Remote Diagnosis Disorder

I’ve just found this funny post on ‘Remote Diagnosis Disorder’, satirising the tendency for people to diagnose each other with mental disorders on the basis of nothing but whims and prejudice.

People afflicted with this personality disorder suffer from an uncontrollable urge to diagnose individuals as suffering from one or more psychological disorders, specifically individuals which the RDD sufferer has had little or no direct personal interaction with. RDD sufferers often diagnose specific mental illnesses and may go so far as to offer treatment suggestions.

Rather than conducting a formal psychological exam, including a structured face-to-face or verbal evaluation, RDD sufferers are inclined to make snap diagnoses based on data such a very brief personal interaction, the opinions of third parties, asynchronous and/or indirect interaction (such as email), and the imaginary neuro-associations they’ve created for the people they diagnose.

It’s particularly pertinent with the current tendency for media to obsess over the mental health of celebrities often digging up media commentators to give their arm chair ‘diagnoses’.

For example, the media provisionally diagnosed Britney with schizophrenia, histrionic personality disorder, bipolar disorder, post-partum depression, multiple personality disorder, drug addiction and post-partum psychosis, to name only a few that turned up in a five-minute web search.

You may be interested to know that most associations for mental health professionals ban the discussion of specific people in the public eye, because ignorant speculation from afar can be harmful, and if you’ve actually worked with the person you’re bound by medical confidentiality rules.

Link to Steve Pavlina on ‘Remote Diagnosis Disorder’.

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