Friday, 25 September 2015

depersonalisation disorder

“It was a feeling of being fundamentally wrong in your own body,” Charlton says, attempting to describe what has remained largely indescribable: the symptoms of depersonalisation disorder, the condition that swallowed a huge chunk of her life.
“It was a constant, continuous otherworldly experience,” she says. “It’s a feeling that, if you’re feeling this way, you shouldn’t be existing at the same time. The feeling was of having left myself completely, constantly trying to grasp on to reality, trying to claw back what I’d had a few days ago. Yesterday I had a life, and now I’ve got nothing.”
Depersonalisation disorder, or DPD, is among the most common yet under-recognised psychiatric conditions in the world. According to studies in both Britain and the US, DPD could affect up to 2% of the population – that is, around 1.3 million people in the UK, and 6.4 million in the US.
People with depersonalisation disorder describe a sense of complete detachment, a life lived as an automaton or on autopilot, characterised by an absence of emotions, either good or bad. (You might think of Channel 4’s recent hit Humans, which featured an intelligence trapped, powerless, in the body of a robot.) They feel as though they are observing their life through a plate of glass or a dense fog, or as if it is appearing in a film. Their bodies and their beings have separated; their limbs are no longer their own."

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