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Derealization Vs. Depersonalization: What's the difference?

Many individuals may experience a passing feeling of derealization or depersonalization within their lifetime. However, sometimes these feelings can interfere with day to day interactions and connections with one's environment. Derealization and depersonalization are often feelings accompanied with a traumatic experience that one has had in the past.


Derealization can include a feeling of your surroundings being fuzzy, unclear and as if you are detached from your environment. Things can feel unreal around oneself.There can be distortions in the distance, size and shape of objects surrounding oneself. There may be a time distortion in which recent events feel like the distant past. You can feel emotionally disconnected from the people you care about.


Depersonalization can feel like your an outside observer of your thoughts, feelings, or body. There is a sense of detachment from oneself and identity. Often, individuals may describe that they were floating outside of themselves. Individuals may feel like they are not in control. There may be a feeling of emotional numbness and reaction. A sense that your memories lack emotion and they are not your own memories may occur.


People can feel really scared about experiencing these symptoms. You are not alone and professional help is available.


Risk factors associated with developing symptoms of derealization or depersonalization can include trauma, increased severe stress, depression and or anxiety, and personality traits. Furthermore, using recreational drugs can sometimes cause these symptoms as well and it is important to be aware.


If you are experiencing persistent feelings of derealization or depersonalization and they are disrupting your well-being, please speak to a medical practitioner. Furthermore, symptoms associated with derealization and depersonalization can often be managed through psychotherapy. A clinician trained in evidence-based trauma therapy may be able to help decrease or manage symptoms.



Lastly, if you are a loved one is ever experiencing a mental health crisis please reach out to crisis services at 3067570127 or 3067667800. Or 911 for an emergency.

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