Is reality TV to blame for mental health problems?

Wednesday 26th November, 2008

“I’m a member of the public….get me out of here!” That seems to sum up a growing problem among people who are suffering psychiatric problems due to watching reality TV and believing they are living it.

Dubbed ‘Truman Syndrome’ (after the film ‘The Truman Show’ in which Jim Carrey’s character plays out his life unaware that he’s actually part of a huge reality TV show) the problem is causing people to think their own lives are being played out in front of the cameras. This is leading to psychological pressure on people who may already be suffering with mental health problems.

People in the US and the UK who may already have underlying psychological problems are finding it increasingly difficult to separate reality from illusion.

Psychiatrists and researchers are stressing that healthy people are unlikely to become delusional by such programmes and films and popular culture shouldn’t be to blame.



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