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25 November 2008

Truman Syndrome, "a delusion afflicting people who are convinced that their lives are secretly playing out on a reality TV show."[More:] Articles about this syndrome make me think it's just a new way for mentally ill folks to interpret paranoid feelings. In the 1950s they might have thought there was a camera in the TV set, or at some other time that the government had planted a "chip" in them that was tracking their movements.

But still, it's always fascinating (though sad) to me to see how mental illness incorporates features from a person's environment.
When I was a kid, I remember sort of 'narrating' myself in third person, as though I were in a book. "Miko walked home from school, her feet shuffling in the falling leaves." That kind of thing.

I read a lot in those days.

Once, I confessed this to a past boyfriend. In return, he told me that he used to see himself as the host of a television show, the show of his life. And in the morning, when he would wake up, he would say to himself "...and, we're back!"

We're all nuts. I think McLuhan predicted this kind of thing...
posted by Miko 25 November | 15:47
On occassion I would wonder how scenes from my life would look as a movie, while they were happening. Not that great, it turns out, except as a dead-boring indy flick.
posted by trinity8-director 25 November | 16:12
I had a rather elaborate fantasy as a child, that everything around me was an elaborately-constructed Virtual Reality - not a Truman Show per se, but pretty close.
posted by muddgirl 25 November | 16:16
This is why I have a sticker over the built-in-webcam...
posted by buzzman 25 November | 16:57
I have Truman Capote syndrome. I swear a lot.
posted by eekacat 25 November | 17:15
I have Harry Truman syndrome. You should see all my bucks.
posted by Miko 25 November | 17:28
Um, sorry people, yah...word came from ON HIGH that you're all fired. Yeah, ratings...people were focus-polled and no one got it.

Yeah, sorry - here's a meal voucher for some bisque.

Love you!
posted by Lipstick Thespian 25 November | 17:39
Yeah, sorry - here's a meal voucher for some bisque. LOL
posted by MonkeyButter 25 November | 18:01
I used to imagine a huge cinema (with not many people, hmmm) watching my life on screen.

I also narrate myself too.

And I pick out soundtracks. So whenever I'm listening to music on a train, I imagine it as the soundtrack to my movie - which seems to be just me travelling on trains a lot.
posted by jonathanstrange 25 November | 19:21
This is why I have a sticker over the built-in-webcam...

Dude. That's just sad.

'Cause everyone knows the real camera is in the smoke detector.
posted by Elsa 25 November | 21:39
I don't narrate myself, but I have a soundtrack that plays pretty much constantly.

Unfortunately, most of the time it's "Yakkity Sax". Someone please kill me.
posted by BitterOldPunk 25 November | 21:42
They seem like classic cases of depersonalization disorder.
posted by treepour 25 November | 22:46
There's another disorder or something where you believe everyone around you has been replaced by aliens. There was a multi part series in a paper about it...

Yup, here it is

Girl marries boy, raises family, endeavors to be normal. Many years down the line, after multiple experiences purportedly involving demonic possession, lights in the sky and other phenomena not explained by science, girl abandons whole normal thing. Girl decides that boy is wrong, all wrong, and that the forces of darkness have possibly replaced him with a copy of the original husband. Girl divorces boy/dark copy of boy, descends into depression, seeks solace in her career, which happens to be battling evil and channeling communications from what she believes to be a bevy of aliens.

posted by lysdexic 26 November | 10:43
Takeout deep-fried turkey || My favorite malapropist