The media loves to publish experts' diagnoses of Britney Spears, but assessing a patient's mental condition from gossip columns is irresponsible—and it's giving therapists a bad rep, concluded some professionals at an American Psychoanalytic Association summit. "Brains don't have a checkbox," one analyst told the AP, but some media outlets say such opinions are essential to coverage.
She's been called bipolar since her recent antics began, but the diagnostic frenzy really took off after TV's "Dr. Phil" McGraw declared her in need of psychological treatment. Yet it takes intensive, one-on-one sessions to diagnose a mental disorder correctly—particularly when substance abuse is involved. Still, one editor says labels take the heat off Brit by explaining her "nutty behavior."