Sunday History Channel: When Diagnosing Celebrities in the Media Was Unethical


Mind Hacks discusses the first historical case of a celebrity (presidential candidate Barry Goldwater in 1964) being “diagnosed” in the media by psychiatrists and psychologists, and how it led to a court case and professional associations ethically frowning on the practice of remote diagnosing.

There is also a link to an open access article exploring the topic in more depth in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.

The celebrity analysis that killed celebrity analysis (Mind Hacks, December 18, 2014)


  1. Yes, my psychiatrist finally declared my entire life a “credible fictional story” after I’d been handed my medical records with all his delusions written into them, and confronted him. I had stopped trying to talk to him years prior, since he wasn’t properly responding to my concerns – it took him a remarkably long time to wean me off his toxic drugs. But I hadn’t realized how completely delusional he was, until after I’d read his records.

    When you have an entire industry of “mindless” people, who ignore their patients concerns and “don’t believe” what they say, well, obviously they are going to be misdiagnosing everyone, close or at a distance. I’ve never before, or after, met people dumb enough to believe they can judge a person, without knowing the first thing about them.

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