Depersonalization Disorder

Depersonalization disorder is characterized by feelings of being disconnected from one’s physical body or mental processes. It is comparable to what one might think of as an out-of-body experience. Day-to-day life seems to simply occur without any effect on the person with the disorder, and in severe cases they become further and further detached from reality. However, for those who develop depersonalization disorder, their experiences do not feel supernatural. In fact, those with depersonalization disorder are very aware of their condition. While occasional moments of depersonalization are normal, severe and persistent symptoms of this disorder are not.

Symptoms of Depersonalization Disorder

As with other emotional and mental disorders, depersonalization disorder is diagnosed and treated after it becomes an adverse condition that inhibits normal social and work life. It is important to note the signs of depersonalization disorder since it can severely damage relationships and lead to other serious anxiety and health issues. Some of these signs are:

  • Distorted perception of oneself (feeling like one is a robot or is in a dream)
  • Fearing that oneself may become insane or lose control
  • Panic and anxiety
  • Feeling as though time is passing while not being able to grasp a notion of the present
  • Fearing one’s own brain damage

Causes of Depersonalization Disorder

While depersonalization disorder protects the victim from outside factors that would otherwise cause depression, stress and anxiety, the condition is seen as a defense mechanism that can often be linked to traumatic life events such as childhood sexual, emotional or physical abuse. Among these possible inciting factors, drug abuse along with other conditions such as bipolar disorder, clinical depression, anxiety disorders and panic disorders can also lead to depersonalization disorder. Still, more often than with bipolar disorder, depersonalization disorder is usually treated with psychotherapy and experimental techniques rather than medication.

Treatment of Depersonalization Disorder

Psychotherapy involves identifying inciting factors, patient history, and destructive thought and behavioral patterns. The patient and the psychotherapist work on changing these patterns as well as changing the way the patient reacts to them. Other effective techniques have included family and group therapy, clinical hypnosis, and creative therapies like art therapy and music therapy. If you are developing the symptoms of depersonalization disorder or if you know someone that is, there are plenty of people willing and able to help. Those who have conquered depersonalization disorder will tell you that life is much better when you can enjoy the moment. Depersonalization disorder can sometimes disappear on it’s own, but if it does not, it can negatively affect every facet of a person’s life. Don’t let this disorder get the best of you.

View Resources

  • Cleveland Clinic – info about depersonalization disorder’s definition, symptoms, treatment and causes.
  • Wikipedia – detailed info about this disorders’ relation to other disorders.
  • The American Journal of Psychiatry – information about case studies of people with depersonalization disorder.

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Health Disclaimer | Do Not Sell My Personal Information