Why do people have such ‘enquiring minds’ about the rich and famous? The press and the general public seem to have an insatiable need to know virtually every detail about the lives of our cultural celebrities. It’s even worse when that curiosity extends to their mental status.

Take Kanye West for example. With a well-deserved reputation for being provocative, West is capable of saying and doing things that clearly bring heightened attention in the press on him as well as his sanity. Or Amanda Bynes, a young Nickelodeon actress who one day embarked on a rapidly destructive downward spiral, acting in ways that bewildered the world and fueled a widespread belief that she had completely taken leave of her faculties.

As you might imagine, despite the guilty pleasure we may get from these deep dives into celebrity lives, diagnosing a person’s mental health from a distance can be damaging and dangerous, not just to the notables, but also to everyday people – folks like you and me.

How so, you say? There is an enlightening article recently published in the online news journal Insider. Reporter Lindsey Dodgson examines the distant diagnosis phenomenon and suggests what may be lying beneath the troubling trend.

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