“[I have] occasional depersonalization disorder, (which makes me feel utterly detached from reality, but in less of a “this LSD is awesome” kind of way and more of a “I wonder what my face is doing right now” and “it sure would be nice to feel emotions again” sort of thing).”
Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Depersonalization-derealization disorder is something that is associated with repeatedly or persistently having the feeling that you are literally observing yourself from outside of your body or having the sense that the things around you are not real. Some people have one or the other of these symptoms and others have both. Sure most of us experience these things in life at one point or another but those with this disorder experience them sometimes their whole lives, they just never go away.

This disorder seems to be more common in those who have had extremely traumatic experiences in life. Now, the main treatment for something like this is merely talking with a psychologist through a series of sessions depending on the severity. This disorder can take complete control over someone’s life. Those with this disorder often experience issues functioning at work or at school. While during these episodes they are aware their sense of detachment is a feeling and not truly real, it still takes a very serious toll on them.

Depersonalization Symptoms:

Feeling as if you are an observer of your thoughts and so forth within yourself and not truly yourself.

Feeling as if your body is distorted in some way.

Feeling as if your memories lack emotion or might not be your own.

Feeling as if you are not in control of the things you say or do.


Derealization Symptoms:

Feeling disconnected emotionally from the people close to you.

Feeling as if you are not familiar with the things surrounding you. Almost experiencing things as if you were in a movie.

Your perception of time is distorted.

Your sense of distance is distorted.

This is a disorder that only affects about 2 percent of the population. It can also come with other mental disorders and physical disorders. Most people with this disorder feel as if they are unable to feel anything. They feel like they are a robot almost. Everything is just foggy and unreal to them. You can learn more about the different treatment options for this disorder by clicking here.

It seems people with this disorder tend to begin showing signs in their early childhood years and it rarely shows up in people over the age of 40. Studies have also shown that poor sleep quality has been associated with more severe symptoms of dissociation. This is a mental illness that has not been researched anywhere near enough.

Image via Odyssey

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