BoingBoing reports today (late!) on a study a pair of Canadian psychologists are conducting in Montreal on patients who are convinced that they’re the stars of reality TV. This delusion has been named the Truman Show disorder:
The five patients Dr. Gold treated were white men between the ages of 25 and 34, the majority of whom held university degrees. “I realized that I was and am the centre, the focus of attention by millions and millions of people,” explained one patient, an army veteran who came from an upper-middle-class upbringing.
“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….”
The weirdest thing about this delusion is the idea that for some reason the world would feel the need to trick you into being the center of its attention. I mean, I know that was what was happening in The Truman Show, but a) that was a make-believe fantasy film of wonderment and imagination, and b) this is a psychological disorder based on chemical impulses and paranoia, not a mental transcription of the screenplay. So it’s just a weird misconception that persists somehow. Because in the real world there is no confusion over who is the center of all the attention. Brangelina. True storayyyyy. Actually, I lied, the weirdest thing about this delusion is that the psychiatrists claim that they could “have easily called their new disorder the EDtv Delusion”. If you are suffering from a medical condition that could easily be considered a reference to EdTV, you should check yourself into a grave stat.
Anyway, after the jump, some other delusions that are a real problem in Canada.
The Lawnmower Man Delusion
Patients believe that they have returned to VSI to complete the final stage of their evolution. They believe that they have projected themselves onto the mainframe computer, that they have become PURE ENERGY.
The Lake House Delusion
Patients believe that their mailbox is imbued with magic, and that they are receiving horribly written letters sent from the future by Sandra Bullock.
The Weekend at Bernie’s Delusion
Patients believe that everyone around them is dead and simply being propped up like a puppet by a couple of cocaine-addled 80s middlemen trying to get a leg up in the most cynical and misanthropic way possible.
The Back to the Future Delusion
Patients go fucking crazy when you call them “chicken.”
The Donnie Darko Delusion
Patients are confused and think that terrible, hacky things are interesting and cool.
I could do this all day. I might do this all day.