Despite its widespread use, prognosis has risks, especially at the level of the individual. Individuals who have an illness are often dissuaded from pursuing personal goals that may exceed perceived limitations caused by the illness. Seeking educational, vocational, or independent-living goals beyond one’s expected capabilities may lead to failure and relapse. Of further concern, lay people may exacerbate the troubling effects of prognosis by making judgments that rob others of their rightful opportunities. For example, a graduate student of mine with near-perfect transcripts and a nicely developing list of journal publications—a person who also has schizophrenia—was told by a clinical psychology professor that “someone like you could never get through a Ph.D. program” and that “you should save yourself the bother of what inevitably will be failed educational pursuit.” Some educational researchers call this pursuit of ostensibly unattainable goals “overachievement”; meeting high standards in some situations is “illegitimate” because the person does not meet a priori expectations for success. The problem of prognosis also extends to theories of public violence, which are especially virulent after heinous crimes such as the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Pundits take to airwaves asserting that violent acts such as these are to be expected and require planned interdiction of people with mental illness. Prognosis in these various forms deprives people of hope, which is one of the more pernicious legacies of recent psychiatry: the demoralization that comes with diagnoses and implicit messages that derail aspirations.