So I've started to write a book on DPD recovery. So far I have the title figured out, as well as an intro (or book cover text). I realize the book won't be applicable to everyone with dpd, but I think it will help many people out and also clinicians as well. I have a PhD in Genes and Development and a B.A. in Biology with a minor in Psychology. Here it is:
Finding My Self: I Survived Depersonalization Disorder
By Gary M. Deyter, PhD
Imagine you are dreaming a nightmare. In the dream you feel as if you are trapped in a person-sized bubble that is internally soundproof and mostly impermeable, especially to your own escape. Your environment seems distant from you as you are enclosed within a bubble, and everything appears unclear as you look at the world through the wavering cloudiness of the bubble’s surface. It is as if you are separated from the external world, and you feel very confused about your place in the world. You’re stuck in a prison away from everyone else, a situation that causes you fear and the feeling as if you might suffocate, die, or go crazy. However, you feel at least somewhat safe in the bubble since it is protecting you from your perceived dangers of the world, though they may be unwarranted or of false value. When you get extremely nervous, the bubble (and you inside it) drifts upward toward the sky a bit, making you feel even less connected to the world. The dream progresses to the death of a loved one, and you realize that although you want to feel the pain and sadness of losing that person, you are stuck in the bubble and therefore you can’t possibly express yourself and the depth of your sorrow to any other soul. While you feel extremely lonely in your bubble, it is almost as if the emotional weight of losing that person is far away from you; a bittersweet benefit of your isolation. A similar thing happens during intensely happy moments, when in previous situations you may have laughed hysterically before you had become entrapped in the bubble, now you muster up a smile and have lost the ability to fully relate to the events happening around you. The nightmare does not end there, for not only do you feel separated from the external world, but you also feel removed from your own self. It is as if you don’t fully exist within your own mind, as if your self is disconnected from the emotions and feelings that you at one time had before you became trapped in the bubble. It is as if your sense of self and self-worth have been destroyed, yet you still have to live some semblance of a life. It is as if you are the living dead. In your nightmare, two decades pass with you imprisoned in the bubble, hardly connected to either the external world or your own internal world, since emptiness has taken over what used to be your feelings and off-the-cuff reactions to the world. Twenty years go by without you fully engaged in life. That is over 7,300 days of feeling disconnected from the reality of your life; feeling confused about the events of your life and how to respond to them. Can you imagine what it might feel like for you if the bubble were to finally burst? The nightmare would end and you would awaken. Life would become at least partially normal again, the way it used to be. This state of existence had been my life from 1996, when chronic Depersonalization Disorder took over my consciousness at age 18, until age 38 when, in 2016, the bubble finally burst. I dedicate this book to the survivors of Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder, for every one of you is surviving your mental anguish each day you wake up and go about life in the mental hell in which your mind exists. Contained in these pages is also a wakeup call for clinicians and funding agencies to recognize and research Depersonalization Disorder, one of the few severe mental illnesses for which there is no established therapy, either psychotherapeutic or pharmacologic.