How Dodie’s Story Helped me Find Myself

Through recovery, I’ve been doing a lot of work to find my roots. The past few years have been constant questioning of my mental health and being unable to put my finger on what exactly is going on up there. It has always been a given that I have depression and anxiety, as well as a history of eating disorders. However, there has always been a missing piece that my diagnoses  haven’t answered. As a psychology major, I’m constantly learning about various mental health disorders, noticing bits and pieces of each in myself but never quite finding one that I fit entirely. After talking to my therapist, we had finally figured it out.

 

I recently cut out caffeine after an episode that I couldn’t quite explain but ruled it out to be a result of coffee and moved on. It wasn’t until we were studying depersonalization/derealization disorder (DDD) in class that everything made sense. My jaw dropped as my professor word-for-word explained the episode I had the week before and had been unable to describe myself. 

 

Depersonalization/derealization is often left out of discourse and media regarding mental health, leaving people who are experiencing it, such as myself, feeling lost, hopeless, and for lack of a better term “crazy.”It is alarming that it took me until my third year as a psychology student to even know what DDD even is. And even then, we brushed over it so quickly in class that I didn’t get to learn much about it, so I did my own research.

 

I found several psychology websites with lists in which I all met the criteria for DDD. Following the medical explanations of the disorders, I was starting to make sense of myself, but was still feeling pretty alone in feeling it. But when I came across Dodie’s YouTube channel, I felt like I hadn’t gone completely “crazy.”

 

Dodie is an English singer, songwriter, and author who shares her experiences with DDD on her YouTube channel. I have been listening to her music obsessively for a few years now, but never knew she had a YouTube channel. Her video “I have a condition where it feels like I’m dreaming all the time” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfOHh5mt9SM)  put words to what I’ve been feeling but could never explain. After years of trying to find a diagnosis, I found myself in a place where I wouldn’t expect to: a YouTube video.

 

If I could meet Dodie, I would hug her and thank her for being an important step in bringing me back to myself. I would applaud her for sharing her story, because I know how hard it is. I would thank her for helping me find the words that I could never find. 

With the help of Dodie and my therapist, I now have an idea as for next steps.

 

Sharing your story is so important. Let’s talk about the things we’re scared to, you never know who it’s going to help, including yourself.