If you're like us, you've probably watched a lot of movies and wished that your life would turn out exactly like the lives of your favorite onscreen characters. Sadly, most of us will never end up like our heroes, Batman and Spider-Man and Al Pacino in Cruising. But the good news is that your life can become just like your favorite films as early as tomorrow. As we've shown you before, all it takes is a debilitating mental illness.
6The Truman Show Delusion: The Truman Show
In The Truman Show, Jim Carrey plays Truman Burbank, an average guy leading an average life ("average" here meaning "living with a wife he hates, a crippling phobia of water and enough traumatic memories to streak the surface of Ed Harris' forehead with failure tears").
Eventually, Truman discovers that his entire life is secretly a reality show being broadcast around the world. Cafe waitresses, security guards and a creepy guy in a bathtub are all watching Truman's existence play out without his knowledge.
"Every time Truman masturbated, I was watching. And masturbating."
Sibling doctors Joel and Ian Gold (probable tagline: Brothers in Medicine) met with several patients who had the strange delusion that people gave enough of a shit about their lives to turn them into secret TV shows (although in their defense, the paradoxical first rule of reality television is that people will inexplicably begin to give every available shit about your life the instant it is documented on a television show). The brothers Gold creatively named the illness the Truman Show delusion, because they really wanted to make it home in time for Two and a Half Men.
"They're rerunning the ones with Charlie Sheen!"
One patient told the Gold doctors that he was convinced that everyone he knew was really an actor (which probably included the doctors themselves, making us wonder why the hell he bothered). Another man believed that 9/11 had been a scripted part of his own private reality show, and he traveled to New York City just to make sure it had actually happened (we can only imagine that his pursuit of the truth led to several awkward conversations and one or two merciless trashcan beatings). And more recently, an Illinois man actually sued HBO for allegedly filming his life in secret, apparently confusing his own deranged self with one of the hairspray-soaked bog mutants on Sex and the City.
5Clinical Lycanthropy: Werewolf Movies
Lycanthropes, or werewolves, are a staple of horror movies (and recently, for some odd reason, teenage melodramas). The specific details vary, but the basic plot of every werewolf movie involves a person undergoing a painfully gruesome transformation into a giant and/or vaguely humanoid wolf creature, either by the light of a full moon or whenever they goddamned feel like it. Once the transformation is complete, the werewolf will then supermurder everything in the immediate vicinity, rape a bunch of people to death or play air guitar and be really good at basketball.
These activities are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
Clinical lycanthropy is an extremely rare disorder in which people believe that they are slowly turning into an animal. Multiple patients have been studied, with some experiencing the delusion for up to 13 years. However, you might be disappointed to learn that most cases have absolutely nothing to do with wolves, because mental illness is rarely awesome.
Don't think you can use the moon as an excuse for a crime spree, though. Trust us on this one.
In one case, a woman believed that she had turned into four different animals over a short period of time, apparently modeling her mental illness after Animorphs. And one woman, after attempting to have sex with her husband, began barking madly like a dog and was eventually institutionalized, although her husband probably still tried to complete the sex act for several minutes before calling anyone.