Sunday, June 28, 2009

A study in depersonalization


A fragmentation in ones sense of physical self and a sense of estrangement from the body.



  1. Hi, from Russia. Nice to meet you here, collegue.

  2. I feel this to such an extent that instead of living IN my body, I just live WITH it. It is not me. I know it is mine, but it is not what I am.

  3. Hello Anna,

    Good to hear from another psychologist. What sort of psychology do you do in Russia?


  4. Hi Anon,

    That is an interesting statement you make and an interesting distinction. I would like to hear you describe it more. If you don't want to do it here you can always email me


  5. I would assume that one would have to experience depersonalization to beable to understand this post?

    Its not like an out-of-body experience is it?


    Does anyone really fully understand who they are?

    I think i don't understand and that's going to have to be ok.

  6. Thanks for stopping by! (How did you find me?)I'm a clinical psychologist who is happy to have gotten OUT of private practice. Maybe practicing in Australia is different from some of the hassles we have in the US.

  7. I know the distinction might sound odd, but it's how I feel. I understand that it is my body that gives me life, but I still don't define myself as being a body. It's more like I exist above the body. I am near it and I run it remotely. I take care of it, too. I feed it well and I wash it and normal things like that. Sometimes when things aren't too bad, I can take possession of it in the way that was meant, but I don't normally want to because it's scary in there. Even when I AM in it for a while, I don't really fully feel like it's me. I feel the way other people feel about their cars. You are not your car, right? The body is mine and sometimes I ride in it and sometimes I get out and use a remote control. And I'm so very glad it's not a high maintenance monster like a jag or something. It is a bit of a gas hog, though. It burns a lot of energy to exist this way. I remind myself of the bright side. Very low risk of obesity. Does this answer any questions you may have had?

  8. Yes it does answer the question, thank you Anon.

    I think you may have also answered Roses question above as well! Does it Roses?

    Thanks for explaining more. I might use it in something I am writing on the topic if I may?


  9. Hello Zorra,

    The Australian government has us psychologists all tied up in red tape like a christmas present and regulated out of our little minds as well.

    I see you have an Australian dog.


  10. Yes, you may use it.

  11. Yes it does answer my questions too Anon. Thank you.

    I would like to ask you another question if i may?

    Do you ever feel the draw of your body and feel (reluctantly), to have to oblige your bodies need of your consciousness to be found in it, for how ever long or for what ever reason? And if so - what do you think at that moment and are you very complient?

  12. I comply wit most of the body's needs. There is one I cannot tolerate, but if I take good care of the body, I hope it will never become an issue.

    As far as feeling the draw of the body - yes, and no. The yes answer: Since I spend so much time not fully in the body, I sometimes do not feel hunger until the body sends me the type of emergency signal that lets me know its blood sugar level is very low. Then I must feed it immediately or risk losing consciousness. Thankfully, I am usually rather cautious about keeping the body properly nourished and this sort of thing is a rare event. I also feel the draw of the body when I give it alcohol. It is safer to inhabit then and I like the way it feels. Again, I must use caution. Excess alcohol might harm the body.

    The no answer: Sometimes I feel very lonely and disenfranchised. I feel the draw of the body, or *A* body, but I think not this one. Unfortunately, it is the only one I have. I don't dislike it. It is a healthy body and I am glad of that. It's just that it often feels very scary to be in it. I don't know if that is because of me, or because of the body. In either case, it sometimes makes me very sad.

    I often feel like a ghost instead of a real person. I once read a book of fiction in which a ghost was a character. He told of his longing to have a body. He described the things he missed since the death of his body. He missed the smells of nature, the feeling of enjoying a cigarette, the feeling that came inside his body when there was good food, music, and dancing. It made me cry to read that. Still, there is nothing I can do. I have tried. This is how things are.

  13. Hi Anon,

    I think you're right about alcohol and it's dangers. I feel comforted in your awareness of it.

    Yeah, that sounds like a sad story (the ghost story). Does your life have to be the same as the ghost's? I mean, the ghost is unable to access the body for those pleasures anymore - the body is gone. But you still have a body in which you can find all those pleasures, don't you?

