Trapped... in your own reality show
Psychological delusions are scary for their sufferers, but life can be a nightmare for sufferers of the Truman Show delusion. Named for the 1998 movie, sufferers believe their lives are staged reality shows, or that they are being watched on cameras. One sufferer travelled to NYC after 9/11 to see whether it was real or just a staged plot twist in his reality show.
The term was coined in 2008 by brothers Joel Gold, a psychiatrist, and Ian Gold, a neurophilosopher. One of Joel Gold's patients, an upper-middle class Army veteran who wanted to climb the Statue of Liberty in the belief that doing so would release him from the 'show', described his condition this way:
"I realised that I was and am the centre, the focus of attention by millions and millions of people ... My family and everyone I knew were and are actors in a script, a charade whose entire purpose is to make me the focus of the world's attention."
After hearing about the condition, Andrew Niccol, writer of The Truman Show, said, "You know you've made it when you have a disease named after you."
Image credits: Reel Peel blog