‘Imagine telling a partner you are unable to feel love for them?’ – Joe shares experiences of depersonalisation disorder

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 August 2018

Joe Perkins.

Joe Perkins.

Joe Perkins

The experience of living life feeling as though nothing is real has been captured in a short film by a man from Clapton-in-Gordano.

Joe Perkins.Joe Perkins.

Joe Perkins, aged 28, started to notice changes in the way he felt 10 years ago, and gradually he found he struggled to feel emotions and his sense of reality.

It took eight years for him to be diagnosed with depersonalisation disorder, and he remains on the waiting list for treatment at the only clinic in the UK which conducts research and offers help.

He runs a YouTube channel called DPD Diaries, where he shares his experiences and answers questions.

But as depersonalisation disorder can be difficult to explain to people who do not have it, he produced a short film to try to make his experiences clearer.

He said: “The way to explain it is it is like being drunk all the time.

“Imagine being in a pub and really drunk. You look around and you might see what’s going on but you feel disconnected from it and it doesn’t feel like it’s really happening.

“You are so numbed by the alcohol, your sense of reality is removed.”

Joe’s symptoms came on gradually when he left college.

Depersonalisation disorders usually occur in late adolescence, which means a young person’s life is drastically altered at a time when they are going to university of entering work.

Joe said: “It is so difficult going through life with it – nothing seems real.

“I’m a musician, and when I listen to a piece of my music, it’s like listening to someone else’s music.”

Joe made the film because it is so hard to describe the disorder and he wanted to show people what it is like to live with.

He said: “When nothing feels real, it is hard to get out of bed in the morning.

“You cannot experience the end result in any emotional way with anything you do.

“The main purpose of the film was to get a sense of hopelessness across.

“There is a line in the film which is ‘can you imagine what it is like to tell your partner you are unable to feel love for them?’ That is a conversation I once had to have.

“It is hugely damaging for every area of your life.”

To watch the film, visit www.northsomersettimes.co.uk

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