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Truman Show Delusion: What Is “The Truman Syndrome?”

Truman Show Delusion: What Is “The Truman Syndrome?”
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Truman Show Delusion

feeling of being watched

Truman Show Delusion, also called “The Truman Syndrome,” is a very rare psychiatric disorder in which the patient believes they are being watched by cameras, as if they are on a reality show. This feeling of being watched at all times then leads to paranoia and severe anxiety. The syndrome is named from the 1998 movie “The Truman Show,” where the title character’s life is filmed by cameras and broadcast to the entire world. Truman Show Delusion is very rare, with only 40 known cases in the US.

What Causes Truman Show Delusion?

While the exact cause of Truman Show Delusion is still not known, research has shown that it is strongly linked to other mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Types of Truman Show Delusion

There is only one type of Truman Show Delusion.

Truman Show Delusion Symptoms

  • Extreme paranoia
  • Fear of public opinion
  • Fear of being watched
  • “Performative behavior” (acting as if being watched when no one is actually around)
  • Grand delusions
  • Mood swings
  • Erratic behavior

truman show delusion

Diagnosing Truman Show Delusion

If your primary care physician suspects that you have Truman Show Delusion, they will refer you to a psychiatrist for an in-depth psychiatric evaluation.

Treating Truman Show Delusion

Truman Show Delusion is still a very poorly understood condition. There is no cure for the syndrome, but behavioral therapy may help manage the feelings of paranoia and anxiety. Medications like anti-psychotics can reduce the feeling of being watched. Recent studies have shown that alternative therapies like hypnosis can help reduce the symptoms of Truman Syndrome.

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