"Numb" is a film I was afraid to watch. As an anxiety/depersonalisation sufferer myself, I was frightened of two things. Either that the film would portray the symptoms of this hellish condition inaccurately, giving off a message that was contrived or 'Hollywoodised', or that it would be so accurate that I would cry my heart out. Thankfully, I cried my heart out. Matthew Perry is absolutely perfect for the role, and I give credit to the director who I learnt suffered from the illness himself. I feel that, through Perry, he has displayed the epitome of Depersonalisation disorder, the effect it has on the individual and the effect that it has on the people in the individual's life. Through Perry's actions, such as looking at his hand as though it were something alien and far away with a blank expression in his eyes (something that I often did), as well as the choice of music, and the script (the script is FANTASTIC), it brought a smile to my face at the humour of a humourless mental condition and gave me humour to my own experience of it. However, the one thing that I was disappointed with was the ending. The fact that Perry does not recover made me feel very sad for his character, and for all other Depersonalisation suffers - because I am no longer a depersonalisation sufferer. The film, while funny, made the condition seem life threatening, or forever. It is not. I suffered with it for two years, and then I got a self help book to read and eventually it went away. To all you depersonalisation sufferers that watched this film, enjoyed it but felt despair at the message that you can never get better, don't worry. Depersonalisation does not seem to get better through medication or therapy as I discovered in my experience and other's experiences. I believe it needs acceptance, which is mentioned in the film, but I only wished that through Perry's character's acceptance it was shown that he got better. The difficult but only effective way to get rid of DP is what the message of the film, in a small way I feel, is trying to say, and what echoes in things I have read about DP - what you must not do is try and force normal feelings. You must wait for normal feelings to return of their own accord, which in time, they will. In their efforts not to feel the way DP suffers do they question why they feel the way they do, day in and day out, even though it is nothing to do with psychosis or any other mental illness, but to do with anxiety or the repercussions of a drug experience. They burden themselves with more thoughts and more pressure on their minds which only increases their anxiety and causes further symptoms of DP. I honestly don't mean to sound like some kind of patronising councellor because I get what its like, as shown in the film, to talk to people who have absolutely no understanding and tell people to 'pull themselves together', but I'm not talking about people pulling themselves together. I'm talking about people surrendering themselves to the condition and letting it be there without questioning what it is as its nothing but another offshoot symptom of anxiety disorder. I know this is a film review, but as crazy as it sounds, acceptance of my depersonalisation and almost finding it funny allowed me to get better. It's nothing to be frightened of because it doesn't last forever when you don't try to push it away but just live with it. As soon as you accept it and don't dwell on it with despair, you begin to recover. TRUST ME. I've recovered and I know many people who have recovered through time and acceptance as they followed the route to recovery like I did by not fearing it, not pushing it away and not what-iffing and self doubting all the time. All in all 'Numb' is a beautiful, heartwarming film that gives DP sufferers an opportunity to laugh, yet I want them to know that despite the ending depersonalisation is absolutely possible to recover from, not through Matthew Perry's depressive attitude towards it within the film, but through acceptance and knowing that it is caused by nothing more than a tired mind fixated on its own anxious condition that causes a detachment from its surroundings and itself.
Comedy / Drama / Romance
Comedy / Drama / Romance
A chronically depressed screenwriter desperately tries to cure his condition when he meets the girl of his dreams.
December 27, 2020