Dear Olive (Mental Health Staff-flake,)
We don't have enough evidence to conclude anything really about Amanda, and yet the fact she chucked the business school to become an artist seems to be enough to make people assume she needs to be "in state care." We don't know if her note indicates a real, self-destructive mania, or whether she was just doing some steam-of-consciousness word play. See, I'm a creative professional in an art field, and it pisses me off no end that art equals crazy here. Yes, she swung from one extreme to another, but I am still not convinced. As somebody who is a successful creative, there is a business end to what artists do if we want to make a living.
In addition to being "fragile" as you note, young people try out different identities, and some of those identities are stupid and undignified in the process. I smoked pot and wore a suede fringe vest and ghastly Jesus sandals and dated some ridiculous socialist who read Robert Bly. The soul shudders to remember these things. But maybe Amanda really wants to be an artist instead of a cubicle rat. WHOA SHE MUST BE NUTSO.
And you know what? I actually blame your profession somewhat for stigmatizing such a choice. Amanda might have been acting weird and running between extremes, but she didn't sound dangerous to herself or anybody else. So she wasn't going to grow up to be an accountant right away like mummy and daddy wanted and therefore she needs to be controlled, like stat, to bring her back in line? Will we even know who she is when "state care" is done with her? Maybe she'll emerge from this whole thing ok, knowing what she wants to do. Maybe medicine can and will help. But to me the whole thing seems like an over-reaction.