Wednesday, 26 Nov, 2008 Health & Fitness

Researchers Discover Truman Syndrome - We All Live in a Movie


Recently scientists started analyzing a new condition which they dubbed "Truman Syndrome." The name comes from the movie entitled "The Truman Show," where Jim Carrey played Truman Burbank, who suddenly realized that for a long time he has been a star of a reality TV show, all his closest friends were actors who played their roles and his whole life was shown on screen for millions of people.

The studied syndrome represents a delusion where people consider that their lives are part of a TV show. Despite the heart-warming fact from fiction separation shown in the movie, patients who suffer from Truman Syndrome in reality have to face a difficult separation process. Researchers say that the syndrome shows how pop culture may influence mental health.

Dr Joel Gold, who works as a psychiatrist at the Bellevue Hospital, said that within 2 years he had 5 patients, who believed their lives were part of a reality television show. Some of them mentioned "The Truman Show."

"Is this 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?" he asked.

One of the patients suffering from Truman Syndrome, treated by Dr Gold, had plans to commit suicide in case he could not leave the "reality show." For the first time the findings related to the Truman Syndrome Dr Gold together with his brother, who works as a psychologist, were presented at a medical conference in 2006. Shortly after making their finding public, 50 more patients reported suffering from the same problem.

British scientists described a patient experiencing Truman Syndrome in an article that appeared in the British Journal of Psychiatry in August. Researchers said that the 26-year-old patient, who was a postman, had "a sense the world was slightly unreal, as if he was the eponymous hero in the film."

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