Depersonalization Disorder

By: Shayna Wilmes

What is Depersonalization Disorder?

Depersonalization Disorder is when a person constantly has "out of the body" experiences. It's periods of feeling disconnected from one's self and feeling disconnected from reality. Depersonalization disorder branches from a group called dissociative disorders which are disorders where a person feels separated from their identity, memory, thoughts, consciousness, or reality .

Causes & Symptoms

Depersonalization disorder can be caused by both biological and environmental factors. The primary cause of it is stress; it's triggered by traumatic events. Depersonalization can also be caused by a chemical imbalance although it's rare for it to form on it's own without stress. Symptoms of depersonalization disorder include:

  • Distorted perception of body
  • Feeling like a robot or as if you're in a dream
  • Emotional numbness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Can Depersonalization Disorder be Cured?

It is possible for a depersonalization disorder to go away, but without treatment it can be recurring. Treatments for depersonalization disorder involve several different types of therapy such as psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, family therapy, creative therapy, and clinical therapy. A person suffering from depersonalization may also be prescribed medications.

If You have Depersonalization Disorder, You are Not Alone

Although a percise number is unkown as to how many people suffer from the actual disorder researchers believe roughly 200,000 in the US suffer and at least 50% of the population has had brief episodes of depersonalization at least once. Most people suffering are adolescents with a 2:1 ratio between women and men. It is a very common thing triggered by stress. Also 30% war veterans, 43% survivors of natural disasters, and 60% of anyone who has experienced a traumatic event has experienced depersonalization.

Getting Help

Do you feel like you are suffering from depersonalization disorder? Speak up! Many people are too scared to talk to a doctor and decide to suffer in silence which can lead to anxiety disorders and depression. Go to a doctor for an evaluation and to a psychologist, they will help you. You are not broken, this can be fixed.