What Really Constitutes Depersonalization?

If you have gone through life, persistently feeling as though you are watching you live your life as some type of an outsider, you could be dealing with depersonalization. This issue can cause many different issues, including a consistent feeling that the things that are going on around you, are not, in fact, really happening. The items, people, and instances going on around you each day, somehow have a fake feeling to them, and leave you wondering what is real, and what isn't.

Depersonalization disorder has a host of common symptoms, including those mentioned above. A sufferer could also feel automated, as in they are a robot or a puppet that someone else is controlling. This can apply to speech, actions, memories, and behaviors that the person exhibits. It is common for sufferers to feel as though their emotions are turned off, or numb, to whatever is going on around them.

When the symptoms you are experiencing begin to alter your life, it is time to speak with a doctor about what is going on. The doctor will have to check you over, and speak to you about how you feel and how you act around others. Most times, there is some form of trauma that precedes depersonalization, such as domestic violence or some major trauma.

When depersonalization disorder is diagnosed, most doctors will use two approaches to treat the condition. First they will find a suitable medication to help decrease the symptoms. Second, they will get the patient involved in counseling to help them re-connect with their body, and move beyond the cause of the depersonalization.


N.A. "Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder." Mayo Clinic (Website). (2014).
  • 5 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I think that many of us go through phases where we feel like robots, and that we are living the life of somebody else with whom we don't feel a deep connection. I certainly have gone through stages like that when I was employed in jobs that didn't exactly agree with my personality, or my talents and gifts in life. I had to take those jobs in order to survive and to gain money to be able to do what I love doing. I didn't need a doctor to deal with those issues, but more like a change of lifestyle. 
  • That is really interesting. I never thought if it like that and it is something that I've never come across. I think it could be really helpful finding it out and diagnosing it then one can realize what it actually is. Thank you for this valuable information sclarke.
  • I suffer from this as well as other mental illnesses but I've always been afraid to tell anyway because I fear they won't understand what I'm talking about and they look at me strange. I just think the whole stigma surrounding all mental illness is so sad as it forces people who suffer to repress everything and keep it to themselves.
  • Although I've been depressed way more often, I occasionally feel like my life is just...me in a dark room, facing a television screen. The room is a bunker, and nothing else exists outside of it. It's surreal, and the moments where I snap into lucidity are almost frightening. 
  • Thanks for sharing this interesting information. I have heard of this but never really knew what it was before. I felt like this after I had my second child. I was going through postpartum depression and I was completely numb to everything and had no feelings for anyone including my children. It was a very scary feeling because I was not sure that I was going to get out of it or how long I would feel like that.  I cannot imagine feeling like this my whole life and I hope that those that do get the help that they need.
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