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Seeking Understanding Of Depersonalization Disorder

July 9, 2012

A friend of ours confided he has  Depersonalization Disorder

Our friend started a blog in order to better understand it, allow insight into the effect it can have, and locate others who share the same type of story.  I want to call attention to his efforts, and hopefully find readers who can share insight into this issue.

I have it made. To all appearances, I am a healthy, vibrant, attractive and well-adjusted 28-year-old guy. I have a loving family, and several wonderful and supportive friends. I graduated Summa cum Laude with Honors in French and Music six years ago, and I just successfully completed my first year in a Ph.D. program studying music theory. I seem to have just about everything I could have ever dreamed of, and life is looking positive for me.

In an art history course entitled “Egypt and Islam,” our final project was to go to the Louvre and recreate an Egyptian temple using the artifacts that were there. Simple enough, right? Yet I struggled with this project, but it wasn’t the nature of the project itself that troubled me so much. We had to take pictures of the artifacts we were using for our project, yet I did not own a camera. So I went out to the streets of Paris looking for a simple disposable camera for this project. The problem was, every time I was out on the street, I would dissociate, and get “lost in my head” again. I would lose my direction, but then I stopped, thought about where I was, and continued. This lasted for four days. To this day, I believe I was in a fugue state, wandering around, but lost in my own thoughts, unable to come back to the present moment. The anxiety that resulted from my being unable to perform the simplest of tasks was intense. My head felt heavy, yet empty. My shoulders curled up and I couldn’t seem to stop my mind from racing. Six sleepless nights and days I spent in this horrific state until my good friend finally called an SOS doctor for me. I was immediately placed in St. Anne’s mental institution and diagnosed with Major Depression, where I would stay for 9 days until my parents bailed me out.

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