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link to pictures of a DP brain VS "normal" brain

4169 Views 29 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Luka
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Homeskooled said:
It IS an error in metabolism. Whether that is an inborn, genetic trait or simply that you have poor voluntary thought patterns is the question. Conscious thought, however, doesnt actually manifest in the parietal area of the brain, as on the scans. Our perceptions of our bodies (which isnt under our control) as well as muscle control and our "body map" occur in the parietal lobe. This probably explains the odd sensation of not existing or not having a body that some people with DP have.

I'm very much with Homeskooled on this one, particularly the last sentence.

Also, I emphasize that this does not necessarily mean our situation is "hopeless". I have had DP/DR for 30+ years. Had it on and off in my childhood. I am also anxious and have some mood problems.

There are two research institutes dedicated to DP Research -- Mt. Sinai in NYC and the IoP in London. That research has been going on for years. But we also can't forget research into all psychiatric and neurological disorders that have truly begun to take off, also a far greater understanding of genetics than even 10 years ago. The 1990s was "The Decade of the Brain" -- sort of a kick-off for things to come.

If you really want to understand this business about body perception, I highly recommend this book by neuropsychiatrist, V.S. Ramachandran:

Phantoms In The Brain

It is not difficult to read. It is about Dr. R's extensive research into the experience of those with phantom limbs -- that is individuals who have lost a limb and still experience its presense/sensations/pain, or even those born without a limb who yet still feel the presense of that limb.

Our brains have created a "map" of our bodies, our brains like/need/are evolved to "fill in the gaps." The opposite of that would be the lack of that ability, an inability to perceive the SELF properly and yet be aware that this is not normal.

I also believe this comes in so many different forms -- as reflected on the Board here -- but that there is likely to be some common pathway, glitch, malfunction, etc.

And DP/DR comes in varying degrees here. Some chronic, some episodic. Some say their anxiety is worse than their DP/DR. For me my most debilitating symptoms are my DP/DR and always have been. Some have absolutely incapacitating DP, etc.

Some dream in DP, some don't. Some are riddled with anxiety, some aren't. Some of us here are depressed, some aren't.

Bottom line, for a good many here there are many treatment options, and I believe in the future there will be many more.

If we understand the complexity of any illness in the human body, we must understand a brain that isn't functioning properly is extremely difficult to understand -- we can't get in and poke around at everyone's brain in the way we can operate on any other part of the body. It is a very difficult task to deal with. Yet, I have come to believe that DP/DR -- the symptoms are as HS says some sort of metabolic glitch, or it could be that in some of us we have minor changes in brain morphology.

I highly suggest reading the Ramachandran book. It is wonderful in helping one understand how the brain works. Also Ramachandran's book, A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness briefly discusses DP/DR. Also, look at the articles posted, books mentioned here -- check out the bibliographies. There is a massive amount of research going on. The bibliographies will lead you to more and more articles.

See the Links Section to the IoP. There is a whole list of articles on DP there.

And again, this doesn't mean our cases are "hopeless". Therapy, CBT, medications, etc. are all helpful in helping us cope with this, and there are many stories where DP/DR has been eliminated.


Song in my head at this moment, go figure,
"I won't give up if you don't give up...
Oh I am calling all you angels..."
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There has long been a school of thought that mental illnesses of all kinds have a neurological basis. It is difficult to poke aroung in a live brain. It's the most complex organ in the body.

These studies are in their infancy, but here at the local uni the focus is on neuropsychiatry, that is understanding mental illness from a biological poiint of view. And that doesn't mean it's hopeless, but it means there are medical ways of treating this.

We already know this about many mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar, etc. I subscribe to the theory that DP/DR are indeed neurological in origin.

You have to read about these things or you can't understand them. There is a huge body of work out there, books, articles, and now the internet.

This doesn't mean that talk therapy isn't an integral part to psychiatric/medical treatment.

I have also had an EEG and a CAT scan that showed nothing. This was back in 1980. Things have changed dramatically since then. My guess is if I had the money for a SPECT or PET, etc. my brain would show something irregular.

This doesn't frighten me. It gives me a sense of control. And there is indeed an intricate connection between Nature and Nurture. None of this can be boiled down to a simple answer.

Knowledge is power.

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As I've said a million times as well, if you want information for the layperson, go to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill website...
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