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Feeling Unreal: Depersonalization Disorder and the Loss of the Self

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  177 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Feeling Unreal is the first book to reveal what depersonalization disorder is all about. This important volume explores not only depersonalization, but the philosophical and literary implications of selflessness as well, while providing the latest research, possible treatments, and strategies for living and thriving when life seems 'unreal.' For those who still believe tha ...more
Paperback, 242 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published April 1st 2006)
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Tom Bensley
For whatever reason, Depersonalization Disorder has remained largely unexplored and most people, including some mental health professionals, have never heard of it. Because of this, the disorder is often passed off as a symptom of anxiety, depression, trauma, etc. Daphne Simeon's book on the subject acknowledges this and delves deep into everything Depersonalization related, proving that DPD is very real and has been for a long time.

For me, the absolute best thing about this book was how it lift
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
This book gives a very good overview of depersonalization disorder (DPD) and derealization. It covers some of the history of this disorder and the constancy of symptoms over the last century, diagnoses, and some of the recent clinical research on DPD. There is a section on the biological aspects of DPD regarding the areas of the brain that are found to be affected, followed by a review of DPD in literature, such as Sartre's "Nausea." The book ends by discussing medication and psychotherapy treat ...more
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was very useful to me. It doesn't reveal you some magic trick that makes DPD go away, of course, but what it does offer you is a wide range of information about it- really interesting stuff, for me- and that can help you indentify what triggered the disorder, analyse yourself better and learn how to cope with it. It can also make you more optimistic about DPD, if you experience it, as you find out that people have been suffering from it and studying it for decades- so you're not alone. I on ...more
Angela Wade
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The medical terminology really knocked me sideways, but I learned so, so much!
Julian Litke
It was a moderately helpful read. It doesn't offer much in the way of an answer, but it does help you feel less alone.
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
unique book about unique disorder
Apr 12, 2013 rated it liked it
This book shows how little is known about depersonalization as the experience/disorder.

The author's cover everything from various theories and presentations, to examples in fiction, and treatment approaches. It's all a little thin, and ironically fragmented in it's delivery, imo. Not to say it's not well written. The author's accurately capture the potential impact such experiences can have on an individual through case examples.

I was wishing for some more in depth musings on it's development -
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book may not be an extremely lightweight and easy read but it was worth the time invested. The depersonalization/derealization disorder is described thoroughly and in great detail. The author discusses all kinds of issues: history, possible triggers, symptoms, medical and psychological help available, all kinds of other possible treatments and explanations. There are plenty of stories and examples. Even though the book doesn't give you THE answer or any kind of ready-made solution (which is ...more
Mehwish Mughal
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Depersonalization disorder (DPD) is a thing unto itself. It is a condition that is inherently deceptive and contradictory, and yet, the common threads of a sense of unreality and the loss of the independent, individual self usually persist throughout its duration. Its symptoms are finite, clearly defined, and delineated after a century of study. But it remains highly misdiagnosed, misunderstood, or even ruled out completely as a disorder"

This book is a great introduction to understanding DPD a
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very informative and well organized book. Chapter 7, Depersonalization in Literature and Philosophy, chaught my attention and proved quite educational and eye-opening. Highly recommended.
Lama El-Najdi
This book describes DP/DR pretty accurately, and I wish it was in a pamphlet form so I could hand it out to people without having to explain what I'm going through. It's a decent book if you want to know what really is Depersonalization/ Derealization disorder, and it tells many stories of other sufferers that were pretty accurate and spot on in my case. I related to it on so many levels, however, if you have DP/DR yourself, I wouldn't recommend reading this book. While it will assure you that t ...more
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Has the right amount of Information peppered with case studies and real- life experiences. A great intro into understanding the disorder. Simeon writes in such an easy to read way that anyone interested in disorder will eat this alive and devour it within days. She has listened to those who have been reporting these feelings of being unreal and dead and given them a voice.

For anyone who has ever had depersonalization, i highly recommend this as a starting point to realise you
Carolyn Zaikowski
Jul 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book with hard-to-come-across information about the psychological state of depersonalization, which is usually just framed as a subset of depression, anxiety, or PTSD, if it is recognized at all. But it is its own "mental illness" that takes over many peoples' lives and minds in a pathological way. Though it has appeared/been described in memoir, literature, philosohpy, and psych theory for centuries, it's only very recently that psychologists have started really exploring the nature ...more
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Helpful and informative, this book answered many of my questions in regards to Depersonalisation. Depersonalisation still remains a relatively vague area in mainstream psychological practises and help is hard to find. I'm very grateful that I was able to get my hands on this book when I needed it the most.
Omar Rodriguez-Rodriguez
Delivers on its promise. This book covers the 101 of a disorder that's not that well known. I enjoyed the first and second part (clinical studies and philosophical implications) and skim over the last (medical/chemical treatments).

Feeling Unreal covered DPD in good depth and it's a great read for those curious (with or without formal training on mental disorders).
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
my personal experience with different types of disassociation is as a frequent symptom of anxiety and depression, not as a disorder, but i still found this book really useful for trying to understand my mental health a bit more. it's also a very compassionate read, which i liked.
The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
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Daphne Simeon M.D. is an American psychiatrist, best known for her research on depersonalization disorder. Simeon is a graduate of Columbia University's medical school, psychiatry residency and fellowship program, and psychoanalytic institute. Simeon now works at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, at the Family Center for Bipolar Disorder.

Simeon was until recently an associate professor of ps
More about Daphne Simeon...

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“Louise often feels like part of her is "acting." At the same time , "there is another part 'inside' that is not connecting with the me that is talking to you," she says. When the depersonalization is at its most intense, she feels like she just doesn't exist. These experiences leave her confused about who she really is, and quite often, she feels like an "actress" or simply, "a fake.” 12 likes
“Trapped within the confines of his mind, he is too aware of every thought passing through it, as if he were outside, looking in. At night he often lies awake ruminating endlessly about what’s wrong with him, about death, and about the meaning of existence itself. At times his arms and legs feel like they don’t belong with his body. But most of the time, his mind feels like it is operating apart from the body that contains it.” 6 likes
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