This blog is a place where fellow colleagues can go to obtain research, read articles, gain insight, laugh a little and find useful tools and tips. I love discussion and want to hear your opinion as well, whether it supports or challenges the posted view. The field of social work is not a walk in the park, and we need the support of others to make it through.
I am a Military Spouse who has had 12 years of experience learning how to juggle a career while moving every few years. I have experience in School Social Work, Private Practice, Community Mental Health, Domestic Violence, Hospital Social Work, Hospice and Home Health. I hold both a Master's and Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a specialization in Trauma.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Truman Show Syndrome

Travel back in time, to the early 1990's when The Truman Show starring Jim Carrey came to your local movie theater.  Or better yet, when you went to Blockbuster and rented the VHS of it.  Even then, I remember being in awe at the idea that someone's entire life could be captured on video and watched by countless people.

Fast forward to 2015, where social media rules the world.  Facebook statuses are capturing live births as they happen.  Relationship updates alert friends and family of weddings, divorces and those more "complicated" situations.  Instagram captures moments immediately and shoots them out digitally to all followers or hashtag searchers.  I don't feel I need to continue because most are very well aware of the digital age we live in.

I ask the question though, does all this technology and social media play a part in our mental health?  Are there cause and effect situations here or does social media just mirror what is going on inside us.  New studies are indicative of Facebook usage causing depression.  There is also early research on Personality Disorders and Social Media.

The "Truman Show Syndrome" was coined by the Gold brothers, a Psychiatrist and a Neurophilosopher. Keep in mind that this is not a diagnosable condition by itself, but it can describe one's type of delusion.  Someone may have a delusion where they believe they are on a TV show, much like "The Truman Show."  But even with delusions, much of what we believed to be "not possible" has suddenly become very real.  How do we account for a very possible situation such as the government tapping our phones or someone videotaping with a hidden device.  It is a whole new day and age we now live in.

Make sure to click on the links within the article and here are a few others if you are interested in reading further:

While it is nearly impossibly to disconnect from technology and social media, there is good reason to be mindful and aware of the feelings that arise.  Boundaries and time limits are a good idea to consider.  But most importantly, don't forget to experience the moment rather than just recording it.  Sometimes take that video or photograph with your eye as your lens and your brain as your camera.  Doing so will reconnect you, so to speak, which is foundational for our mental health.