Wynne Godley, LRB 22-02-01
I don’t think that living through an artificial self, which is what had got me into such an awful mess, is all that uncommon. The condition is difficult to recognise because it is concealed from the world, and from the subject, with ruthless ingenuity. It does not feature in the standard catalogue of neurotic symptoms such as hysteria, obsession, phobia, depression or impotence; and it is not inconsistent with worldly success or the formation of deep and lasting friendships. The disjointed components of the artificial self are not individually artificial.What is it like to live in a state of dissociation? In a real sense, the subject is never corporeally present at all but goes about the world in a waking dream.