Those people who suffer from depersonalization can experience impairments in several areas. Often it is not possible for them to decide if that they experience is merely a feeling or an inner reality. In this vein, those affected often speak about themselves “as if”. Particularly when it comes to impairments of visual perceptions it becomes clear that those affected do not only have the feeling “as if they perceived the world through a veil”, but that they can also see the veil with their eyes. Depersonalization is therefore a disorder that does not only affect the feelings of those affected, but also their concrete sensual perceptions. In my experience, research and therapy pay little attention to this point. Of course, those affected by depersonalization are always aware of the fact that this sensory perception takes place within them and is not an external reality.
Those affected often use descriptions such as “as if all of this were a film”, “I am sitting in a giant glass bell”. Those are attempts to explain to others their altered perception and to only use few words to do so. Indeed, people are affected by a breadth of impairments which cannot easily be summarized in a few words.