Psychiatrists say the stricken singer needs urgent treatment for drugs and depression Britney Spears was last night released from the psychiatric hospital where she was being held after taking her youngest son hostage at her Hollywood home.
Although Spears has been held up to ridicule for her antics, psychiatrists called for her to receive immediate treatment for drug addiction and hereditary mental illness exacerbated by a troubled childhood. There were reports that the singer was suffering from bipolar disorder which triggers episodes of mania and serious depression.
Meanwhile, it emerged that her paternal grandmother committed suicide at the age of 31 after being depressed for several years. ''There is a long history of mental illness in the family,'' Drew Pinsky, an addiction expert, said in an interview with Us magazine.com. ''Britney is behaving very bizarrely, she has been admitted to a chemical dependency program, she has a stressful career, she''s divorced, she has childcare demands and she is in denial and is paranoid.''
Pinsky says her mother has relationship difficulties and a father with drug addiction and alcohol problems. ''When you add that up, you get the recipe for where she is today,'' he added.
But he said that her condition was not the result of being thrown into the limelight at a young age and experiencing unrivaled fame. It was not ''untreatable'' and Spears could make a full recovery if she sought immediate help.
However, failure to seek treatment could be disastrous, he added, as in the case of Anna Nicole Smith, the model and TV personality who died last year.
Spears'' phenomenal success in the charts covered up bitter family divisions throughout her childhood. Her father was a drug addict who first separated from her mother when she was 12. The couple finally divorced in 2002.
The singer continued to suffer as an adult. Last year her aunt, Sandra Bridges Covington, to whom she had been close, died of ovarian cancer. Soon after Spears went to a hairdressers in California and famously shaved her head with clippers in an act that shocked fans across the world.
There has also been a stressful custody battle with her former husband, Kevin Federline, over their two sons, Sean Preston, two and Jayden James, 15 months. Her ex-husband had been granted temporary custody while she had visiting rights.
She lost those rights as result of Thursday night''s stand-off when Spears refused to hand the boys back to Federline. Following a tense stand-off involving police cars, fire trucks, an ambulance and a helicopter she let police officers in. The star was later carried out strapped to a stretcher, and there were reports that she was under the influence of an unknown substance. However, it was later suggested that blood tests had proved negative.
Spears was taken to the Cedars-Sinai medical center in Los Angeles where she was kept in ''involuntary psychiatric hold'' under California''s Code 5150. She was meant to be there for 72 hours but left after being visited by a psychiatrist.
She was later pictured driving ''aimlessly'' around LA. Her mother, Lynne, was said to be distraught.