Depersonalisation disorder

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dreambow
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Depersonalisation disorder

Post by dreambow »

"Depersonalisation disorder, or DPD, is among the most common yet under-recognised psychiatric conditions in the world. According to studies in both Britain and the US, DPD could affect up to 2% of the population – that is, around 1.3 million people in the UK, and 6.4 million in the US.

People with depersonalisation disorder describe a sense of complete detachment, a life lived as an automaton or on autopilot, characterised by an absence of emotions, either good or bad. (You might think of Channel 4’s recent hit Humans, which featured an intelligence trapped, powerless, in the body of a robot.) They feel as though they are observing their life through a plate of glass or a dense fog, or as if it is appearing in a film. Their bodies and their beings have separated; their limbs are no longer their own"

It certainly sounds like a desperate and very lonely disorder.

The Guardian newspaper, article by Howard Swains
gloriasteinem
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by gloriasteinem »

Just another name for anhedonia and being emotionally withdrawn from life in the role of spectator. In fact a type of depression, a mild one. Its interesting how they like to give names to 'new' conditions to make clinical clichés and target fresh new groups that might need more medication and more therapy. You are not a happy physically fit robot, you might need treatment. In fact being happy is a difficult task, why people would otherwise aim to reach Nirvana if not two be ultimately happy? Or try to be good Christians if not expecting heaven above? Or maybe they just need to be good consumerists after all because buying goods make them happy but if you are not happy consumerist you might need a fresh new diagnose? I wonder if they have name for the desperation of those suffering from hunger in Africa, I do think most psychiatrists would be more than glad to medicate with Xanax those starving in Africa. Its just the next step.
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Simon E.
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by Simon E. »

dreambow wrote:"Depersonalisation disorder, or DPD, is among the most common yet under-recognised psychiatric conditions in the world. According to studies in both Britain and the US, DPD could affect up to 2% of the population – that is, around 1.3 million people in the UK, and 6.4 million in the US.

People with depersonalisation disorder describe a sense of complete detachment, a life lived as an automaton or on autopilot, characterised by an absence of emotions, either good or bad. (You might think of Channel 4’s recent hit Humans, which featured an intelligence trapped, powerless, in the body of a robot.) They feel as though they are observing their life through a plate of glass or a dense fog, or as if it is appearing in a film. Their bodies and their beings have separated; their limbs are no longer their own"

It certainly sounds like a desperate and very lonely disorder.

The Guardian newspaper, article by Howard Swains
As a recently retired psychotherapist and member of the medical profession ( whose has also retired from posting on Buddhist forae by and large, but that is another story ) I would urge caution in accepting the medicalisation of what is in fact a social and cultural phenomenon.
It seems likely to me that what is being claimed as a discrete syndrome is in fact another strain of social alienation, which is itself the product of a culture that values things over relationships. Given the nature of modern culture it would be odd if a large proportion of those who are raised in did not feel depersonalised..they are supposed to feel that..so that a new identity, a new thing to belong to can be substituted..i.e that of a consumer. I think that students of Dharma need to be particularly cautious here..because certain Buddhist traditions when practised by moderns, whether Eastern or Western, actually increase and reinforce that sense of alienation while labelling it as something positive. Often by mistaking it for Upekkha.

The answer and preventative measure is meat Sangha. Not medicalisation OR denial.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.
pothigai
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by pothigai »

gloriasteinem wrote:Just another name for anhedonia and being emotionally withdrawn from life in the role of spectator. In fact a type of depression, a mild one. Its interesting how they like to give names to 'new' conditions to make clinical clichés and target fresh new groups that might need more medication and more therapy. You are not a happy physically fit robot, you might need treatment. In fact being happy is a difficult task, why people would otherwise aim to reach Nirvana if not two be ultimately happy? Or try to be good Christians if not expecting heaven above? Or maybe they just need to be good consumerists after all because buying goods make them happy but if you are not happy consumerist you might need a fresh new diagnose? I wonder if they have name for the desperation of those suffering from hunger in Africa, I do think most psychiatrists would be more than glad to medicate with Xanax those starving in Africa. Its just the next step.
No, it is phenomenologically distinct from depression. I've experienced both depression and depersonalisation to some degree. Depression is more of an affective condition whereas in episodes of depersonalisation one feels literally detached from one's experiences as if they weren't part of you.
ہستی اپنی حباب کی سی ہے
یہ نمائش سراب کی سی ہے

