DP Sufferer in The News

Kudos to Carol W. Berman, M.D. for her Huffington Post article on a twenty year sufferer of Depersonalization Disorder.

A brief sample of Out Of His Body: A Case Of Depersonalization Disorder:

"One day I was walking around the city, minding my own business, when suddenly I found myself looking down at myself from somewhere near the awning of a store. It was unreal and the weirdest thing in the world!" he exclaimed, his hands shaking. "Since then, and that was 20 years ago, I've had one experience like that after another and never completely felt like I was back in my body. I constantly feel spaced out."

Read the entire article here: Out of His Body

Carol W. Berman, M.D. is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at NYU Medical Center.

Depersonalization Disorder is appearing more frequently in the media, finally. Please share these stories with others and with your mental health care providers. You are NOT alone.

DP Mentioned in WSJ Therapy Dog Article!

I am thrilled that a friend brought this to my attention. This article about therapy dogs specifically mentions a woman with dissociation and panic. We are not alone. One by one, we get the word out.
You will find Annie Roeder’s story in the body of the article. Click HERE to read the entire article.

Rise in Pets as Therapy for Mental Conditions
Animals Help People With Autism, PTSD, Other Conditions Function Day-to-Day
By Shirley S. Wang
Wall Street Journal
Nov. 4, 2013

“Animals increasingly are being used to assist patients with mental disorders, as evidence grows that they can help people with autism, PTSD and other conditions function in their everyday lives.

Annie Roeder, 29, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., has dissociative disorder, a condition that involves sporadic memory loss, feelings of detachment from oneself and perceptions that people and objects aren't real. She says her psychiatric-service dog, Bamboo, a basset hound-beagle mix, helps her when she is having an anxiety attack or feels out of touch with reality. The dog alerts Ms. Roeder when the episode is occurring and will lay down on her lap to stabilize her. Ms. Roeder says she doesn't know whether Bamboo is detecting a change in her actions or something else. "He just knows" when an attack is coming, she says.

Ms. Roeder says she used to be afraid to spend much time in public in case she had a dissociative episode. But since getting Bamboo 2½ years ago she now feels safe to engage in regular activities outside her home.”

Photo © Josh Ritchie for The Wall Street Journal
Bamboo the therapy dog

Here’s to Annie and Bamboo! And many thanks to journalist Shirley S. Wang for this article.

DP/DR In The News - Super New Yorker article!

This is fantastic news! The New Yorker has a wonderful in-depth article on HPPD from rec-drugs, and a description of Depersonalization and Derealization. My goodness, I want to win the lottery to start a DP Non-Profit. Pleases, “Say what you need to say.” There is NO shame. Whether this was rec-drug induced or not!

The New Yorker Magazine
May 17, 2013
A Trip That Doesn’t End
by Dorian Rolston

A chronic and debilitating condition, H.P.P.D. warps the perceptual faculties: the external senses are marred by a constellation of mostly visual distortions, while the internal ones are paralyzed by a concoction of dissociative symptoms, panic attacks, and depression. The doors of perception are not so much cleansed, as Aldous Huxley famously found after his first experience on mescaline, as they are cracked open and left askew.

H.P.P.D. does not generate hallucinations, technically speaking. Sufferers can appreciate that their perceptual aberrations are unreal—that their surroundings only appear blurred by afterimages (palinopsia) and trails (akinetopsia); shimmered by sparkles and flashed by bright bolts of light; interrupted by transparent blobs of color floating around; electrified by visual snow; magnified or shrunk by “Alice-in-Wonderland” symptoms; adorned by halos around objects, around people’s heads. The pseudo-hallucinations are ultimately unconvincing, if deeply unsettling.

Eventually, a sense of permanent unreality casts a pall over the acid-fuelled dreamscape, and sufferers disassociate—from the world, due to derealization, and from themselves, due to depersonalization. At a recent Society of Biological Psychiatry conference, Dr. Abraham presented findings, later published in the S.B.P. 2012 supplement, that suggest up to sixty-five per cent of H.P.P.D patients chronically endure panic attacks, and fifty per cent, major depression. Some patients feel their only relief is suicide.

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/05/a-trip-that-lasts-forever.html?printable=true¤tPage=all#ixzz2TlTl2PGG

First DP Network Television Interview - A Milestone

Stranger to My Self author Jeffrey Abugel discusses depersonalization on Channel 8's “Let's Talk Live, Washington DC. The first live discussion of DPD on a major television station. This is a major milestone in getting the word out about DP/DR. Thank you Jeff!