Discovery Fit & Health's 'Broken Minds' Host Dr. Reef on Truman Show illness
By April MacIntyre Jun 5, 2012, 20:22 GMT
The brain really is the most mysterious place in the universe.
All kinds of mental disorders are covered on Discovery Fit & Health's “Broken Minds,” a new series that shines a big light on obscure disorders.
The series, which begins tonight, Wednesday, with two episodes, covers a wide array of illness: Imagine you have an obsession to cut off a perfectly good left leg. Or that you are someone else after awaking from sleep?
"Broken Minds" is hosted by Dr. Reef Karim, of The Control Center (http://www.thecontrolcenter.org/) in Beverly Hills.
Dr. Reef Karim is a board certified psychiatrist, board certified addiction medicine specialist, and a certified relationship therapist. He is a senior attending physician and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience as well a published research scientist in the field of behavioral & chemical addictions with articles in the International Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Addiction Medicine, and other prestigious journals.
Dr. Reef Karim recently spoke to Monsters and Critics about a disturbing trend of 'Truman Show' delusions. The Truman Show was a film that starred Jim Carrey as a man who spends his entire life unwittingly at the center of a fictional world that's being broadcast to millions of homes.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that these people believe they were the star of a reality TV program, often with tragic consequences. The paranoid suspicion of being spied on has driven some people to violence and even murder.
In 2007, psychiatrist William Johns III allegedly assaulted a 2-year-old and his mother in New York City after he left his home in Florida because he 'had to get out of the Truman Show' that he believed was filming him in his home town, according to ABC news.
Researchers at New York University and McGill University in Montreal, Dr. Joel Gold and Dr. Ian Gold, published a series of case studies about 'Truman Show' mania.
Their article was published in the journal Cognitive Neuropsychiatry.
One patient traveled to New York City because he believed the World Trade Center attacks had been faked for the TV show being filmed around him, according to Buzzfeed. He said he had to see for himself whether the twin towers were still standing. If they weren't, he said, it would be final proof that he was the unwilling star of a reality TV program.
Dr. Reef Karim, host of Discovery's "Broken Minds," spoke to Monsters and Critics about this bizarre mental illness.
"Psychotic delusions that our lives are being broadcasted or we are being spied on are not new but since the movie came out, these specific symptoms are loosely being called 'Truman Show' delusions. Although it's not in any psychiatric manual, these delusions do exist and since the explosion of reality television we are seeing higher numbers."
Dr. Reef elaborated. "There are some people who have a vulnerability to psychotic behavior. It may be due to drug use, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or stress with very poor coping skills but it happens to a select group of people. And although religious delusions and delusions about police and the government have always been common amongst this population, psychiatrists are more recently seeing delusions centered on Truman show and reality show references."