Feeling Unreal: Depersonalization and the Loss of the Self, 2nd Ed

Oxford Univ. Feb. 2023. 296p. ISBN 9780197622445. pap. $29.95. REF
In this updated version of their seminal 2006 work on depersonalization-derealization disorder (DDD or DPDR), psychiatrists Simeon (Psychiatry Essentials) and Abugel (founder, Initiative for Depersonalization Studies) offer new insights. They argue that DDD is still a little-known disorder in many circles, even among mental-health clinicians, and that more needs to be done to ensure that people diagnosed with it receive appropriate help. The authors point out that depersonalization is the third most common mental health symptom, behind anxiety and depression, and that one to two percent of Americans have DDD in any given year. This edition expands the section for clinicians on formulating and differentiating a diagnosis and survey the new studies and scientific understandings that have come about in the last 20 years. It closes on a somewhat ominous note, a reflection on how social media, virtual reality, and the isolation of the COVID pandemic negatively affect mental health and have led to an increase of DDD symptoms, including feeling unable to control one’s speech or movements.
VERDICT An excellent reference for clinicians, medical students, and those with depersonalization or derealization.
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