Q. I seem detached from some things, while being too deep into other things. Also, i sometimes feel like people and even tv are giving me “signals”. i know how stupid and crazy this all sounds so i’m hoping that’s a good thing, but i have lived with this all my life and can’t imagine it any different. it has been mostly comforting, feeling like i am not alone and people might know everything i have been through and understand me. But i don’t want to be crazy and i want to put a stop to this once and for all. I’m getting ashamed at some of the thoughts i am having now and it’s making me feel really stupid and crazy. it’s very distressing feeling like people are watching you even on the toilet, then realising that you’re insignificant so it can’t possibly be happening. People on tv i think like me and say certain things for me, then i remember that i’m stupid and crazy and weird looking and get embarrassed because i had that thought. my mind is switched on all the time so i can’t even sleep, i am just running imaginary conversations in my head where i can be myself and people can see that i am a nice person but i even get embarrassed by my behaviour in a fantasy scenario! i don’t want to be crazy any more, i want this to go so i can live my life normally. i would appreciate some advice or some kind of feedback, anything please. it sounds so much more stupid seeing all my thoughts written down, i’m worried. thank you for taking the time to read this.
A. Some people have referred to the type of delusion that you are describing as the “Truman Show” delusion. The name stems from a famous movie starring Jim Carrey in which he discovers that he is living in a fictional world in which his every move is being broadcast. The “Truman Show” delusion is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health Disorders, the official guide used to diagnose psychiatric conditions. Its closest classification might be delusional disorder, persecutory type.
Two researchers documented five cases of patients who described experiencing the “Truman show” delusion. It was their belief that the patient’s were experiencing persecutory and grandiose delusions. They speculated that the “Truman show” delusion may be a “product…of the contemporary popularity in our culture of reality television.”
It’s very encouraging that you’re able to recognize your symptoms. Many people who experience psychosis are unable to recognize their symptoms and even deny them. You also seem to want help. Being able to recognize your symptoms and being open to treatment positively influences your prognosis. My recommendation is to undergo a mental health evaluation. The evaluator can make an official determination regarding a diagnosis and recommend a course of treatment. These symptoms can likely be eliminated with medication. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Jun 2014
Randle, K. (2014). I Think I Have The “Truman” Disorder, Feel I’m Being Watched As An Experiment. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 26, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/06/18/i-think-i-have-the-truman-disorder-feel-im-being-watched-as-an-experiment/