hasti apni habaab ki si hai
yeh numaaish saraab ki si hai

Like a bubble is your existence
This display is like an illusion

- Mir Taqi Mir (1725-1810)
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Dan74
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by Dan74 »

Simon E. wrote:
dreambow wrote:"Depersonalisation disorder, or DPD, is among the most common yet under-recognised psychiatric conditions in the world. According to studies in both Britain and the US, DPD could affect up to 2% of the population – that is, around 1.3 million people in the UK, and 6.4 million in the US.

People with depersonalisation disorder describe a sense of complete detachment, a life lived as an automaton or on autopilot, characterised by an absence of emotions, either good or bad. (You might think of Channel 4’s recent hit Humans, which featured an intelligence trapped, powerless, in the body of a robot.) They feel as though they are observing their life through a plate of glass or a dense fog, or as if it is appearing in a film. Their bodies and their beings have separated; their limbs are no longer their own"

It certainly sounds like a desperate and very lonely disorder.

The Guardian newspaper, article by Howard Swains
As a recently retired psychotherapist and member of the medical profession ( whose has also retired from posting on Buddhist forae by and large, but that is another story ) I would urge caution in accepting the medicalisation of what is in fact a social and cultural phenomenon.
It seems likely to me that what is being claimed as a discrete syndrome is in fact another strain of social alienation, which is itself the product of a culture that values things over relationships. Given the nature of modern culture it would be odd if a large proportion of those who are raised in did not feel depersonalised..they are supposed to feel that..so that a new identity, a new thing to belong to can be substituted..i.e that of a consumer. I think that students of Dharma need to be particularly cautious here..because certain Buddhist traditions when practised by moderns, whether Eastern or Western, actually increase and reinforce that sense of alienation while labelling it as something positive. Often by mistaking it for Upekkha.

The answer and preventative measure is meat Sangha. Not medicalisation OR denial.
:good:
undefineable
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by undefineable »

But also (from Wikipedia): "The core symptom of depersonalization-derealization disorder is the subjective experience of "unreality in one's sense of self,"[12] or detachment from one's surroundings. People who are diagnosed with depersonalization also experience an urge to question and think critically about the nature of reality and existence" - This sounds more like typically-misunderstood sunyata; a potential back-door to dharma _ _
you wore out your welcome with random precision {Pink Floyd}
undefineable
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by undefineable »

But also (from Wikipedia):
"The core symptom of depersonalization-derealization disorder is the subjective experience of "unreality in one's sense of self,"[12] or detachment from one's surroundings. People who are diagnosed with depersonalization also experience an urge to question and think critically about the nature of reality and existence"
This sounds more like a typical misunderstanding of sunyata; a kind of back-door to dharma _ _
you wore out your welcome with random precision {Pink Floyd}
undefineable
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by undefineable »

Apologies for previous double post :emb:
Simon E. wrote:It seems likely to me that what is being claimed as a discrete syndrome is in fact another strain of social alienation, which is itself the product of a culture that values things over relationships. Given the nature of modern culture it would be odd if a large proportion of those who are raised in did not feel depersonalised..they are supposed to feel that..so that a new identity, a new thing to belong to can be substituted..i.e that of a consumer. I think that students of Dharma need to be particularly cautious here..because certain Buddhist traditions when practised by moderns, whether Eastern or Western, actually increase and reinforce that sense of alienation while labelling it as something positive. Often by mistaking it for Upekkha.

