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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone. PLEASE read this because it may be enlightening, and I need your help. As some of you know, I authored the book "Feeling Unreal" with Daphne Simeon MD, and then "Stranger To My Self" a few years later. The former, published by Oxford University, was the first book in English on the topic of DPD, the second, from a small independent publisher, was a more readable, personal account with whatever new information was available at the time. I also founded one of the earlier DPD websites, Depersonalization.info, more than a decade ago.

I experienced DPD in its most horrible forms long before some of you were even alive. I've studied it and written about it from every possible angle-from the medical aspects to the philosophic and spiritual possibilities. Through the years, I've answered literally thousands of emails and tried to offer help, advice or referrals whenever I could. In time, it became clear that I was answering many of the same questions over and over again. With the internet, DPD went from a topic of complete obscurity to one of endless conversation and speculation, often by people who may or may not have the condition itself. Self-help programs have emerged and some people are clearly trying to profit from people looking for any glimmer of hope. If some of them work, great. But I have never offered anything other than these books, and I've never aggressively marketed them, especially in the many DP forums or facebook groups. I have made my living as an editor and writer my whole life, and have always been a strong believer in what is known as editorial integrity. I believe that it is the writer's job to do the work, the publisher's job to market it. Like most writers, I do a bad job of self-promotion.

These books were not written to make money, but to bring this thing called DPD to light by putting all that is known about it, or theorized about it all together in one place. I believe I have succeeded in that. Whatever money can be made off of the condition has gone to the psychiatrists and psychologists who are now able to cash in on a whole new class of patients. Sad but true.

"Feeling Unreal" was met with some skepticism by the emerging online DPD communities when it first came out in 2006. A lot of nasty people were questioning my motives and credentials. Some were quite insulting personally. So I withdrew from all of the online communities and limited my communication to depersonalization.info or questions directed to me via email. I have kept a low profile, and tried to let the work speak for itself while I went on to other, more profitable endeavors. For better or worse, however, all of that must now change. My publishers have not been happy with this low-key approach and I need to do a little more to get the word out on my own.

I am currently communicating with a film maker in France where a new DPD study will attempt to use Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to treat the condition. (TMS has shown promise for people with severe depression and MAY help with DPD). I want to take part in this research, and also have the publisher do a French translation of 'Stranger To My Self." If the TMS works, I would also like to update the book to include this information. To do all this, however, the publisher needs to see a surge in sales. It's just a cold hard face in this rapidly changing book-publishing world.

I also want to found a nonprofit group specifically for the study of DPD, and sponsor regional conferences where people from the lay and medical communities can discuss it. All of this takes public interest, and money.

So here's the deal. I don't claim to be the world's expert on DPD, or anything else. I am not competing with nor knocking anyone's programs or products. But everything I've gathered and everything I know was put into the book "Stranger To My Self." Most, if not all of your questions will be answered therein. I have drawn heavily from Dr. Sierra's book within its pages, putting all of that valuable information into plain, understandable English. Check out the reviews on Amazon and see what people have said about it. It DOES offer suggestions in terms of good treatment, even cures. It DOES go into all the literary references and philosophical ramifications, as well as all the medical and psychological factors. Please PLEASE take a chance and order this book.

Imagine if everyone on this, and similar pages read this book as a point of departure. Discussions could then go beyond the most rudimentary questions, the answers to which are provided within it. It is essentially a primer on the topic-a condensed version of everything you would find during years of research, most of it not online.

If you will order it, I will personally address any questions you may have after you've read it. Promise. You can get it from Amazon, but I prefer you order it here:

http://www.the-book-source.com/

The price should be as low as Amazon, and if it isn't just contact them and tell them.

I will post this in several places as my one attempt to boost sales of this book and move forward with the study of DPD. Knowing that I am doing it for future research, and a higher purpose as it were, just makes all this a little easier for me. Thanks in advance to all of you.
 
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I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all the work you have done on DPD, Jeff. I purchased Stranger to My Self and am halfway through. Great information and a personal look into the effects of this disorder.

I urge the community to look into purchasing a copy as it is not full of medical jargon and easier to read than other books on the topic. I will remind people DPselfhelp keeps a growing fund from ad revenue to help support low income members purchase DPD literature.
 

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I'm going to buy a copy once I get some money. I can second what Selig said man.. the effort you've put it in to all of that was probably exhausting but it means a lot to a hell of a lot of people I'm sure.
 
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I'd like to read your book one of these days Jeff. I'm just wondering if your publishers have thought about pushing the book into the medical community, doctors, psych's, counsellors etc? Judging by the ignorance of the majority of treating professionals as is described here so often, it appears they need more insight desperately..

Zed
 

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I dont own this book, I went to the site and it said 'Item not found' I'll buy it once it's available.
 

