Truman Syndrome

By | June 10, 2022

Truman Syndrome is a delusional mental disorder in which patients believe they are being watched and monitored from birth on a large reality show. The term Truman Syndrome refers to the 1998 film The Truman Show, starring actor Jim Carrey. However, Truman syndrome is not a new condition, just a new manifestation of a delusion.

What is Truman Syndrome?

Truman Syndrome is a form of delusion in which the sufferer sees themselves as part of a reality show. The patient is gripped by the delusional thought that from birth he will be the center of a big show and be constantly watched by the whole world. For introduction to iga nephritis, please visit

In fact, the film “The Truman Show” was shown in the USA in 1998, in which Truman Burbank, played by Jim Carrey, was constantly monitored from birth as part of a reality show and his development was revealed to the world. This film comedy was intended to draw attention to the influence of the media on the individual in a socially critical manner. Unfortunately, the content of the film is most likely also suitable for being incorporated into the system of delusions of mentally unstable people.

Truman syndrome was first diagnosed in 2006 by American psychiatrist Dr. Joel Gold presented at a psychiatrists conference. Around 50 cases are currently known worldwide. So far, no case of Truman syndrome has been described in Germany. However, the syndrome is not recognized as an independent disease. It’s just a new form of delusion.


There has been much debate about the cause of Truman Syndrome. The question of what influence the media can have on mental health is repeatedly raised. However, there have always been mental illnesses associated with the development of a delusional system. The delusional content is often dependent on the respective social and social environment of the person concerned.

The prerequisite, however, is that those affected are already psychologically predisposed to the development of delusions. For example, delusions often occur in the context of schizophrenia. But other mental illnesses such as depression, mania or bipolar disorder can often be associated with delusions.

The same applies to all forms of dementia. In very rare cases, the delusion can also occur in isolation. There are many different forms of delusions. These include delusions of persecution or impairment, megalomania, delusions of jealousy, religious delusions, delusions of guilt, delusions of illness and many other delusions.

Truman Syndrome would fit very well into the impairment or persecution delusions category. In paranoia, the affected patient is convinced that they are being monitored and observed by other people, extraterrestrials or government organizations. Paranoia is very often observed in connection with schizophrenia. However, other causes cannot be ruled out. It is possible that in some cases of Truman syndrome there is only an isolated delusional thought without further psychological impairments.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Truman syndrome is characterized by the patient’s unchanging belief that they are the main character in a reality show that has been running since birth. The person concerned is allegedly observed around the clock and their life is constantly presented in public. According to the patient, all people in the vicinity are only film actors, including his next of kin.

Despite logical arguments, the patient cannot be persuaded otherwise. Many of those affected feel impaired and want the show to end immediately. However, a select few also enjoy alleged celebrity status. There are few descriptions of how an individual’s Truman syndrome relates to other mental disorders they may have.

However, it probably occurs in the context of schizophrenia or another mental disorder. Then it is just a symptom next to a number of other psychological abnormalities. However, there may be instances where Truman syndrome occurs as an isolated disorder.

Diagnosis & course of disease

Truman syndrome is easy to diagnose. The delusion as such can be well described. The challenge, however, is to uncover the underlying mental disorder. The anamnesis of the medical history plays just as important a role as the comparison of the accompanying symptoms. An effective therapy can only be carried out with a basic knowledge of the causes of this delusion.


As a rule, those affected by Truman syndrome suffer from various psychological complaints and limitations. These have a very negative effect on the patient’s quality of life and reduce it enormously. In many cases, the behavior of the patient leads to social complaints with their own friends or parents.

However, the further course of the syndrome depends very much on its exact characteristics, so that no general statement can be made about it. However, many of those affected also suffer from schizophrenia and thus from serious psychological limitations. Truman syndrome can also lead to delusions of persecution or even suicidal thoughts.

In the worst case, the victim commits suicide. The syndrome can have a very negative effect on the development of children or adolescents and significantly limit it. The treatment of Truman syndrome is carried out with the help of medication, although those affected also depend on examinations and treatment by a psychologist.

There are no further complications. It cannot be universally predicted whether the treatment will lead to a positive course of the disease. In serious cases, those affected have to stay in a closed clinic so as not to injure other people.

When should you go to the doctor?

If delusions or other signs of Truman syndrome occur, a doctor’s visit is recommended. The rare disease mainly affects people who already suffer from a mental disorder. Corresponding people best consult their therapist if they notice the typical signs. Since Truman syndrome is a rare condition, other specialists may need to be consulted. In individual cases, the patient must be accommodated in a psychiatric facility, where targeted treatment of Truman’s syndrome can take place.

Because Truman syndrome can have serious effects on the mental health of those affected, medical treatment is always required. Family members who notice unusual signs in a friend or acquaintance that could indicate Truman syndrome or another mental illness should see a professional. In the event of a relapse, the medication must be adjusted. The person concerned requires constant monitoring, as suicidal tendencies may be present. For this reason, Truman syndrome should be closely monitored.

Treatment & Therapy

The treatment of Truman syndrome depends on the underlying mental illness. Sometimes it is not possible to treat this delusion at all. To a large extent, it also depends on the patient’s understanding of the disease and their will. This is often not the case. If schizophrenia, depression, mania, or bipolar disorder is diagnosed, the disorder can be treated with [[psychiatric drugs].

In schizophrenia, mainly neuroleptics are used that affect the neurotransmitter metabolism. Antipsychotics are also used. As part of this treatment, the delusions may also disappear. However, when Truman syndrome proves to be an isolated delusion, it is very difficult to treat.


There is no recommendation for specific prevention of Truman syndrome. The disease is far too rare for that. However, mentally unstable people are very easily influenced and receptive to external information, which they can then incorporate into a possible delusional system. Current issues play an important role in this. In these cases, it is important to treat the underlying mental illness in order to prevent the development of a delusional system.


Those affected with Truman syndrome usually only have very limited and very few measures of direct aftercare available. Since this is a congenital disease, it usually cannot be completely cured. Therefore, ideally, the sufferer should consult a doctor at the first signs and symptoms of the disease and initiate treatment to prevent the onset of further symptoms.

Genetic testing and counseling is also very useful if you wish to have children and should be carried out in order to prevent the syndrome from occurring in the offspring. Most of those affected are dependent on various surgical interventions with which the symptoms and deformities can usually be alleviated well.

The person concerned should definitely rest and rest after the procedure. Efforts or stressful and physical activities should be avoided in order not to unnecessarily burden the body. The support of one’s own family is often very important with this illness. Loving conversations are also important so that the person concerned does not develop depression or other psychological problems.

You can do that yourself

Most people who suffer from Truman syndrome do not even know that they have the disease. That is why the most important measure is to consult a psychologist or therapist who can enlighten the person concerned about their clinical picture. In addition, a lot of patience is necessary, since those affected often react aggressively when they are informed about their mental disorder.

Anyone who notices signs of Truman syndrome in themselves should consult a doctor. The symptoms are often temporary and occur, for example, as a side effect of depression or another mental illness. If necessary, the therapeutic treatment can be supported by general measures. Sport and a healthy diet also help the psyche and improve well-being.

If Truman syndrome is due to a serious mental illness, it must first be treated. Only then can Truman syndrome be reliably treated. In the case of strong delusions that may also endanger other people, medical advice is required. If in doubt, the person concerned must be referred to a psychiatric facility. Long-term drug treatment is required, supported by behavioral therapy. The support of friends and acquaintances is necessary in any case.

Truman Syndrome