Language in describing Depersonalization Disorder
How could you express to someone the elusive qualities of DDD symptoms, the subjective alterations they bring? It starts in contradiction: if I speak, the listener will have a feeling and perception of what I look and sound like, while I do not; if I write out a description of DDD the reader will perceive as actual the words and the paper, and feel the paper in their hands – experiences absent for me.
I do not fairly expect a non-sufferer to understand DDD but I have tried to describe it in this website. Adjectives and metaphor only get so far. Calling the symptoms ‘dreamlike’, ’numb’, ’remote’, is useful but to me there is also an absence of present experience, a suppression and rejection of ‘realness’ and of emotional veracity. Someone might say “today went by like a dream” - without meaning DDD.
Everything seeming ‘unreal’ is accurate but (unhelpfully) non-DDD people might casually say that of an unusual place or situation.
Figuratively employing some tangible barrier around you does show there is a definite divide in your awareness, but a ‘fog’ or ‘glass wall’ would not itself be derealised, the very thing you want to express. In the recondite limbo of DDD, it is fair trying to find things that mean something to a non-sufferer, such as analogies to sleep phenomena (but without sleepiness). But it is still not entirely the same to say it is as though I am perpetually trapped in the boundary of emerging from a benumbing dream. DDD “seems like”, is “as though”, etc. but remains descriptively indefinite and asymptotic.
The point is, DDD is a serious, impairing alteration of life experience, even if words for it are insufficient.