Depersonalisation- a state in which one’s thoughts and feelings seem unreal or not to belong to oneself.
I have suffered from depersonalisation on and off for as long as I could remember, it is my body’s natural reaction to feelings of stress and tiredness- as you can imagine, exam season wasn’t too fun. I experience this if I am up late and at a party of event when surrounded by people because I am in an unfamiliar place at a strange time which worries me.
What does it feel like? It makes you feel completely detached from everyone and makes you feel as though you are looking through a camera lens at your surroundings. Sometimes your hearing can go funny- a bit like you’re underwater and your vision can go blurry or distorted. It can feel as though you’re are watching your life as a film and that everything is unreal. A lot of the time it can feel as though you are walking slowly in fog whilst everyone around you is going about their everyday lives, but all you can do is stop and stare because they don’t look real and you have forgotten where you are. It is hard to be in a situation where you have forgotten where you are and who you are with and try to remain calm, as well as having the knowledge that you know you are safe but you don’t know why.
This is a natural reaction to stress and anxiety which can make you feel quite isolated and helpless because you have no control over what your body wants you to do. It can be an alternate to a panic attack in extreme moments in panic and worry.
Since discovering depersonalisation on the internet and realising that it is a real thing and not just me going mad I do feel a sense of comfort that other people have tried to develop cures and different therapies to help reduce it. As I said, this condition can be isolating and leave you feeling desperate for any sign of help or understanding. I will leave a link to some websites that have helped to improve my understanding of the condition and it’s causes.
In terms of treatments there aren’t many apart from general therapy (CBT and other speaking-based methods) and hypnosis therapy, there are currently no drugs available like antidepressants (even though I am aware that these aren’t the best treatments for depression anyways) which means that you would have to go to a clinic. There also are very rarely any hospitals or clinics that have professionals in the department of dpd, there is one in South London and that is it.