Joaquin Phoenix not “mentally ill”

By Alexandra Heilbron on March 2, 2009 | 15 Comments

Joaquin PhoenixAfter Joaquin Phoenix made a bizarre appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman, speculation arose that the actor may be suffering from a mental illness. A Chicago-based psychiatrist, who has not treated the star, described Phoenix’s appearnce on the show as “socially inappropriate.” Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Paul Dobransky suggested: “There is something wrong. And it’s beyond drug abuse. I was pretty offended by that [Ben Stiller] skit at the Oscars. It struck me as potentially beating down on the mentally ill.” However, Phoenix’s publicist, Susan Patricola, denies that the star is mentally ill, telling E! News: “How absolutely inappropriate for a doctor who has no personal interaction or relationship with someone to diagnose them. And to do so in a public forum.”

Comments & Discussion

  1. Nancy • March 2, 2009 @ 11:25 AM

    “Socially inappropriate”; “There is something wrong. And it’s beyond drug abuse”….is not a diagnosis, it’s a speculation. And personally, I thought the Ben Stiller skit was HILARIOUS!!

  2. Joshua • March 2, 2009 @ 12:00 PM

    Yeah this, “Doctor” hasn’t even met the frigin guy, what a jerkoff.

  3. pete • March 2, 2009 @ 1:07 PM

    So just to be clear Nancy, are you saying it is okay that this doctor said this because he was speculating rather than diagnosing?

  4. tributegirl • March 2, 2009 @ 1:34 PM

    There’s nothing wrong with him, it’s all just part of the plan!
    Just kidding, but really I think he’s just trying to get himself in the spotlight again.

  5. Nancy • March 2, 2009 @ 1:50 PM

    In my opinion pete, I believe it is “okay” that this psychiatrist gave his opinion (not a diagnosis) on Joaquin Phoenix’ situation. We are all on a public forum giving our opinions so, just because he’s a psychiatrist he should lose that right? The article above clearly states that this psychiatrist has not treated Mr. Phoenix.

  6. pete • March 2, 2009 @ 3:15 PM

    I disagree with Nancy. I think it is highly irresponsible and unprofessional for a medical practitioner to give his “opinion” on a specific case in public. The fact that he is identifying himself as a psychiatrist gives his “opinion” more weight in the public’s eye, whether warranted or not. Calling his comments “speculation” and not a “diagnosis” is using words to muddle the matter. If an ordinary person calls someone “crazy” it is clearly not a medical diagnosis. If a licenced psychiatrist says it, it will be perceived as a medical condition, no matter how he tries to couch it.

  7. mandee • March 2, 2009 @ 3:25 PM

    nancy, what did you do to all these people? lol. everytime you say ANYTHING theres always SOMEONE who has to open their big mouth. whats the deal with that?

  8. Nancy • March 2, 2009 @ 3:36 PM

    I guess I’m just a very likeable person… 😛

    (aka, sh!t magnet)

  9. mandee • March 2, 2009 @ 3:41 PM

    iunno man, im leaning towards the “likeable person” lol. 🙂

  10. tributegirl • March 2, 2009 @ 6:32 PM

    Actually, I have no problem with any of the things Dobransky said, if you read what he said clearly, it is all very benign. I think Patricola went overboard with her comment, Dobransky did not “diagnose” him at all. Re-read what Dobransky said, there is actually nothing appropriate about it at all.
    Nancy, I think you’re a likeable sh!t magnet!
    Tribute, interesting changes. I wonder what the benefit is?

  11. r0ckst4r • March 2, 2009 @ 10:29 PM

    I think Joaquin’s publicist needs to take a look at her client. Something’s up, whether it’s the worst joke ever or a serious mental illness. And I agree with Nancy. Just because this guy is a doctor doesn’t mean he should lose his right to express his opinion on the situation. People should just be aware that it’s purely speculation and not an accurate diagnosis.

  12. polvaler • March 2, 2009 @ 11:12 PM

    Surely, it is unprofessional, inappropriate and even strange for a doctor psychiatrist who has NOT seen, NOT consulted, and NOT professionally assessed a person, to make comments about that person… Secondly, even asked, a doctor ought to keep a decent confidentiality about a patient… However, Joaquin Phoenix has NOT been the patient of doctor Dobransky, as well as of any other doctor psychiatrist, and even more, Joaquin Phoenix has NOT been under any medication, but only truly acting in such manner as his own professionalism has been commanding him, and good to be kept in mind that Joaquin Phoenix was born with the genuine arty talent, which is still living in him, and this arty talent is going to move him on in front of many other movie stars, in spite of any other destructive comments… And, by the way, even David Letterman has always said: “Even a bad publicity, it is still a publicity!”
    Ask yourself: “Who other movie star did have such an original acting, and even being remaining in the public eye for weeks and weeks after that acting?” And, by the way, how ought to be understood the subtle and hilarious humor of David Letterman who is the King of such humor, while this kind of humor may easily swing between the extremities? This is the reason for which David Letterman is the genius and the master of the domain… He has always said the truth in such manner that the public has always laughed even when facing a drama… This is the arty talent, to transform the tragedy in comedy… While surrounded by so many daily disastrous aspects and situations, we desperately need to release the anxiety and depression, and when at the Oscar, Ben Stiller acted as Joaquin Phoenix, we, all of us, did laugh a lot,… and… that laughter was the recognition of the authentic acting of Joaquin Phoenix… Of course, maybe it is good to know the opinion of an art critic too,… and not at all of an uncalled and unvisited doctor…

  13. mandee • March 3, 2009 @ 12:09 AM

    i really dont see the big deal and why any of you are making it into such a terrible thing. no one says anything when other doctors say actresses are too underweight, which may only be THEIR opinion, no one says anything when shrinks say oh i think this serial killer thought this because of this, even when they arent treating that specific serial killer. i think if youre soo quick to defend joaquin, then you should also agree that no one should EVER say anything about anyone else regardless of the situation, bottom line. because who cares if hes a shrink? do you think if someone less professional, like say david letterman called him mentally ill that you would take such offense or make it into such a heart breaking, uncalled for problem?? like come on, who cares? even if he is mentally ill, as long as his acting is still great it doesnt matter.

  14. polvaler • March 3, 2009 @ 12:32 AM

    Yes, Mandee!… THIS is the Point!… The true talent cannot be defamed!…

  15. mandee • March 3, 2009 @ 4:00 AM

    T.G. youve got mail lol

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