The answer and preventative measure is meat Sangha. Not medicalisation OR denial.
Sounds good :smile: - I guess that a proportion are meant (by marketing etc.) to feel they aren't quite people. {I built an entire system of philosophy in order to answer the question this begs, i.e. "what is a person?"}} It also seems that people are defined as 'things', although the Producer/'machine' identity seems as important as the Consumer one, and if the "thing"/person isn't seen as "thing-y" enough, then anatta can be added to upekkha, perhaps completely replacing if one tries to re-inforce one's "thing-ness" in some way
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Virgo
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by Virgo »

Wait, Im supposed to be a person? !?!?!!?
undefineable
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by undefineable »

pothigai wrote:No, it is phenomenologically distinct from depression. I've experienced both depression and depersonalisation to some degree. Depression is more of an affective condition whereas in episodes of depersonalisation one feels literally detached from one's experiences as if they weren't part of you.
And/or detached from one's personality[-?]
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undefineable
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by undefineable »

gloriasteinem wrote:I wonder if they have name for the desperation of those suffering from hunger in Africa
Interesting - Africans I've met, presumably without experience of starvation, report being shocked by UK stress levels :jawdrop: (lol)
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skittles
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by skittles »

It sounds like a mental refuge to me.

Life has not been kind to everyone and this kind of view of self can protect you from suffering. Life is not safe. If you have nothing, then you have nothing to lose.
"My main teacher Serkong Rinpoche, who was one of the teachers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, explained that having a protector is like having a very strong and vicious dog. If you are a strong person, you could go sit and guard your own gate every night to make sure that thieves don’t attack, but usually people wouldn’t do that. It’s not that we don’t have the ability, it’s just: why bother? You could post a dog there instead." - Alex Berzin http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... rs_ab.html
undefineable
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by undefineable »

Thank you, skittles, for a rather timely 'bump', soon after the "Why exactly do I feel this way?" thread (OP'd by another member) got closed - Depersonalisation disorder looks like a big 'dirty secret' for the more mystical flavours of religion and spirituality, but although Buddhist philosophy appears to validate this kind of experience, on closer inspection it looks like depersonalisation and dharma are 'near enemies' and therefore incompatible. A reminder:
wrote:"The core symptom of depersonalization-derealization disorder is the subjective experience of "unreality in one's sense of self,"[12] or detachment from one's surroundings. People who are diagnosed with depersonalization also experience an urge to question and think critically about the nature of reality and existence"
{ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depersona ... n_disorder }
Mental disorders, of course, tend to involve an altered 'take' on reality; an unusual perspective on life that isn't arrived at through deliberate effort of any kind. The claims made for Buddhist meditation, as far as one can read and hear, tend to make clear instead not only that dharma practice is basically deliberate, but also that the ways of seeing that it induces are "meta", that is that they are about one's regular ways of seeing, rather than themselves being particular ways of seeing. So,
Nagarjuna wrote:I bow to Gautama, who -having taken up compassion- taught the true dharma for the forsaking of all views.
This not only raises the possibility that every perspective one may experience, directly or indirectly, could be opened up to scrutiny ('sanitising insanity' if you will), but also suggests that the altered states induced through mental illness and drug use are 'fake'/"cheat" imitations of meditative experience. Like any mental disorder, depersonalisation takes many forms, but even the most superficially-'dharmic' form (i.e. seeing how one's outward personality is a random projection of one's conscious awareness that has little to do with its basic nature:
dreambow wrote:(You might think of Channel 4’s recent hit Humans, which featured an intelligence trapped, powerless, in the body of a robot.)
) is a sham anatman experience, because the 'sufferer' (or "mystic" if he or she realises the limited insight and 'sublime' experience on offer and decides to 'investigate' further) is not seeing 'personalisation' *at the same time as* its hollowness (particularly if the depersonalisation has long since developed into full-blown depersonalisation disorder), and is not seeing the hollowness of *de*-personalisation at all.

