Inside the Symptoms: Dissociation / Depersonalisation / Derealisation

Art, Art Journal, Inside the "Symptoms", Most Recent Work, Writing

I experience dissociation, depersonalisation and derealisation a lot. They are my body’s “go to” for dealing with the intense emotions that are part of the day to day grind of living with BPD.

These sensations can be hard to describe and explain to others.

It’s as if my body is in one place, my brain another, my thoughts somewhere else and my feelings in yet another place. 

Floating in a bubble just above my own head, puppeteering my body, clumsily, on strings. 

My physical sensations are dulled, except sounds, which are weirdly amplified and out of synch. 

I can think clearly as the me inside the bubble, but not as the me in the body. The me in the body feels distant, far away, like another person. 

My voice comes out but is strange and far away sounding. 

Everything is going too fast and too slow at the same time, people and cars loom up suddenly out of nowhere ‘real world things’ are unpredictable. 

My perception is oddly skewed making spatial awareness and proprioception difficult. I feel like I am piloting my body by remote control. 

The world doesn’t seem real or like it’s really there. It’s somehow strange and baffling, like it’s not the world I was in, last time I was in the world. 

Sometimes I feel like I might be invisible, literally. And other times, like I could pass through solid objects like a ghost. 

When asked “how are you?” I can only reply “not really here” in a slow, dreamlike voice. It’s scary, but also comforting at the same time.

Art Journal Sketch Series. Watercolour Pencil on Paper. © Katy Matilda Neo 2017