Story of Emily


I haven't been diagnosed with depersonalization disorder but all of the symptoms match up. I'm 17 years old and I can't recall the first episode that I had but I remember feeling displaced and out of my body. I remember looking at my hands and wondering if it was really "me" inside. It was confusing and I asked a few people if they knew what I meant but everybody mainly said "oh so it's like you're daydreaming" when this is not the case at all. However, unlike some people who have depersonalization, I don't feel loss of joy with life. I don't feel depressed to a severe point and I rarely feel anxious. I have never smoked marijuana so I know that there's no association with that. It doesn't affect my life to the point where I feel like I'm going insane. But when I do have episodes, it is uncomfortable and frightening. I was reading someone's story and they talked about how they try to take their mind off of the feeling when it is happening. I can relate to that. Often I try to bring
myself back to reality by focusing on something. Also, I was reading an excerpt from someone who had the disorder and I felt the same way. He/she said that they felt like when they were speaking they didn't feel that they were their own words, like they were coming from someone else. I can also relate to someone's story about their problem with mirrors. I used to not be able to look in mirrors because my appearance would frighten me ( that sounds strange!). The longer I looked at myself the more displaced I felt. It's like your living in this inside world and you look at other people and they feel so separate from you. Often I feel robotic in my actions and words. I never knew what I had until I took psychology class this last year and I came across the term depersonalization. So, I did some research and now everything feels like it falls into place. Mostly, I have come to terms with the disorder. I try to focus on other things when I have an episode and I wait for it to pass.



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