Is Speculating About Britney Spears’s Mental Health Really Helping Her?

As it's reported that Britney is 'strongly opposed' to her dad, Jamie, resuming control of her conservatorship.

Britney Spears

by Bonnie McLaren |
Published on

Even if you’re not on Instagram there’s no way you could have missed seeing at least one or two posts by Britney Spears at some point. Whether it’s a clip of her dancing to camera, using the halls of her Los Angeles mansion as a catwalk to show off her favourite outfits or one of her more ‘spiritual’ posts, she is one of the most talked about people on the app - and she has 26 million followers.

Only, as detailed in a post that went viral, and was shared by the Diet Prada Instagram account last month, this is all despite the fact the pop star is not believed to have direct access to her own phone or social media accounts without supervision. The post delved into some of the details of the conservatorship which Britney has been under - by order of her father Jamie Spears - since 2008, when she was sectioned and hospitalised after a very public breakdown. These details include Britney’s lack of control over: her finances, her estate, medical decisions and medication, her career, as well as decreeing she is unable to drive a car, have children, get married, do live interviews or meet up with anyone without being accompanied. These terms have never been confirmed publicly by Jamie or Britney, however.

The hashtag #FreeBritney made an appearance on Twitter yesterday, as Spears has now reportedly asked a California court to end her father's role as conservator. In court papers, the popstar’s lawyer Samuel D Ingham III said Spears is 'strongly opposed' to her dad resuming control of her affairs - he stepped aside from his role last year due to health problems and after claims of a physical altercation between him and his 13-year-old grandson - instead seeking to switch control of the conservatorship to her manager Jodi Montgomery.

The #FreeBritney movement first started last year when Britney entered a psychiatric unit where she was reported to have stayed for several weeks. The hashtag has raised awareness of the fact Britney is still living under this conservatorship, which is normally used by families of dementia sufferers who need such care.

Social media is now filled with conspiracy theories about what Britney’s life is really like, what’s best for the 38-year-old mother of two and her mental health. The comments section on Britney’s regular posts to social media are filled with concerned fans asking if she needs help, or telling her to ‘wear yellow if she’s in danger’. The sentiment is admirable, people care deeply for the singer and want her to be happy. Yet there is a lot of unhelpful speculation about Britney’s mental health too. While the conservatorship rightly leaves many of us feeling extremely uncomfortable about the limitations put on Britney’s rights, we also have no idea what is really going on when it comes to her mental health, and anyone playing armchair psychiatrist is simply adding to the dangerous noise surrounding her already troubled life.

Rising to fame at just four-years-old on Broadway and then as a Disney star, Britney has lived in the public eye her entire life. Add to that the strains of relationships lived out and ended publicly in the media, endless world tours, and the kind of voracious attention from the paparazzi we know full well tests women, particularly, to the limits, there’s no question that Britney has suffered. Yet details of her mental health have never been discussed or confirmed - namely because they are a private medical issue.

As the end could be in sight for a ruling which has stopped her living her life with any independence for the last 12 years, maybe we should give her some dignity and privacy back by avoiding speculation about her mental health too.

READ MORE: Kylie Jenner And Cardi B Have Given Their Toddlers $1000 Bags And I Don’t Have A Problem With That

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us