I believe that people (such as celebrities or family members) can see me through photos. They can only “see” me if their eyes are looking at the camera though. I set the people as the background of my phone so they can see all that I do. I want to hopefully make them proud and if I’m doing something bad I will automatically lock my phone screen. What is wrong with me, I know this can’t be normal?

A: It’s not. But before we diagnose you with a mental illness, it’s important to consider whether this is a fantasy you use to help yourself live up to your own moral code. Imagination can be a wonderful thing. If we were talking, I’d want to know more about how you experience this. If you can “turn it off,” perhaps you are simply a creative, sensitive person who has an active imagination. If, however, you truly believe that the people in pictures are observers in your life, I’d want to evaluate you further.

If the belief distresses you or gets in your way socially or academically, I suggest you make an appointment with a mental health counselor to explore the issue further. Otherwise your stress about it could become yet another problem.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie