Delusions Of Being Jim Carey In The Truman Show

from the reality-tv-all-the-time dept

Pop culture influences different people in different ways. In fact, some psychologists psychiatrists are trying to claim that there’s a new delusion out there based on the Jim Carey movie, The Truman Show. Yes, apparently (these psychiatrists claim) an increasing number of people are under the impression that their whole lives are being filmed secretly, and everyone they know and interact with is playing off a script. They psychiatrists are calling this “The Truman Show Delusion.” Others claim this isn’t really any different than other types of delusions, but that the Truman Show angle has just helped crystallize the scenario in some people’s minds. Others point out that other movies have had similar effects, with one noting that he has a patient who believes that he’s in The Matrix as well. Of course, by calling it the Truman Show Delusion, you run into the possibility (as happens all too often) that people will start blaming a pop culture movie. This is what happens with all those various technology “addictions.” Next thing you know, we’ll have people trying to ban The Truman Show from being shown. Yes, that’s an extreme case (that won’t likely happen), but it’s no different than the overreaction people have in calling for things like having video games declared an official addiction. It focuses the attention on the wrong thing: the pop culture phenomenon, rather than the actual problems the individual might have that resulted in the problem.

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Comments on “Delusions Of Being Jim Carey In The Truman Show”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Here's the thing

There really is no way to prove to people who believe these things that they aren’t true. If the entire world is fake, then even if it looks and acts real, there really is not way to show that it is not in fact fake. It’s the same as with the young earth crowd. When faced with evidence that to anyone else would point to an older earth, it’s just further evidence of how clever their creator is.

What’s the problem with letting them have these delusions? I fail to see what the difference is between someone who thinks the world is fake without any supporting evidence and someone who believes that a god created the world with no evidence. If one is a delusion to psychologists, surely both should be?

anonymous is an idiot says:

anonymous is an idiot

reason you’re an idiot #1: if you are sane, you will assume that the world is real. there is no proof that the world is fake, so why would you think so? you shouldn’t.

reason you’re an idiot #2: where the fuck is the proof of an older earth? that’s just idiot talk.

reason you’re an idiot #3: letting people have these types of delusions inhibits the growth of society as a whole. like the article said, it is very similar to “the truman show.” HAVE YOU SEEN THE TRUMAN SHOW? jim carey goes berserk and tries to escape the fake world. only to an idiot like you is that okay in the “normal” world.

reason you’re an idiot #4: the difference between a religious person and somebody who thinks the world is fake? hmmmm lets see: a person who believes that somebody is watching over them….or somebody who thinks that the world is fake, and thus that everything around them is unimportant because there is another “real world” out there. I DON’T KNOW. DO YOU SEE A PROBLEM THERE?

i hope idiots like you die out. we don’t need people like you helping insane people stay insane.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:" anonymous is an idiot" is obviously ignorant.

the difference between a religious person and somebody who thinks the world is fake? hmmmm lets see: a person who believes that somebody is watching over them….or somebody who thinks that the world is fake, and thus that everything around them is unimportant because there is another “real world” out there.

Seriously, you see no delusion in somebody believing there’s an invisible man out there, who’s all powerful, loves you, may condemn you to eternal suffering, and needs your money??


Wow… It’s incredible what some people will believe.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: anonymous is an idiot

#1 – Being sane does not guarantee a lack of compulsive action
#2 – Proof of an older earth being fossils, carbon dating, and common sense
#3 – The growth of society as a whole is also inhibited by individuals with glasses (genetic attribute which causes weakness of the eyes), asthma (same), and cars (they harm the environment which will support our future society).
#4 – Believing that the world around you is unimportant and believing that if you don’t do anything that a book says is wrong, play by all the rules, and talk to yourself enough you get into “the real world” is actually a staple of many religions.

hegemon13 says:

Re: Re: anonymous is an idiot

Response to #2: “…and common sense”

How, exactly, does believing that everything came into existence by random chance equate to common sense? “Random chance” is not a theory; it’s what is left over when other theories fail. Science itself has a law against the random chance philosophy: it’s called entropy. Yes, I know all the arguments about how their can be organized systems within chaos. However, what you are then saying is…

Despite all the evidence that surrounds us that random chance leads to chaos, we still believe that random chance created an ordered universe? How? Well, we are an exception to the rule. Thus, any evidence showing otherwise falls outside our exception.

Every philosophy is ultimately based on faith. Not one has succeeded to come up with even a theoretical description of everything that makes perfect sense with all we know. However, fundamentally, I feel that a deliberate, intelligent force is a more feasible explanation for the state of the universe than random chance.

Dug is rarely anonymous says:

Re: anonymous is an idiot

Dear goodness me. Are you serious? You have made 4 attempts to make a point and you failed miserably at each and everyone one of them. I will attempt to elaborate, but I doubt you will be able to keep up.

“reason you’re an idiot #1
A perfectly sane person doesn’t not have to assume the world is real. Assumption is based on the a decision that bears no solid facts. Its merely speculation. I could argue and say that a sane person “knows” the world is real, but that wouldn’t be fair either. A sane person could philosophize the the world is indeed not real. It has been done all throughout history by perfectly sane people. Many of which have been credited as being “great minds”. The mere spec of existence “our world” has in the grand scheme of time is hardly even worth giving it a debate.

“reason you’re an idiot #2
Are you serious? There is proof all around you. Walk outside and you will walk on proof. That is tangible hard evidence that the world is old. Look out to the stars. More proof that the world is old. Why did you even post that? Seriously? Note, that your choice of vocabulary (eg. fuck) makes it that much harder to consider your statement seriously.

“reason you’re an idiot #3
Oh but letting people believe in God, when it can only be based on FAITH isn’t harmful? I would feel safe in saying that anyone who believes they are in a created false world and everyone around them are actors is just as safe as the fundamentalists out there trying to force their religion on others. Sure Jim Carey goes berserk, he was a fictional character in a movie. Assuming (as you like to do) that Truman is a real person is the same as the assumption that God is a real being. I will continue this in #4 since you failed to bring about a new point in #4 but just rehashed what you stated in #3.

“reason you’re an idiot #4
The idea that a person who believes the world is fake and unimportant because they are delusional can’t possibly be compared to the many people who kill abortion doctors, kill opposing religions, or insist that their particular “faith” is more fact than fiction. Or can it? Seriously. Are the people who take so much stock in their faith that they feel they have the right to kill another person for being outside of what they think God wants is sane? Is that ok? There is two sides here and you can’t even get on your tip toes to attempt looking over the fence.

In summary the validity of your statements (all 3.5 of them) is lost when you finish by hoping someone else dies cause they don’t believe like you do. Real Christian there pal. And that is not sarcasm either. It isn’t just you. Its all sorts of people who can preach all day long and can’t provide a single example in their own life to match their all important words.

I will end in saying I believe in God, but I have no respect for organized religion cause it corrupts human beings to fit “Gods Plan”. Sorry. God doesn’t ask you to kill and mean it. That very example is in the Bible and it is only seen as a form of loyalty, never as a lesson that God wouldn’t mean it (see the story of Abraham). I especially cant take any stock in the major religions cause they are at war with each other in an attempt to be the ONE religion, and when the body count is final, they will call it “divine intervention”.

God is love. God can never be understood by human beings. God most certainly can’t be defined. So stop trying to convince me that you or any one in history knows what God wants.

Evil Mike (profile) says:


I do not believe in psychology. Given the amount of utter bullshit the field produces, it’s hard to see why anybody else does either.

Hopefully, psychology is the seed that will someday sprout a science, much like alchemy gave birth to chemistry, or “natural science” gave birth to physics.

Someday, there will be a science dealing with the mind; but psychology is not it.

Slightly less anonymous coward says:

Re: Poppycock.

That’s a real shame that you don’t believe in psychology at all because you don’t actually know anything about psychology.

I recommend going to your local university and sitting in on a psychology 101 class to see that psychology has produced a lot of very fine and scientifically based work. The problem, as my psych 101 prof mentioned time and time again, is that people believe too much in pop psychology and have no idea how what the difference between fact and fiction.

Look at all the fine work that biological psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, etc has actually produced. Yes there are different ways of viewing a problem in psych such has behaviorism or humanism and progress is still being made to separate the fact and the fiction. Remember modern psychology is a very young science and a lot of advancements have been made in the past 50 years.

Don’t point to the work of Sigmund Freud either because much of his work has be debunked and/or not testable.

And I have a very firm grasp of what a science since I am a physics major minoring in psychology and I can see quite well the merits and scientific benefits of psychology. Yes it has some ways to go to properly become very thorough but it is advancing very well to separate out of the bs from the fact.

E (user link) says:

Re: Re: Poppycock.

Do you truly believe I would blindly belittle something of fear or ignorance? I’m not a superstitious dark age villager–I’m a college educated modern-day craftsman.

Assuming I know nothing about it and then basing your conclusions upon your assumptions is a foolhardy activity at best.

Remember: Assumption is the fother of all muckups.

Yes a sane one! says:

Re: Re:

Look outside, most major cities are covered in cameras, take London for example, the average Londoner is on camera 156 times a day. The true delusional part of this condition is the delusion of grandeur, the want or need to be special. but again someone that looks at the situation objectively so thank you.

Hopperite says:

Rational Thought

Anonymous suggests that we Christians are ignorant fools that need to die out.

Many of us are. We don’t know what we believe or, worse, why we believe it.

For those of us with degrees in Physics, Applied Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science (like me, which BTW, I received from a secular University) we know that we have VERY good reasons to believe that God exists and created this world. Reasons based on fact and logical thought. This is not the place to go into all of that and there are whole books on the subject anyway. In any case I have learned that those who descend to insults are rarely swayed by logic; they believe what they believe and any who say different must be idiots who need to die out. And, to be fair, I’ve also heard this foolishness from Christians railing against Agnostics/Atheists when they find themselves unable to answer their challenges.

It is an interesting study to determine how what we believe is different from a belief in a flat earth, Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.

We first need to understand that the old statement, “I believe what my senses tell me”, is fraught with error. If you really believe what your senses tell you then you must necessarily believe that the earth is flat, that the sun revolves around the earth, that a man can saw a woman in half and then put her back together, that the same man can levitate, etc, etc. It is only through the application of logical thought to the observations made by our senses that we can disprove all of those things.

Are you Truman in a made-up reality? We must presume that not to be the case because their is no evidence fitting into a logical theory that would suggest that to be so. If you are determined to believe that then their is little we can do to dissuade you from it. All we can do is to ask you for a logical explanation of why that would be. Undoubtedly you will recount odd happenings that don’t “make sense” to you unless you live in an artificial world. We can provide explanations for many of those but, in the end, our explanations will not suffice to convince you.

On the other hand, if you provide a well thought out reason fitting the discontinuities of life into a solid pattern based on evidence then we may, and should, at least stop to consider what it is that you are saying.

But then what sort of evidence is allowable in our court of decision? There are only two types and they are distinct.

One is Scientific. It is based on measurements, analysis, repeatability, theory, peer-review and repetition. It is used to determine the truth of things based on the fundamental physics of our universe.

The other is Evidential. It is based on documentation of historical events, archeology, testimony and provenance. It is used, mostly, to determine how organisms have interacted with our world.

If you are Truman the Scientific method will probably not avail much for either side of the argument. Both will agree that apples fall, that light travels at C in a vacuum, that the earth revolves around the sun.

Your argument will probably need to be Evidential. The problem here is that Evidential analysis is interpreted data. It is entirely possible that two people can look at the exact same data and come to completely different decisions. (There IS a God, There is NO God).

In my experience it is often not a case of one party is ignorant. Often both are very intelligent. It really comes down to what you have already determined to believe in before you even begin to weigh the evidence.

If you are Truman, and you have determined that you live in an artificial world, then you probably can not be dissuaded from that belief no matter what argument is presented against you.

You believe it because you do.

And, so long as your delusion is not harmful to you or others, that won’t be a problem.

Douglas Fletcher says:


Yeah they’re filming my life too. In fact The Truman Show is based on my life. Surely there is copyright or at least I need to sign a release in order for them to use the images created by then lifted from my brain. And poor Jim Carrey, he has been channeling me for years, just to make this movie.
Oh and after my Harvard A not A- in neurobiology, there is not as much (except legal) difference between psychiatrists and psychologists as especially psychiatrists think. From my perspective, they are all people who think they know more about me than I do. Big similarity.
My profession? Comedy writer…

Just an observer (profile) says:

I'll toss in my .02

First and foremost, do not confuse sanity with psychiatric/psychological disorder. Sanity is a LEGAL term (is one capable of understanding right from wrong).

Secondly, all of these “Technology addictions” are really just the manifestations of a behavioral disorder. It is the same disorder that is at the root of ALL addictions (Including alcohol/substance abuse) they are all closely related.

For Evil mike and all those others who don’t believe in psychology because of all the utter bull that has come out of it: If that is your only criteria for not believing in a science, then throw them ALL out the window. Every science has its failures, and if you’re only going to believe in a perfect science, you will be searching for a long, LONg time. I would suggest that you create your own, just to make sure it doesn’t get mucked up by some inferior scientist.

finally, just because I’m paranoid, it doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get me……

Anonymous Coward says:

Film or Omnipresence

The difference between believing that your life is being broadcast and believing that God is always watching is that in the former your thoughts are your own.

This means that the Truman delusion will lead to less paranoia than being a Believer.

Theoretically, both delusions will lead to better behavior than believing one is anonymous and unwatched, so the Truman delusion should be encouraged not criticized.

I will now pick my nose to gross you out because you are watching me and not doing your job. Get back to work and make the nice things I need and want to enrich my life and environment.

