Depersonalisation disorder; Air pollution and mental health; Counter-messaging

Depersonalisation disorder involves feeling completely disconnected from yourself or from reality. It’s among the most common yet under-recognised psychiatric conditions and as such is hard to diagnose. Joe Perkins whose new book Life on Autopilot charts his 14 year experience with the disorder, discusses his long journey on the road to formal diagnosis, the need for innovative treatments, and why this disorder is so little understood or discussed.

City-wide air pollution has adverse effects on our heart and lungs, but there is now increasing evidence that air pollution isn’t great for our brain either. Recent research shows that adults exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollution are more likely to experience anxiety and mild depression. But could it also contribute to the course and severity after the onset of more serious mental illness? Claudia Hammond meets Ioannis Bakolis of Kings College London who in the first study of its kind, has examined the extent to which air pollution exposure leads to a more severe course of illness in people experiencing first episodes of psychotic disorders.

And Claudia’s studio guest Professor Daryl O’ Connor discusses a new study into an effective way to counter the way disinformation spreads unchecked, and how inserting a counter-message, just once, into a close replica of a deceptive rival’s message can undercut its persuasive effects.

Producer Adrian Washbourne

Produced in association with the Open University