Reality TV shows are rising in the television market, but they’re also making increasing numbers of people convinced that they’re actually stars of their own, unwanted reality shows. Psychiatrists are apparently treating more and more people for this strange illness.
The illness is called ‘Truman Show’ delusions. ‘Truman Show’ delusions is named after the 1998 movie starring Jim Carrey as a man who spends his life in a fictional world that’s being broadcasted on national TV.
Drs Joel and Ian Gold, who are researchers at New York University and McGill University in Montreal, respectively, recently published a series of case studies about people who suffer from ‘Truman Show’ delusions.
Their article in Cognitive Neuropsychiatry followed five patients who believed their lives were the center of a reality TV show.
According to BuzzFeed, one patient afflicted with the illness traveled to New York City, walked in a federal building, and demanded to ‘see the director.’ He said he went to the city because he believed the World Trade Center attacks had been set up for the reality TV show being filmed around him.
Here are some more cases of the delusions, via The Daily Mail:
In 2009, Anthony Waterlow killed his father and his sister in Australia because he believed they were broadcasting his life to the world as part of a game show to either murder him or convince him to kill himself.
During a psychological exam, he specially mentioned ‘The Truman Show,’ according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
And in some cases, violence is involved in the illness:
In 2007, psychiatrist William Johns III allegedly assaulted a 2-year-old and his mother in New York City after he left his home in Florida because he ‘had to get out of the Truman Show’ that he believed was filming him in his home town, according to ABC News.