Depersonalization Support Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I'm doing my BA research paper and I want it so bad to be something related to DPDR.

It's the closest I could get, considering my major, to raising awareness and giving exposure to DPDR

(through analyzing books with literary texts with DPDR'd characters)

For example, I remember, when reading The Stranger ages ago, that how numb the character was towards his mother's death reminded me of DPDR, but of course that's one symptom and honestly I don't remember the rest (thanks meds) to judge if this particular one shows quite a few symptoms of DPDR

But you get the idea right? Have you ever read something and thought "wow this character sounds like they have DPDR"?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
631 Posts
I would be very cautious about “diagnosing” or otherwise subjecting literary characters and historical figures to psychiatric diagnoses. Literature is full of metaphor and other flowery language that is best understood in its own contextual universe and not based on some literal interpretation of the words used. This is how queer theorists came up with the ridiculous idea that Lincoln was a closeted gay, for example. It’s important to consider what “feeling numb” towards his mother’s death means within the structure of “the Stranger”. Are we speaking of a literal sense of emotionless or numbness, like there is something wrong with the subject’s sense organs? Does he seem to posess a constitutional incapacity to feel? Or did he have issues with his mother, rendering him metaphorically “numb” to her death? It’s been awhile since I’ve read it too, and my brain is garbage these days anyways. I’m not saying you’re wrong either; as far as the classics go I think Camus as well as Sartre are probably highly relatable to people like us. But DPDR is not equivalent or synonymous with existentialism, and “feeling numb” can be interpreted in a number of ways, just like one man saying “I love you” to another man can be interpreted in many ways. In other words, be careful that you’re not just interpreting the work as a means of validating your preconceived notions of what you want it to mean. Your DP might ironically actually help you to be more objective in this respect :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,420 Posts
Can't think of any DP/DR related characters, but I suffered recurrent major depression following a sequence of temporal lobe seizures as an adolescent. A description of my epileptic syndrome states I was a worse case

scenario in that my "post ictal psychosis segued into an affective disorder of major depression". Once you experience the emotional death and journey to depression hell, it is as if you have

created a pathway in your brain which you will be required to walk again at intervals in your life. Sufferers average 4 or 5 episodes in their lifetime.

In the Hobbit, by Tolkien, Bilbo Baggins is stabbed by a Nazgul on a hilltop where he and friends were camping for the night. The wound was made by an evil sword, and the wound would never completely heal.

That was like the wound that was left by my seizures. My EEGs would never be normal after that incident.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Literature is full of metaphor and other flowery language that is best understood in its own contextual universe and not based on some literal interpretation of the words used.

It's important to consider what "feeling numb" towards his mother's death means within the structure of "the Stranger". Are we speaking of a literal sense of emotionless or numbness, like there is something wrong with the subject's sense organs? It's been awhile since I've read it too, and my brain is garbage these days anyways. I'm not saying you're wrong either; as far as the classics go I think Camus as well as Sartre are probably highly relatable to people like us.
How literature is best understood is a matter of opinion. Different schools of literary criticism view it fundamentally differently, and so does any given reader.

I get your point. That's why surely I wouldn't isolate one aspect or 'symptom' and make it suit what I'd rather believe it to be. Wouldn't be accepted academically to begin with, and I would offend myself having chronic DP, don't worry.

Once you experience the emotional death and journey to depression hell, it is as if you have

created a pathway in your brain which you will be required to walk again at intervals in your life. Sufferers average 4 or 5 episodes in their lifetime.

In the Hobbit, by Tolkien, Bilbo Baggins is stabbed by a Nazgul on a hilltop where he and friends were camping for the night. The wound was made by an evil sword, and the wound would never completely heal.

That was like the wound that was left by my seizures. My EEGs would never be normal after that incident.
Very true.

It takes a lot to come to terms with the permanent reality of DP as well as any traumatic incident prior (yet allow for a space to heal, though being aware it's never to the point of returning to the same reality and self before).

Interesting how literature and art allow us to understand or express ourselves better. Thank you for sharing.

The Stranger is one. It's a short book. I think it had more to do with morality, but the character definitely seemed detached the entire time. Camus might have slipped into a state of permanent DR himself. In the end, the character decides nothing matters, which seems out of character for your average DP sufferer.

Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre is similarly about a guy who feels weird and detached, and it's vert existential. I never read it, but it seems to have less to do with morality.

Some of the darker Nine Inch Nails stuff sounds like it's about DP. "The me that you know is now made up of wires, and even when I'm right with you, I'm so far away." I mostly listen to music.

Someone recommended a short story about a kid who cut his face and then took some old-timey antidepressants which made the world feel alien. Then I was recommended another story about an old-timey guy on a boat talking to another passenger about how he just didn't feel the things he was supposed to anymore. Sorry I forgot the titles.
I a lot of music I listen to, too, and stumble on have resonated with me and does sound too much like DP.

I have a copy of Nausea that I haven't been able to touch again as the few first pages I read stung too much and reminded me of early suffocating times with DP. It really does make me nauseous to read.

I do believe in the correlation of existentialism and DP. It's all over this forum. Existence can put us in a never-ending anxious state of we were to remove the normalizing and familiarizing of it by society and culture. Perhaps, if you're predisposed to anxiety, and your mind ponders insistently the reason behind it all, something breaks off and never be the same with your brain. Never enough research and funding though to actually have any substantial evidence to these theories.

I might look into short stories rather than novels now. Thank you for sharing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
631 Posts
How literature is best understood is a matter of opinion. Different schools of literary criticism view it fundamentally differently, and so does any given reader.
You are 100% correct here. My choice of words there was terrible, lol. I was just trying to get the OP to avoid the trap of "numb? DP sufferers often describe feeling numb! This guy must be describing DP!" Something I saw surprisingly frequently in published papers and books when I was in grad school.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top