The upshot of all this is that, rather than sensing that 'this is not self; that is not self', a 'depersonalised person' may instead see a solid self (in consciousness) where others see none, and see no solid self (in personality) where others see one, regardless of how much he or she sees consciousness as less substantial (albeit more real) than personality - or even as something whose remaining sense of solidity will somehow dissolve at some point in the distant future (perhaps after an indeterminate amount of more-disciplined meditation practice) :P . What I described above is also a self-narrowing focus, on one part of one aspect of 'truth', slotting it nicely into the bin marked 'philosophy' once it has taken its natural course through its lending itself to justifcation through science and/or dharma:
Nietzsche wrote:Philosophy is the finding of bad reasons for what one believes on instinct
One upshot of the end of my decades-long experience of what I feel was a form of depersonalisation (starting at puberty) was noticing one or two of the distortions in basic mental processing typically involved in mental disorders by the conspicuousness of their absence. I'm thinking particularly of an altered state of consciousness occurring while dealing with other people, in which one suddenly becomes barely aware of one's self/mind while at the same time focusing narrowly on how those involved are responding to each other. {This is definitely not a 'flow state' by the way, there being no sense of presence in the situation.}

To sum up, the whole experience of depersonalistion is fabricated by gaps and distortions. A more sympathetic argument can be made in which certain aspects of depersonalisation could be seen as valid mystical experience, but I don't want to start a fight, so I'll sit back and :popcorn:
Last edited by undefineable on Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:51 am, edited 3 times in total.
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undefineable
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by undefineable »

People with depersonalisation disorder describe a sense of complete detachment, a life lived as an automaton or on autopilot, characterised by an absence of emotions, either good or bad
I'm unfamiliar with this form of depersonalisation, but share skittles' reaction to this at least
Simon E. wrote:students of Dharma need to be particularly cautious here..because certain Buddhist traditions when practised by moderns, whether Eastern or Western, actually increase and reinforce that sense of alienation while labelling it as something positive.
A sense of alienation doesn't amount to the sense that you don't really exist.
Last edited by undefineable on Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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undefineable
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by undefineable »

As this is a 'Wellness' sub-forum _ _ I've spent the last 23 years in the situation Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche describes below, and that I believe very few people with depersonalisation disorder take things this far:
This last [finally extinguish, destroy altogether] is necessary only when the negative negativity uses a strong pseudologic or pseudophilosophical attitude or conceptualisation. It is necessary when there is a notion of some kind that brings a whole succession of other notions, like the layers of an onion _ _ feeling that we need to have some occupation. When we begin to play this kind of game, there is no room. Out! _ _ The path of dharma _ _ is a path on which no one should walk blindly. If anyone does - Out! Such persons should be awakened by being excluded.
I wouldn't consider tantric practice, and do believe that associating depersonalisation directly with dharma means "walking the path" blindly. So, if I were to publicly flesh out the final version (to date) of the idea I outlined above (of personality-self as something one has rather than something one is) as a secular philosophy in order to try and benefit those who may need something like it but aren't necessarily ready for dharma, explaining as I did above (in the case of others drawing parallels) how it is not dharma, then would I necessarily be creating negative karma?
To complete the Nagarjuna quote I began earlier:
Nagarjuna wrote: but those who hold to the view of emptiness are incurable.
I do 'cling' to the complex and wide-ranging philosophy I've developed gradually over the last 30 years; is it enough that I finish separating it mentally from myself and from dharma?
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Simon E.
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by Simon E. »

undefineable wrote:
People with depersonalisation disorder describe a sense of complete detachment, a life lived as an automaton or on autopilot, characterised by an absence of emotions, either good or bad
I'm unfamiliar with this form of depersonalisation, but share skittles' reaction to this at least
Simon E. wrote:students of Dharma need to be particularly cautious here..because certain Buddhist traditions when practised by moderns, whether Eastern or Western, actually increase and reinforce that sense of alienation while labelling it as something positive.
A sense of alienation doesn't amount to the sense that you don't really exist.
I would say that they are on the same spectrum.


But I sense that I have nothing useful to add here.

:namaste:
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.
SeeLion
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by SeeLion »

This video I'm linking - "Experience of Reality " (by Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu) - talks generally about the way a meditator is experiencing reality and specifically about strange or outlandish or "abnormal" or bizarre meditation experiences.