    I don't mind being in the body. It's the only one i have access to (bumma hey? *giggles*). So i'm kind of anchored to it - willingly. I like the pleasures the ghost misses and people intrigue me. Facinating creatures. We're opposites i think, you are out of the body most of the time but i only pop out for something to do or if i have a curiosity about something i can go check it out (not a lot of my findings make sense though - i guess because they're usually out of context), or perhaps want to visit someone. To go along way from the body with out being anchored to it, i think, would be a very dangerous thing to do - i'm frightened to attempt such a thing.

    Do you venture far? And if you do, do you find your way back easily? Are you able to explain how you find the body again?

  14. Only a few times have I felt too far away from the body. Not on purpose, though. You are right, it is very dangerous to do that.

  15. Thanks Anon for our little chat. I don't know about you but i have found it to be very interesting.

    How did you find your way back? When you drifted too far - how did you find your way back? I'm curious to know.

    I think it would be so nice to wonder about aimlessly (carefree) confident of a way to get back safely - a way to get back without having first learn totally - the path there and back.

    I'm frightened to do that - must have had a scare once or something.

  16. I wish I could tell you how I got back, but I don't remember details. I can give you a loose description. I noticed what was happening, I refused to go any further away, and I tried to get back in. I just stayed nearby and kept trying to regain the control of the body that I had lost (speech) by going too far. I got back in with things still like that and I kept attempting to manipulate the body from the inside until I made it speak again. Sometimes it took more than a day and I first had to start communicating again by writing down my words. I pretended to others that I had laryngitis so they would not think it odd. I could think, understand, and move the body normally, and I still had words, but the voice refused to speak them until I was finally able to make it do it. I had to use all of my will to make it happen.

    If there is a way to wander about aimlessy and carefree with confidence in a way to get back safely, then I sure don't have it. Once I reach a certain point I become aware of what is happening and that I must go no further lest there be trouble. I learned of this particular danger from a few unfortunate incidents. The thing that worries me is that one day I might cease to care. I told my spouse that if that ever happens, to please play the work of Macy Gray. I would have to come back in order to get up and make it stop.

  17. LOL! Maybe that's all we need - the sound of something that drives us to distraction! Great line! So funny!

    Your laryngitis (holy smokes! You can spell laryngitis?!) experience would have frightened the pants off me. The talking again thing sounds to me like singing or pitching a note. First you aim for the note you want to sing then you organise the body to hit that note, and then you allow the air to work the vocal cords. It takes a lot of work and heaps of practice. You must be a very strong willed and determined person. Great strengths to have!

    Of cause Anon, all of this could be my overactive imagination. I am, at this time, unable to totally rule that out. Not ever been mentally evaluated as such - that i know of. Seems real to me but then again there are labels for all sorts of things that seem real to many people.

    Do you remember when you were first able to exit your body like this?

    I wonder what keeps you anchored to your body? Weird stuff huh?

    Thanks again for the chat. Gosh - such interesting stuff!

    Cheers... roses

  18. Tony?

    I've been thinking...

    A gift is just that isn't it? Its a gift. Some gifts are promised gifts where you hold on to that gift for a while to help it to grow and nurture its potential until it is finally placed into the hands of the person/s that specific gift is for. Like the gift of life. We offer it to our children, we nurture it, develop it - give it all we have to help it to grow. Then we have to let it go.

    Its a gift for them - not for us. We (somehow)have to finally, let it go.

    Its not easy to let it go is it? Because we've poured our lives into it and we feel that it now belongs to us. But it doesn't does it? No... it is not our life - we have our own lives to live. So we must somehow let it go.

    If i keep hanging on to the life, then it wasn't a gift at all. I didn't give it - i'm still hanging on to it. That's not a gift. No... that's not a gift at all.

    Love is a gift too. Like life, if i give the gift of love to a life i have to let it go don't i? Other wise it's not a gift at all.

    Once i let it go, i nolonger have any say or need to control what is done with that gift. It isn't mine anymore - it was a gift - i gave it away and have let it go. Not mine anymore...

    I have made a decision about something. It will be game over and i will have won these particular games.

    At a great price.

    Winning isn't always a win is it? Sometimes winning is losing all the way.

    Sometimes life is not nice.

  19. I cant help but ask the bleedin obvious from the title on your video.

    Who are you?

    [I liked your video on the post below btw,]

  20. Its a mystery Kahless. That's all.

    Happy Friday! Yay!

  21. Information and support for depersonalization/derealization is available at:

  22. Information and support for Depersonalization/Derealization is available at:
    Depersonalization/Derealization Website