Depersonalization and Feelings of Unreality

Dr. Elaine Hunter

Elaine Hunter is the consultant clinical psychologist and clinical lead of the Depersonalization Disorder Service (DDS) at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and since 1999 has been developing a cognitive behavioural model of DPD.

She is the co-author of “Overcoming Depersonalization and Feelings of Unreality: A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques“, and has written many published papers on the theory and practice of working psychologically with Depersonalisation Disorder.

Dr Hunter has a longstanding interest in international development work including 7 months teaching CBT to Public Health Clinicians in Uganda and Zimbabwe, and helping to set up a psychology service in Sierra Leone for nationals who worked in the Ebola treatment centers during the epidemic.

In today’s episode we explore what it feels like to experience depersonalization (and derealization), whether depersonalization is a symptom of anxiety or the result of a chemical imbalance, common circumstances which can trigger an episode, the cognitive behavioral perspective on how and why depersonalization becomes chronic, and some tips and advice on how to deal with the symptoms.


Related Links

What is Depersonalization? – YouTube

Depersonalization Disorder Service at South London and Maudsley NHS – YouTube

The disorder that makes people unable to feel love – BBC Two (Victoria Derbyshire)

Watching the world through a clear fog – BMJ Podcast

Depersonalization Disorder – BBC Radio 2 (Jeremy Vine)

Book Recommendations


Images courtesy: Amy Elyse 


How to Bankrupt Your Business, Destroy Your Family, and Lose Your Mind

Well, it had to happen sooner or later, I suppose.

In today’s episode I share my own story of my decent into madness. Beginning with my early childhood flirtations with hypochondria, I take you all the way through my battles with depression, anxiety, agoraphobia, and depersonalization, right the way through to hitting rock bottom in early 2015 when I experienced a brief period of suicidal ideation.

If that doesn’t sound morbid enough, on the way we’ll encounter adoption, drugs, prostitution, strip clubs, brothels, lies, infidelity, gangland violence, ambition, failure, bankruptcy, nudists, modern art, tongue piercings, and my illustrious career as a dog shit picker-upper.


I’ve included some photos and links below to add a few visuals to the narrative, or just in case anyone thinks I might be telling porkies pies.


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Related Links

Hit me up on Twitter: @dannydwhittaker

Calls for investigation after brothel charges – Manchester Evening News

Clubland shooting victim named – BBC

Teen’s key-fob death is still a mystery  – Manchester Evening News

Skinbook: Facebook for 21st Century Nudists – TIME

Book Recommendations