Like Kim Kardashian before her, Amanda Bynes is here to break the Internet.
Unlike Kim Kardashian before her, however, Amanda Bynes is not posing on the cover of Paper with a champagne glass balancing on her rear end.
Still, the actress is featured on the latest cover of Paper, opening way up for the first time about her very public meltdown that started in 2014 and which has basically continued to this day.
Or has it?!?
Scroll down to read what Bynes has to say about what prompted this breakdown and why she thinks she's now on a path to full recovery...
Looking Normal, Right?
Based on this new photo of the actress, one would never know she had gone through so much over the past four years or so. She is here to set the record straight.
When Did We Last See Her in Public?
Back in February of 2018, as she dined out with friends and wrote in the caption of the Instagram photo here that she was having "Dinner with friends." Not very revealing, we know.
Uhhh... and Prior to That?
Bynes accused her father of sexual abuse and was placed in a 5150 psychicatric hold
, which means people around her thought she was a danger.
So... Things Were Rough There for Awhile?
Yes, very rough. It was widely believed that Bynes suffered from bipolar disorder.
How Did This All Start?
In the 2006 film She's the Man, Bynes dressed in drag. "When the movie came out and I saw it, I went into a deep depression for 4-6 months because I didn't like how I looked when I was a boy. I've never told anyone that," she tells Paper, explaining that seeing herself with short hair and sideburns was "a super strange and out-of-body experience. It just really put me into a funk."
Fast Forward a Year...
... and Bynes was cast in Hairspray in 2007. She read somewhere that Adderall was the "new skinny pill." So Bynes says she visited a psychiatrist and faked the symptoms of ADD in order to get a prescription
The Pill Popping Continued
We're now in 2010 and Bynes is doing the movie Hall Pass and: "I remember being in the trailer and I used to chew the Adderall tablets because I thought they made me [higher that way]. I remember chewing on a bunch of them and literally being scatterbrained and not being able to focus on my lines. Or memorize them, for that matter."
Things Got Much Worse from There
While "literally tripping out," Bynes says she caught a glimpse of herself on the monitor and thought her arm "looked so fat." Displeased with her appearance, Bynes rushed off set... never to return.
It Was Then on to Easy A
After seeing Easy-A, the comedy Bynes starred in opposite Emma Stone in 2010, the actress was appalled by herself — so much so, she was convinced she “needed to stop acting” right away: “I was high on marijuana when I saw that but for some reason it really started to affect me. I don’t know if it was a drug-induced psychosis or what, but it affected my brain in a different way than it affects other people. It absolutely changed my perception of things.”
Bynes said she then retired, started staying home all the time and ended up in a “really dark, sad world."
She Has a Few Regrets
For example, Bynes announced her retirement at the age of 24 on Twitter and says about it now: "If I was going to retire [the right way], I should've done it in a press statement—but I did it on Twitter. Real classy!" Admitting she was "high" and made a "foolish" mistake, Bynes adds: "I was young and stupid."
After she stopped acting, Bynes felt she had "no purpose in life" and lost her way: "I had a lot of time on my hands and I would 'wake and bake' and literally be stoned all day long." She started "hanging out with a seedier crowd" and isolated herself from loved ones. "I got really into my drug usage."
No Alcohol, Bynes Says
She never liked the taste, but she did take ecstasy and also tried cocaine three times.
As for Those Tweets?
Like the nonsense about hooking up with Drake and a million other things? “I’m really ashamed and embarrassed with the things I said. I can’t turn back time but if I could, I would. It makes me feel so horrible and sick to my stomach and sad. Everything I worked my whole life to achieve, I kind of ruined it all through Twitter. It’s definitely not Twitter’s fault — it’s my own fault."
It Was All the Drugs
Bynes now says she never had a mental illness. "It definitely isn't fun when people diagnose you with what they think you are. That was always really bothersome to me, " she tells Paper, while also admitting her behavior was "so strange" that she understands why people wanted to make sense of it. "If you deny anything and tell them what it actually is, they don't believe you. Truly, for me, [my behavior] was drug-induced, and whenever I got off of [drugs], I was always back to normal."
She's Been Sober for Four Years
And she thanks her parents for helping her get there, adding: "My advice to anyone who is struggling with substance abuse would be to be really careful because drugs can really take a hold of your life. Everybody is different, obviously, but for me, the mixture of marijuana and whatever other drugs and sometimes drinking really messed up my brain. It really made me a completely different person."
She Has More to Say:
"I actually am a nice person. I would never feel, say or do any of the things that I did and said to the people I hurt on Twitter. There are gateway drugs—and thankfully I never did heroin or meth or anything like that—but certain things that you think are harmless, they may actually affect you in a more harmful way. Be really, really careful because you could lose it all and ruin your entire life like I did."
She is enrolled in L.A.'s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and would love to act again: "What’s there to lose? I have no fear of the future. I’ve been through the worst and came out the other end and survived it so I just feel like it’s only up from here."