Depersonalization disorder is a disorder characterized by the feeling of being detached from one’s body and thoughts. Oftentimes, people who experience this explain feeling like they are living outside of their own body, very similar to a dream.
Of course, this is not to be confused with psychosis, which happens when someone loses touch with reality. Those with depersonalization disorder don’t lose touch with reality, but instead, are more so out of touch with themselves. Oftentimes, depersonalization is a side effect or symptom of other mental health conditions like substance abuse, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, seizure disorders, and other brain diseases.
There are many causes of depersonalization disorder, from environmental to biological. Additionally, some links say that it can be induced due to stress or trauma.
If you feel like you might be experiencing depersonalization, here are some signs to look out for. Please do not diagnose yourself, but instead use this as a tool to help you understand when it may be time to seek out professional help.
1. Feeling like you are having an out-of-body experience.
Oftentimes, for people who are dealing with depersonalization, there is a sense that they are outside of their bodies looking down on themselves. Think of this like an out-of-body experience or even a dream, but regardless of what you want to call it, it can be quite uncomfortable and even depressing.
2. Feeling a lack of a sense of self.
Most people who deal with depersonalization feel like they lack an identity. In many cases, they may feel as though they are constantly changing (or are fluid) never having any real or grounded self. This can make it quite difficult for those suffering from it to achieve their goals or accomplish very much because it’s almost as though they are on a neverending conveyor belt.
3. Difficulty with memory.
Another typical symptom of this disorder is trouble with memory. People with depersonalization will oftentimes go into a mode that is much like running on autopilot, which causes them to completely blank out.
4. Feeling like you’ve gone on autopilot.
If you’ve ever watched the movie Click, then you have an idea of what I mean. Put simply, people dealing with depersonalization will feel a sense of being on autopilot, like they are going through the motions but aren’t present.
5. Losing time.
Because there is this feeling of unreality caused by depersonalization, it can cause a massive feeling of losing time. In many cases, there can be massive lapses in a person’s timeline when they are dealing with depersonalization.
6. Feeling unreal.
Perhaps the hardest of all of the symptoms is the sensation that you are not real. Some people have such a hard time with this that they will go to the doctor, demanding to see a doctor because they are certain they are not real. Some even ask to see x-rays and brain scans to prove their existence.