What is Depersonalization Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

 Depersonalization disorder is a mental health condition and it also goes by the name of DDD (depersonalization-derealization disorder). Some people use both terms depersonalization disorder and derealization disorder synonymously. Today, we’ll discuss what is depersonalization disorder; its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is Depersonalization Disorder? 

Depersonalization disorder is a state of mind and feelings when you detach and disconnect your thought and body, and observe yourself in a state outside of your body like a dream. People with this condition don’t disengage with reality; they simply perceive things as if they aren’t real.

The episode of DDD could last for a few minutes to many years depending on the severity of the symptoms. DDD could also be the symptom of other disorders like seizure disorder, a certain type of personality disorder, substance abuse, or other brain diseases.

DDD is one of the subcategories and subtypes of dissociative disorder. DD is a mental health condition comprising of breakdown or disruption of perception, identity, awareness, consciousness, and memory. You would experience symptoms when it disrupts various functions of life like your personal relationships, work activities, and social life.

Depersonalization is a rare psychiatric mental health disorder. You would experience its symptoms after going through a dangerous situation like a serious illness, accident, or assault.

Symptoms of Depersonalization Disorder 

DDD comprises two main elements depersonalization and derealization. People with DDD condition would exhibit either one or both of its symptoms. However, some of the main of depersonalization disorder are as follows;

  • Having difficulty attaching your emotion to memories
  • Feels like the part of your body has the wrong size
  • Feels like you don’t have control over what you say or do
  • Numbness in your body and mind, and it makes you feel like your senses are off
  • Detaching yourself from your feelings like you have got no actual self
  • Feels like you’re out of your body, and sometimes you would look down on yourself from the above

Some of the derealization symptoms are as follows;

  • Sense of time may feel distorted, for instance, long past events seem like recent, and the recent events seem like they happened a long time ago
  • Your surrounding environment doesn’t seem flat or real, and it feels too big, too small, too close, too far, or blurry
  • Seem like a glass separating you from the world, and you can’t connect with it and see beyond the wall
  • Having difficulty in recognizing your surrounding environment, and seeing the surrounding environment as hazy and dreamlike

In fact, the reality is that the symptoms of DDD are difficult to describe in words because the way you experience the world feels like crazy or like you don’t exist. But the feelings and symptoms of DDD are common among people with this condition. According to an estimate, approximately 50% of the US people have experienced a DDD episode at some point in their lives.

Causes of Depersonalization Disorder 

Researchers don’t know the exact and precise cause of depersonalization disorder. Some experts say that it has an association with experiencing traumatic and stressful circumstances at a young age.

For instance, if your upbringing is in an environment of yelling, abuse, and violence; then you learn the coping mechanism to remove or detach yourself from those situations. When a person grows, then one would follow the same dissociating strategy as a coping mechanism while experiencing stressful circumstances.

Usage of some of the drugs causes the symptoms of DDD to exhibit, and they are as follows;

  • Marijuana
  • Salvia
  • Ketamine
  • MDMA
  • Hallucinogens

According to a study conducted in 2015, 68% of the people recovered from the substance use disorder and they remained sober for six months. Out of which 59% of the people never experienced the substance use disorder, and 40% of the people in the recovery process exhibit mild symptoms of DDD.

Diagnosis of Depersonalization Disorder 

Most of us feel a bit off and try to detach ourselves from reality now and then. Now, the question is how it becomes a mental health condition and at what point. You should consult with a mental health professional before diagnosing yourself with PPP, and your doctor would ask you the following questions;

  • Distressful symptoms
  • Experiencing episodes of depersonalization or derealization, or both

Your doctor would ask you whether you’re experiencing the reality or not. People with DDD conditions would feel that things and their feelings aren’t real. If you don’t experience reality in those moments, then it means you have got other conditions. You should keep in mind that it takes time to diagnose the exact mental health condition. Therefore, you should work and coordinate with your doctor about the conditions that you’re experiencing like anxiety or depression.

Treatment of Depersonalization Disorder 

The most effective treatment plan for depersonalization disorder comprises CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), psychodynamic therapy, and talk therapy. The focus of these therapeutic treatments is to unveil the past traumatic events and risk factors, and it teaches you new coping strategies to deal with them in the future.

Finding and choosing the right therapist could be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. You should ask yourself some questions before making an appointment;

  • What type of issues do you want to deal with; they could be vague or specific
  • Type of characteristics you’re looking for in your therapist, and whether you would be comfortable with the male or female therapist
  • Your budget plan per therapy session
  • A therapist who is willing to see you on the specific as you schedule it

Conclusion: What is Depersonalization Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

After an in-depth study of what is depersonalization disorder; its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment; we have realized that DDD could make you devoid of reality. If you’re having difficulty differentiating between reality and non-reality, then you should consult with your therapist.