Depersonalisation

A small disclaimer: this is what I once felt and the rest of the clarity is defined by the internet. If I am wrong call me the fuck out.

My closest experience: I had a period of, well I am not sure. First it started off as anger, which I guess I always had, later this turned into sadness. I would have the odd brief moments where I felt good, then quickly I just wanted to cry and hide for no reason at all. It then manifested into nothing. I would be with my friends or family but everything felt so surreal, as if I were watching my life and wasn’t living it. It was all very odd to say the least.

I am not saying I had depersonalisation but it was the closest thing I could find and with my vague experience and the internet, it will help me write my characters.

Depersonalisation Disorder (DPD) is experiencing things as unreal or detached from a situation, it can also be the abundance of emotion. People with this disorder feel disconnected from themselves (leading to a disruption of self-awareness and resulting in emotional numbness). [In some cases it can feel as if the individual is watching their life as a movie rather than being part of that world.]

People often experience DPD during a panic attack, as this is their peak level of anxiety. It acts as a coping mechanism during high levels of stress.

It can be due to stress, trauma, depression or use of recreational drugs, sometimes even personality traits. It is not uncommon, affecting 1-2% of the population.

I’d recommend further reading in the form of: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/your-stories/depersonalisation-my-four-months-of-terror/#.XJ_x_pj7TIU

Now lets lighten the mood with some trivia:

  • The word “depersonalisation” was first used in a 1880 Journal Intime entry by Henri Frèdèric Amiel
  • A movie called Numb starring Matthew Perry was released in 2007, which deals with the directors (Harris Goldberg) experience in battling DPD
  • People often associate Van Gogh’s “Scream” with DPD

Image result for numb 2007  Image result for van gogh scream

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Why Are We So Afraid of Feeling?

I know this is not true for everyone, especially since I am posting this on a site for writers who live off emotions and empathy. Also some people are more emotional than others and are more willing to share this with others; which I admire in a strange way. I am often quite taken aback by this, I wonder how they can be so open with someone who they still deem to be a stranger, yet still are willing to disclose such intimate details of their lives. In contrast to myself who, for the longest time, wasn’t able to share with my closest friends that I couldn’t be around them sometimes because I would rather be at home in solitude, staring at the ceiling as tears ran down my face. Even to this day when I mention these less than amusing events, I laugh it off as a joke. That doesn’t sound healthy but that is how I cope. That is how I don’t fall back into that state because it beats not acknowledging it at all.

The only way I recovered from those times was by talking about it, and even if I talk about it in a lighter tone, it helps. But why was I so scared of talking about it prior to this? Why was I so prideful not to talk about my emotions and prefer to sit in a dark room rather than come to terms with my own emotions?

Did I think I was weak for having these emotions?

Did I think I was strong to not accept these feelings?

Was I worried people would think I was weak?

Why did that matter?

Since when was acting like a human a bad thing?

It seems that basic things such as emotions and empathy are deemed as weaknesses.

And I struggle with this preconception so much.

However I’m learning.

Slowly.