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Solipsism syndrome

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Solipsism syndrome refers to a psychological state and condition in which a person feels that reality is not external to their mind. Periods of extended isolation may predispose people to this condition. In particular, the syndrome has been identified as a potential concern for individuals living in outer space for extended periods of time.[1]


The philosophical definition of solipsism is the idea that only one's mind is sure to exist. In a solipsistic position, a person only believes their mind or self is sure to exist. This is part of self-existence theory or the view of the self.

Individuals experiencing solipsism syndrome feel reality is not 'real' in the sense of being external to their own minds. The syndrome is characterized by feelings of loneliness, detachment and indifference to the outside world. Solipsism syndrome is not currently recognized as a psychiatric disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, though it shares similarities with depersonalization-derealization disorder, which is recognized.[2] Solipsism syndrome is distinct from solipsism, which is a philosophical position that nothing exists or can be known to exist outside of one's own mind rather than a psychological state. Advocates of this philosophy do not necessarily suffer from solipsism syndrome, and sufferers do not necessarily subscribe to solipsism as a school of intellectual thought.[citation needed]

Periods of extended isolation may predispose people to solipsism syndrome. In particular, the syndrome has been identified as a potential challenge for astronauts and cosmonauts on long-term missions,[3][4][5] and these concerns influence the design of artificial habitats.[6][7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Angelo, Joseph A. (2003). Space technology. Greenwood Press. p. 239. ISBN 1-57356-335-8.
  2. ^ "Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder". PsychDB. 2021-03-29. Retrieved 2023-09-29.
  3. ^ Michael, Freeman (1979). Space traveller's handbook. Sovereign Books. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-671-96147-3.
  4. ^ Slemen, Thomas (1999). Strange but true: mysterious and bizarre people. Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0-7607-1244-1. Psychologists have noted how astronauts and cosmonauts exhibit symptoms of 'Solipsism Syndrome' - a mental condition
  5. ^ March, Scott F. (1984). "Dispute resolution in space". Hastings International and Comparative Law Review. 7. California: University of California: 211. ISSN 0149-9246. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
  6. ^ Johnson, Richard D.; Holbrow, Charles. "Space Settlements: A Design Study". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Archived from the original on 2009-11-13.
  7. ^ Preiser, Wolfgang (1976). Psyche and design. University of Illinois. pp. 18–19. ISBN 0-412-98961-1.
  8. ^ Scuri, Piera (1995). Design of enclosed spaces. Chapman & Hall. ISBN 0-412-98961-1. emphasize the importance of what they call the 'solipsism syndrome in an artificial environment': that is, the fact that such environments create

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