And the way they can be part of normal meditation practice. What's interesting and relevant for this topic is the idea that a state of depersonalization could be a sign of progress in the meditation practice.

To quote the title of a relatively popular thread:
This is why you need a teacher !
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjUkzRcNhK8

In my understanding, Depersonalisation disorder is 2 things:

1. A shift in the perception of reality or maybe in the way we relate to the surrounding world. Which can happen as a result of various causes, one of them being the practice of meditation (as you can see from the above video).

2. The resulting confusion and/or obsession and/or anxiety that accompanies 1. Shortly: freaking out about 1.

But I'm saying that with certain objections to the benefits of labeling syndromes as "disorders". I do understand that doctors and psychologists need to slap a label on a diagnosis, because that's their job. But when people on the street or patients do that, there is often more harm than good.

In my personal experience, I've experienced states of depersonalisation and derealisation when I began to practice concentration meditation. More often, it would happen after ending the meditation, and it would take a while until I would so to say - return to the "normal reality".

By the way, as I begun to practice insight meditation I am inclined to say these states disappeared, but to be more accurate my relationship towards them changed, and I would almost say I became detached from the depersonalisation, if that can be said.

I think that, in order for one to experience depersonalisation, it is required to have a clinging or attachment to a point of reference in the perception of reality, or to a concept of "how things should be".

Once we allow and accept for the "reality shift" of reality to happen, we become used to it, it's just natural, and there is no bother, no cognitive dissonance.
As a recently retired psychotherapist and member of the medical profession ( whose has also retired from posting on Buddhist forae by and large, but that is another story ) I would urge caution in accepting the medicalisation of what is in fact a social and cultural phenomenon.
It seems likely to me that what is being claimed as a discrete syndrome is in fact another strain of social alienation, which is itself the product of a culture that values things over relationships. Given the nature of modern culture it would be odd if a large proportion of those who are raised in did not feel depersonalised..they are supposed to feel that..so that a new identity, a new thing to belong to can be substituted..i.e that of a consumer.
In my experience and from other people I've talked to, the "depersonalisation" starts at the level of perception.

Now, the trigger could happen in the context of social dissatisfaction, but could be many other things, often some state of anxiety. Or the trigger could be depression, as Gloriasteinem says, but that is just the trigger, it does not contain the nature of the condition.

Once the seed is planted, the personal / interpersonal / cultural aspects may grow in one way or in another way, on a case to case basis.

It is true that the consumer society does value things and does cultivate identities, but I don't see why this would have a direct relationship depersonalisation. If anything, this would create the opposite, which is strong identities. And it does ...
Simon E.
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by Simon E. »

I am not sure that any medic or psychotherapist simply decides to 'slap a label on something' because it's their job'.

It's usually in my experience because they have referred to them someone who is has been functioning and now is not, with no obvious physical cause.
And that person often has a mortgage to pay and a table to put food on and kids to get to school and in the evenings to dance classes/football and a spouse that is worried about them.

Not something I know that features often on this forum, whose membership seems to consist by and large of those who either are innocent of such activities, or whose online persona is built around an alternative identity.
A bit like belonging to a Gentleman's Club .

But then as I said, I am not sure that I have anything useful to add.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.
SeeLion
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by SeeLion »


I am not sure that any medic or psychotherapist simply decides to 'slap a label on something' because it's their job'.
It wasn't meant derogatory or suggesting lack of competence, just meant that often a patient walks out of a medical institution with a label on their forehead (metaphorically). Which label can become a stigma for a long term or even life.
dreambow
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Re: Depersonalisation disorder

Post by dreambow »

"I am not sure that any medic or psychotherapist simply decides to 'slap a label on something' because it's their job'."
Psychotherapists make mistakes they are not demi-gods and sometimes they do label people far too casually.
Of course there are serious problems but a philosophical, compassionate approach is sometimes preferred rather then the stigma of being labelled 'a mental patient'.
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