“Depersonalization, a feeling of “I am not
myself,” puzzles medicine and philosophy. It is a disorder
difficult to diagnose, painful to bear and hard to treat. It
relates to the philosophical cornerstones of consciousness and
reality and reveals questions every person struggles with. Jeffrey
Abugel’s book arrives, not only as a long-awaited companion
on depersonalization for patients, families, and mental health
practitioners, but also a companion to the part of life that
involves discovering oneself and shaping one’s identity.
Depersonalization was first described not by a physician or a
scientist. It took a poet and writer, Henri-Frederick Amiel, who
agonized with feelings of a lost self, to grasp the phenomenon. And
now, more than a century later, it took another poet and writer,
Jeff Abugel, who himself suffered with full-blown
depersonalization, to express the personalization-depersonalization
journey for modern times. Poignant and elegant autobiographical
prose, reflections of the author’s own experiences of
self-inquiry, provide a powerful and revealing understanding of
depersonalization. This book proves that this hurtful condition can
open ways to realize important aspects of the self and grow towards
a deeper, more fulfilling life”.
—Elena Bezzubova M.D., Ph.D., College of
University of California, Irvine, and New Center for
Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles.