Depersonalization disorder (or derealization as it is also called) manifests itself when the person suffering from it has the frequent and persistent sensation of observing themselves outside their body , or also that their environment is not real.

In some cases, both sensations intermingle and occur more frequently in people who have suffered some type of traumatic experience. This type of sensation can even become a dangerous disturbance; where the subject has the experience of living within a dream.

Some people, at some point in their lives, may experience a temporary experience of depersonalization . The problem arises when these sensations continue to be present, or do not disappear completely; affecting the development capacity of those who suffer them.

If the depersonalization disorder is very deep, it can even disturb interpersonal, family or work relationships; Therefore, it would merit immediate attention from specialists through communication therapy (or psychotherapy), without being ruled out if necessary; the use of medications .

It is very likely that this type of experience and the feelings that this disorder generates are not easy to describe. The preoccupation with losing their sanity can cause the person to question their own existence, not being able to determine without fear of being wrong what is truly real.

Symptoms of depersonalization disorder

Symptoms of depersonalization disorder often appear in the middle to late teens, or sometimes during early adulthood. This type of disorder is very rare in children and older adults.

The most common symptoms of this disorder are:

  • Feeling that you are a foreign observer of thoughts, what you feel, the body or parts of it; as if he were floating in the environment of himself.
  • Strange feeling that you are a kind of robot, without conscious control of speech or movements that are executed
  • The different parts of the body are perceived as distorted, the arms and legs are enlarged or shrunken, and the head appears to float on a cotton cloud.
  • Lethargy of emotions or of what is perceived through the senses, with slow responses to the world around you.
  • Feeling that the memories that are saved do not generate any affective motivation, as if they were not their own.
  • Feeling isolated or not belonging to the environment, as if you were watching a movie or dreaming.
  • Being emotionally disconnected from close people, as if separated by a glass wall.

When is it wise to see a doctor?

When depersonalization pictures are temporary or very rare, they are not a major problem and should not be a cause for concern. But if the sensations associated with this disorder are prolonged in time or the experiences are more intense, it is advisable to consider seeking professional help.

If the sensation of depersonalization begins to present the following characteristics, go to the specialist as soon as possible for guidance:

  • The sensations reach the point of upsetting you or causing you emotional disturbances.
  • They tend to last over time and are recurring.
  • They affect your quality of life and interfere with your work and daily performance.
  • Irrational panic situations develop.

Causes of Depersonalization Disorder

  • Despite the various studies that have been carried out to understand this ailment, the exact cause of the disorder is not yet known. It is understood that there are people who are more prone than others to experience this depersonalization, for reasons of the hereditary or environmental type.
  • It has also been proven that emotional states of great stress or intense fear can cause episodes of depersonalization.
  • It has been shown that in some cases where the symptoms of depersonalization disorder are manifested, there is a precedent of some type of trauma during childhood or some type of event that has caused a very strong emotional impact.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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