FROM THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD WEDS 26TH NOVEMBER 2008
I could not find this online so have reproduced here.
It highlighted to me, how as our world changes, and different concepts are presented to us. How they soon start providing further metaphors for our voices, and visions to illustrate the message of our self that we havent paid attention to.
“NEW YORK- One man went to a US Government building, asking to be released from the reality show je was sure was being made of his life.
Another was convinced that his every move was being secretly filmed for a TV Contest. A third believed everything-the news, his psychiatrists, the drugs they prescribed him was part of a stage set world with him as the involuntary star, like the 1998 movie The Truman Show.
Researchers have begun documenting what they call the “Truman Syndrome.” , a delusion afflicting people who are convinced that their lives are secretly playing out a reality TV Show. Scientists say that the disorder shows the influence pop culture can have on mental conditions.
The question is really :is this just a new twist on an old paranoid or grandiose delusion, or is there sort of a perfect storm of the culture we’re in, in which fame holds such high value?” said psychiatrist Dr Joel Gold Bellevue Hospital in New York.
Over two years, Dr Gold met five patients with delusions related to reality TV. He and his brother Ian a psychologist, started presenting their observations at medical schools in 2006.
After word spread beyond medical circles they learned of about 50 more people with similar symptoms.
Researchers in London described a “Truman syndrome” patient in the British Journal of Psychiatry in August.
The 26 year old Postman “had a sense the world was slightly unreal as if he was the eponymous hero in the film”, the researchers wrote.
The Oscar nominated movie star stars Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank who leads an uneventful life until he realises his friends and family are actors, his hometown is a TV sound stage and every moment of his life has been broadcast.
His struggle to sort out reality and illusion is heartwarming, but researchers say its often horrifying for “Truman Syndrome” patients.
A few take pride in their imagined celebrity, but many are deeply upset at what feels like an Orwellian invasion of privacy.
The man profiled in the British journal was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and is unable to work. One of Dr Golds patients planned to commit suicide if he couldnt leave his reality show.
It is not unusual for psychiatrists to see delusional patients who beleive thier relatives have been replaced by imposters or who think figures in their lives are taking on multiple disguises.
But “Truman” delusions are more sweeping, involving not only some associates but society at large, Dr Gold said.
Great! Now, we can have another new label and a new illness at large out there. Shame they can’t just deal with the issues the people are facing, rather than putting them all into another box. Makes it easier to seperate them from the others I suppose. What do you think?