Mischa Barton Involuntarily Hospitalized for Mental Breakdown

Star is “at the brink of disaster,” report says

  Actress Mischa Barton was rushed and admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center under 5150 statute
Former “The O.C” star Mischa Barton has been taken by police and ambulance to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she’s being held for involuntary psychiatric evaluation. According to several experts, as well as to several reports currently making the rounds in the media, the actress was in such a bad shape that involuntarily admitting her for the evaluation was the only thing that saved her life, Fox News says.

Dr. Keith Ablow, psychiatrist and contributor for Fox News, adds the star was literally “at the brink of disaster,” which means medical staff on the ambulance ruled she might have hurt or even killed herself in the next 24 hours after they were summoned to her apartment. She was thus admitted under section 5150 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code, a statute that allows authorized staff to admit someone against their will if they’re deemed a danger to themselves and others.

Under the 5150 statute, under which Britney Spears too was admitted during her infamous public breakdown of 2008, Barton can be held at the clinic for 72 hours for evaluation and tests. Things are not looking that bright for her, though, the Fox expert believes, no matter how much denying or playing down the situation her rep does. As a note, Dr. Ablow has not treated Mischa Barton and has never met her.

“It’s a 24-hour standard for these statutes. You have to ask yourself, ‘Would this person die in the next 24 hours?’ They have to be at the brink of complete disaster. Every state has an involuntary statute and it is designed for people to be hospitalized who don’t wish to be and need to be. It is not because she is famous, and it is not about keeping her safe from the paparazzi. These laws are about conveying someone to a psychiatric facility who can’t get there herself or who is unwilling to go.” Dr. Ablow explains.

As Barton’s publicist admits only to the hospitalization for mild medical issues, refusing to offer any other details on his client, friends of the actress also speak of her troubled life in recent months. She’s drinking too much, partying too much and not working at all, which has pushed her to depression and, consequently, more of the same. Unless someone intervenes – and fast – things could turn out really bad for the 23-year-old actress, the same friends are telling the media. 

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By    18 Jul 2009, 11:08 GMT