted by Damn you Schultz!!!! | January 31, 2008 11:38 AM

mainly, her ass needs to dry out - no more booze, speed, perscription meds.

bi-polar is a real easy diagnosis. too easy.

please, britney, find buddha & not jesus. jesus won't help you.

Posted by max solomon | January 31, 2008 11:39 AM

this thread is making ME, bi-polar...

i need a percocet and spinach starbucks breakfast sammich...

Posted by michael strangeways | January 31, 2008 11:57 AM


Venti nonfat extra shot Vanilla latte was almost $5

Sandwich was $3

Banana was $1

Add tax, and you've got a $10 breakfast.

Posted by Lou | January 31, 2008 12:02 PM

#34, it sounds like "pretty strict... criteria" means someone or other has to decide the person is crazy, and then get that person to the hospital, willingly or no, and then a single CMHP has to agree that this person (who will most certainly be distraught if there against their will) is in fact crazy.

And just think-- what constitutes "erring on the side of caution," in evaluating "danger to self or others?"

Things are undoubtedly better than they were in Francis Farmer's day, but it honestly doesn't seem all that hard to get someone involuntarily committed, particularly if you whisk them off to the hospital drunk or in the midst of a drug trip or an emotional trauma, or all of the above.

Posted by robotslave | January 31, 2008 12:03 PM

It's not hard at all to get an involuntary commitment if a doc signs off on it.

Posted by Fnarf | January 31, 2008 12:14 PM

#41: in WA, a doctor can't involuntarily commit a person, a County Designated Mental Health Professional is the one who has to sign off. CDMHPs might be inclined to agree with doctors, though.

Also, it looks like under WA law, the criteria are lower than "imminent danger," as you can thrown in the loony bin for property damage or being a strangely defined "gravely disabled," too:

Posted by robotslave | January 31, 2008 12:31 PM

OK, a CDMHP. If there's family asking for it, they're going to get it, period.

I was involuntarily committed once, a thousand and one years ago. Long story. I don't think I'll tell it here. I'll just say that it was a good thing.

Posted by Fnarf | January 31, 2008 12:45 PM

I was involuntarily committed once, a thousand and one years ago. Long story. I don't think I'll tell it here. I'll just say that it was a good thing.

Okay, I am officially excited for next Thursday's Slog Happy Hour, where I plan to buy Fnarf as many drinks as it takes to hear the full story...

Posted by David Schmader | January 31, 2008 12:50 PM

@20 Try snowboarding.

Posted by PdxRitchie | January 31, 2008 1:28 PM

David, that bar doesn't have enough liquor in it. But you're welcome to try!

Posted by Fnarf | January 31, 2008 1:36 PM

#31 and sad at #34. It is not that hard to pull someone off the street and lock them up. If she is bipolar, a classic scenario would be multiple days of not eating and sleeping with the increasingly disconnected from reality thinking process.

In WA, the not eating and sleeping would be enough to bring her in for evaluation at a qualified ER. If she refused treatment, or based on her previous stay they believed she would not in goof faith accept treatment, the county could move to have her held for 14 day involuntary treatment. A judge at a hearing could then determine she was a danger to herself based on the not eating or sleeping and the diagnosed mental disorder, and then order her held for 14 day involutary treatment in a locked facility. The previous hospitalization would lend weight to the argument that she would be a danger to herself without treatment. If it's full on delusional manic bipolar, this would not be an unlikely scenario.

However, Britney is likely to clear under meds by the 72 hour hearing and with her $$$ resources convince the authorities that she can and will accept treatment voluntarily in an unlocked setting.

Of course we may never really know what happens because all of these processes are legally confidential.

Posted by mirror | January 31, 2008 1:43 PM

Fnarf is such a tease.

I'll bring some PCP...

Posted by David Schmader | January 31, 2008 1:46 PM

Oh, jesus god, no PCP. Not a fun time for poor old Fnarf.

Posted by Fnarf | January 31, 2008 1:48 PM

I, for one, would like to demand our lawmakers to wave all HIPAA regulations when we deal with celebrities. The public has a right to know any an all ailments suffered by our celebrity gods. Why should they have any expectation of privacy?

Seriously though, she really should see Tom Cruise before those psychologist quacks make her worse. "Bi-Polar" disorder is really just body thetans trying to escape. She just needs a quick audit of the mind, a couple books, and she'll be back on track in no time.

Posted by crk on bellevue ave | January 31, 2008 2:20 PM

It may seem like it is easy to get someone put in lock up, but it isn't all that easy. If you are at all lucid, like lucid in between psychotic moments, you probably won't get the help you need. And, it is much easier to get put on a 72-hour hold than a 14 day hold I think. I've had a lot of 72-hour holds put on me, but making the 14 day hold stick is a little harder. Well, I don't know if anyone is still reading these comments anyway. As for all of the police and stuff, I would say that she warrants that because of her celeb status. The police tend to do things in groups anyway. There have been times when I was surrounded by at least six police officers and some EMTs and I'm not even a celeb, so for her to have a whole bunch more seems justified.

Posted by Kristin Bell | February 2, 2008 5:52 AM

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