Depersonalization Disorder (Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder)


This is a mental health disorder that makes you feel detached from yourself and from your surroundings. You may feel like you're watching yourself from outside your own body. Even though you know this is not reality, you can't make these feelings go away. This is disturbing and scary. It can interfere with your life.


We don't know what causes this disorder. Several factors may be involved. It may be linked to your genes. It may be linked to the way your brain works, and to things you experienced growing up. You're at higher risk if you've experienced traumatic events in your life, or if you have problems with stress, anxiety and depression. And, it's linked to recreational drug use.


If you have this disorder, you may feel like you are living in a dream. You may feel like you are a robot or a zombie. Your emotions are numbed, and it may be hard to remember things. You may feel as though things around you aren't real, or that you are somehow separate from them. Objects appear too large or too small, too clear or too blurry. Sounds may be too loud or too soft. Time may seem to slow down or speed up. You know what you are feeling is strange. You know it isn't reality, but you can't get rid of these thoughts.


Depersonalization disorder is treated with talk therapy. Medications may help with some of the symptoms. Your healthcare provider can create a plan that's right for you.