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Published DPD Author
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You guys should be able to get the book on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Stranger-My-Self-Jeffrey-Abugel-ebook/dp/B004MME5X0/ref=sr_1_1/178-5452322-0756329?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415640906&sr=1-1&keywords=Stranger+to+Myself+Jeff+Abugel

And I definitely do not blame any of you who are cynics. I pretty much stayed out of the online communities after "Feeling Unreal" came out because many people were quite cynical, and in some cases, not very pleasant. My lengthy post at the beginning of this topic was about as honest about the whole thing as I can get. When I first suffered from DP there was nothing, and I mean NOTHING about the condition anywhere to be found except in places that the average person didn't know about or couldn't access. The internet changed all that for everyone, but little of the information in this book was drawn from the net. As it turns out there were many clinical papers, many small studies, and many literary and philosophical references to things like DPD out there--you just needed to dig hard for them. Stranger to My Self was an attempt to put all these things together in one place along with updated information from Feeling Unreal. The fact is, I am not a DP sufferer who decided to write a book. I am a writer/journalist who happened to suffer from DP and then wrote the book, in a journalistic way. There is a difference. I won't address the "information for free" issue; i make my only living as a writer and to paraphrase Howard Roark, anyone who works for no pay is a slave, plain and simple. Bottom line, as I stated, I'd be more than happy to communicate with anyone who had questions rising out of the book. Or, you can pay a psychiatrist $100 an hour to dig around for answers from the same sources. We all know what rackets psychiatry and psychology can be at times. That's where to direct a healthy cynicism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I went to a free clinic when this first started with me. The guy gave me a ton of forms to fill out and then told me I'd have to come by once a week for a few years for psycho therapy. So I said Screw that. But at least it was free. You might well hear the same thing from a psychotherapist these days, charging you for every visit.

Shrinks and therapists are just like any other profession. There are good, honest car mechanics and good, honest health professionals. Usually it doesn't take long to tell the difference. There have been a lot of updates in the medical journals about DPD research through the years. A good doctor should be familiar with these. I also suggest to people that they take some hard data with them to an appointment-I don't care if its Sr.Sierra's book, my own, or print outs from various studies or websites like this one. Good doctors and therapists are not beyond learning new things, nor working in unison with you to come up with the best treatment. Don't waste your time with know-it-alls. But always arm yourself with all the knowledge you can gather beforehand.
 
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That anxiety is both the cause and the result and that the cause and the result manifests itself physiologically.
I think you'll find the cause (of dissociative disorders) is more likely from childhood trauma than anxiety appearing from 'nowhere' and 'creating' DP/DR. That's not how it works. The best way out of deep seated trauma is to work through it with a trauma specialist (one who knows dissociation as well) and underpinning that with different therapeutic modalities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just to add one thing before I shut up for a while....Through the years I have talked with many people whose DP experience involved anxiety--before, after or during. There were many others, however, for whom anxiety was not a factor at all. In my own case, a series of severe panic attacks, triggered by pot, then transformed into the emotionless sense of no self. This period without any anxiety, other than worry about what was wrong, was marked by all the classic DPD symptoms as outlined in the DSM.

Years later, a cycle of anxiety, followed by DP, and eventually anxiety again became the norm for me. My conclusion, as pointed out in the book, was that I fell into what the psychiatrist Martin Roth termed the anxiety-depersonalization syndrome long ago. It's a kind of subcategory of DP that well described what I was going through and what many experience today.
 

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Thanks Jeff! for all the work you have done on this awful condition....Being a long term DP sufferer (over 20 years now) i really appreciate any effort people make as regards DP awareness amongst the public...Many people including myself could have been spared and can be spared years of anguish if this condition is properly diagnosed early...

I believe early diagnosis is key to a quicker solution to this illness...
 

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Hallo Jeff

I brought 3.copies of "Felling Unreal" when it came out. I had one copy for myself, one for therapist and I knew someone else with DP. I have dual copies of other DP books. I have not read your last one but after what you have written you have awaken my interest. I am in Denmark so and I can see amazon uk has it -so I will get it from there.

Have you come across Steven Porges "The Polyvagel theory" that DP/dissociation is a parasymptic stress response from the "old" unmaylated vagus?
 

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No, He dosn´t have DP anymore. He came to a psychiatrist called Jäger that gave him an antidepressant called Marplan- an MAO-inhibitor. The Marplan thing is odd. I have tried a very high dose of Marplan 60.mg for 12.weeks with no effect. Marplan is usually give to vegetive depression states without anxiety. When depression and anxiety co-exist Marplan isn´t effective. So his story is unusual when is comes to the response to Marplan. Your have to be on a diet to take Marplan because it blocks for the normal metobolism of some foods and can give a life threading high blood pressure.
 

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It is the only story i have heard that a MOA-inhibitor like Marplan works in DP -very atypical. MOA-inhibitors are very ineffective in anxiety states-unlike antidepressant like SSRI. DP is likely to be an anxiety related disorder. However, there are many stories out there where one has responded on a drug -and many others don´t so in DP you can´t say that there is a drug for the disorder. Most of those who benefit from drugs is the combination of antidressent and a benzodiazepine -and sometimes lamotrigine
 

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Yes, I myself took Marplan, Nardil and Parnate. They did nothing for me save cause me to pass out.

I can't speak for Jeff, but I believe he also was suffering from depression. If the med helped the depression, it could have likewise helped the DP.
Again, this is why no one can say there is one specific med or treatment approach to this.

And LOL at tazi!
 
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