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Amanda Bynes is back, but where exactly has she been?

It's been five years since Amanda Bynes went quiet (apart from a one-off tweet here and there) but she's burst back onto the scene with a profile for Paper magazine's "Break the Internet".

She's spent years avoiding the spotlight but her recent interview with Paper has very firmly put her back into the spotlight. Her interview went into extreme detail about her breakdown and what she had spent the past couple of years doing. Before her breakdown, Bynes started her acting career and got an agent when she was just seven. After numerous commercials for big brands like Barbie, she was picked up by TV Network Nickelodeon. Three years into her time at Nickelodeon, they created a show centered around her called The Amanda Show. It was a huge hit and cemented her stardom; after three seasons though Bynes moved to films.

She shot for movies What a Girl Wants and She's the Man (where she claims she launched Channing Tatum's career), and in 2007 she did the huge remake of Hairspray. However, as she reveals in her interview, she started on drugs when she was 16, around the time she progressed into acting in films. "I started smoking marijuana when I was 16. Even though everyone thought I was the 'good girl,'" she says. This led to abusing harder drugs, and eventually, she moved onto Adderall. The problems she subsequently faced were from doing drugs and her poor body image to a point where after doing She's the Man she "went into a deep depression for four-six months because I didn't like how I looked when I was a boy."

While filming the movie Hall Pass she was on so much Adderall she said she couldn't "focus on my lines or memorize them for that matter." She proceeded to pull out of the movie because she "remembers seeing my image on the screen and literally tripping out and thinking my arm looked so fat because it was in the foreground or whatever and I remember rushing off set and thinking, Oh my god, I look so bad."

She decided to retire from acting after the screening of her last movie Easy A as "I literally couldn't stand my appearance in that movie and I didn't like my performance. I was absolutely convinced I needed to stop acting after seeing it." Acting was her lifelong pursuit and without it, she "just had no purpose in life." After announcing her retirement on Twitter, she "got really into my drug usage" and would occasionally Tweet her thoughts, which included hurtful messages to celebrities and family members.

Speaking of Twitter, she says she's "really ashamed and embarrassed with the things I said. I can't turn back time but if I could, I would." Yet, she's cleaned up her act, with being sober for nearly four years. She is now also a student at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and credits her parents with "really helping me get back on track."

After everything she's been through Bynes does want to return to acting and is excited about 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." She also offers advice to people who may be dealing with a similar experience: "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," and "be really, really careful because you could lose it all and ruin your entire life like I did."

What a comeback, but definitely one we welcome with open arms.
Featured image:  s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

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