Doc, I Think I'm on Reality TV

Psychiatrists see Truman Show delusion so often it's got its own syndrome
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2008 12:17 PM CDT

(Newser) – In The Truman Show, Jim Carrey's life was nothing more than a reality TV program, with actors playing his friends and family and millions of viewers watching his every move. Those themes of surveillance and artificiality pervade the lives of a growing number of psychiatric patients—people who think they are always on camera, surrounded by performers, the New York Times reports.

Some practitioners think so-called Truman Syndrome represents a bona fide psychiatric phenomenon—that TV and the Internet are literally driving people crazy. Others disagree; for them, psychosis is psychosis, and the fear of surveillance is a natural successor to paranoia about the Nazis or the KGB. As for those who suffer from Truman Syndrome, one doctor said, "Most likely these people would be delusional anyway."