The very public (and usually very self-induced) misfortunes of celebrities make it easy for us to play armchair psychologist. Although we don't actually know any of these people, we're familiar enough with their lives to pull out our mental DSM-IV's and "diagnose" them with whichever mental health issue we think they have. This is (obviously) presumptuous (at best) and dangerous (at worse), but in keeping with our obsession with celebrities and celebrity culture, we make judgments on the people who've volunteered to be in our fishbowl.

Yet, despite the aforementioned wrongness of making an uneducated diagnosis, the more you learn about Terrell Owens --- his narcissism, his unstable personality, his inability to keep friends, his strange "kinda, sorta" suicide attempt a few years ago, and now, the fact that he's lost most of the 80 million dollars he made during his football career --- you can't help but wonder if T.O. is suffering from some type of serious mental illness.

Now, considering our economic climate, there isn't going to be much sympathy for a person who managed to blow 10 lifetimes worth of money in ten years. Plus, his continual hubris has made him an easy person to ridicule. But, would our perception of him change if it was ever made public that he's in fact bipolar or clinically depressed or even schizophrenic?

Read it at Los Angeles Times.