Matt says:

The World is our Stage

With today’s privacy rights the way they are, we basically are being filmed all day every day. Traffic cameras, spy satellites, random people with cell phones. So we got the being filmed part down.

As far as everyone following a script.. Most of the Truman show did not have a script.. It was suppose to be real life, but there are a large number of people that follow the same schedule every day. As the work week stretches to 6 and 7 days for some we Sleep, go to work, eat, and sleep. Repeat. I’m sure everyone’s felt like they get stuck in a rut once in a while doing the same old thing. These people just can not seem to dig themselves out.

Rekrul says:

Up until she died a few months ago, I was renting a room to a woman who had a version of this delusion. It didn’t go as far as her thinking that everyone was an actor, or that everything was staged, but she did believe that people were spying on her and secretly filming her. She was paranoid that people were making secret “porno movies” of her (believe me, NOBODY would make such a movie!) and that the media was mocking her.

Case in point; An ex-boyfriend takes her out shopping. Ex-boyfriend is a fan of horror movies. After he leaves and she turns on the TV, she sees an ad for one of those mega DVD packs with like 50 horror movies in it. ‘They’ must have been watching her!

She was convinced that her parents were “exploiting” her by selling the non-story of her life to the media who then used parts of it in movies and TV shows.

Of course it turned out that besides being naturally nutty, her cancer had spread to her brain.

Matt (user link) says:

Having had a brother with paranoid schizophrenia, I’ve actually had experience with this. It is actually a disorder, and it isn’t something that is easily explained away. People with this disorder really have no say in how they perceive the world, they just do, and it’s a struggle for many of them to deal with many of the things we take for granted. Anyway, they do need help, and they do need support. It’s really less about philosophy and more about perception, incorrect or not.

BitPlayerInMyOwnBiopic says:

Possibly these people just live in the UK? With the highest number of CCTV cameras per head. Story in paper today reveals cinemas here are now installing CCTV in the auditoriums, so they can watch you watch the Truman Show (‘so we can identify those involved in anti social behaviour’).
I guess the next step is to install CCTV in the CCTV control rooms so they can watch themselves watching us watching Jim Carrey.

Anonymous Coward says:

I suffer from this “delusion”. Of course I do not view it as such. There have been strange incidents happening throughout my life.

A few(and I mean a very few out of the many) examples include…when I was young, my babysitter and I were at the park, and there was someone in a tree filming us. My babysitter panicked, grabbed me, and ran back to the apartment. Not more than 2 months ago, a guy I had recently met made the comment “the best reality shows are the ones where the people don’t know they’re on one”, after which he mentioned an incident about someone taping a woman and child from the trees and got too close, resulting in him being spotted. Also, I recently found a roll of tape from my old auto body profession, with a design I drew on it over three years ago (I have always had an excellent memory, I recall events as far as 20 years back) hanging in the utility closet of my new workplace. 2000 miles away.

Oh to go on…when I was a child I asked (out of innocent curiosity) if the people in the TV could see back at us. She replied “only sometimes”. Also, people have knowledge of things I do. Such as co-workers having knowledge of my surfing habits, interests, and claiming “they know” when I tell them something personal about myself. I’m not overly paranoid about other things, and I believe that I know myself well enough that I would realize it if I was insane. It’s strange also, that this study pops up right after I confronted my “best friend” about this possibility. How convenient. Likely it was an act, but when I sat her down and broke it down, all of the things that have happened, she appeared very frightened.

Perhaps I’m crazy? Or perhaps the rest of the world’s inhabitants are a bunch of voyeuristic pricks who would rather focus on someone else and their problems than focusing on their own. I don’t suppose I’ll ever know. But if I am on camera, I’d just like to say this to my adoring public…fk off and die. :]


Dirk Diggler says:

truman show delusion

It is true that this bizarre thought cannot be proven wrong but think of it this way. Sit in a room in which you have no television. Picture yourself having sat in this room your whole life. There is no way of ever being exposed to television therefore the thought of being filmed and living in a fake world would have no way of existing in your mind because you were not exposed to television. So yes, these delusional thoughts that some people think are most certainly drawn from movies like the truman show, but ultimately have no significance because they only exist through our experience of seeing such movies.

dirk Diggler says:

The only thing that makes me bug out and seem as if the world is fake, is at night when I look up at the stars and wonder how the fuck am I here.It is a bugged concept that I cannot ever get my mind to grasp. Shit I mean this world is full of unknowns. Lol it seems easier to just tell yourself everythings fake and your being decieved. It suprises how many of my friends think this way which adds to my anxiety. If I was thinking from this delusional “truman show” perspective I could say they are all humoring me to keep me being deceived. I mean overall though if my life was a movie, i feel bad for whoever the audience might be because I live a pretty boring life lolol.

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