A less sciencey approach to depersonalisation…

I understand that sometimes sciency approaches alienate people, so I’m going to in a way, rewrite it to make it less sciency.But then I have to write another blog straight after on my life. So, let’s get cracking.

So what is it?

Sufferers of Depersonalisation feel divorced from both the world and from their own body. Often people who experience depersonalisation claim that life “feels like a dream”, things seem unreal, or hazy; some say they feel detached from their own body.

People can have depersonalisation disorder or just depersonalisation traits.


  • Feeling of being outside oneself, including mental activities, body, or parts of the body
  • Feeling of automation, i.e. feeling trapped in a dream or movie
  • Sensory anaesthesia, a lack emotions
  • Sensations of lacking control over one’s actions, i.e. speech or motor functions
  • Emotional or physical distress as a result of the symptoms of the disorder
  • constant worrying or strange thoughts that people find hard to switch off.

What causes it?

Depersonalisation occurs with anxiety because you are so used to watching yourself, questioning your illness, day in, day out, that you start to feel detached from the outside world. Your mind has become tired and less resilient through watching and worrying about your symptoms. It has been bombarded with worrying thoughts and becomes fatigued. When our limbs tire, they ache. When our mind tires, we feel these strange feelings of detachment from the world around us, experiencing an almost dreamlike state, convincing ourselves that we are going mad or losing it. You are not; your mind is just so very tired and just craves a rest from all this introspection of oneself.

But obviously that’s not all: It is commonly induced by experiences with trauma (i.e. sexual, physical, or emotional) during childhood. Findings in 2002 indicate that emotional abuse in particular is a strong predictor of depersonalization disorder in adult life, as well as of depersonalization as a symptom in other mental disorders.

There is of course a physical side which can be detailed in the blog I wrote here: https://myobviouslittlesecret.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/depersonalisation/


There are obviously lots of different kinds. Some people will find that they will just need “the talking cure” and some will need medication, whilst others will need to start treating other mental illness for depersonalisation to go away. For a more insight into that sort of treatment, talk with a mental health care professional


42 thoughts on “A less sciencey approach to depersonalisation…

  1. Okay … so I do have a question …. one of the symptoms … “Sensations of lacking control over one’s actions, i.e. speech or motor functions” …. are you meaning … a person sometimes will say and do things ….they are aware they are doing it…but cannot stop themselves?

    By the way, from reading Amber’s blogs, I too know that self-diagnosis can be a harmful thing. There is good in knowing symptoms and such and taking an active role in one’s healthcare … but diagnosing something as complicated as this …. knows that is best left for someone who understands it better than I do.

    I will say, I see a few of the symptoms in myself … specifically:
    – Sensory anesthesia, a lack emotions
    – Constant worrying or strange thoughts that people find hard to switch off.

    But I also know that just having a symptom or two..or all of them even, is not cause to run out and tell people I suffer from Depersonlization. I would rather guess I surely do not suffer from this affliction. (I suspect the symptoms I had were real … but not on-going … and specific to a time and event … and likely at times a result of “normal” sadness or such.)

    Still digesting some of this….this is a new thing to me … I hope you find something that helps you with this…. you say you are taking some medicines from a previous blog post … I would like to know if it starts to make you feel less of this …lessening….

    • That’s it. Sometimes though, when they say it they’re aware but when the depersonalisation episode ends they’ve forgotten.

      I know, but I needed to call it something. I was sick of describing it as ‘that weird episode when…’. It’s also not like I’m giving myself another disorder, but it sounds like I have traits of depersonalisation. But it can be a part of a lot of stuff, so it’s possible it’s called something else. But I felt it was a nice to write a blog about it.

      Problem is that also can be part of depression so it’s hard to tell them apart sometimes.

      I think it’s more likely that yours are symptoms of depression, some of the more inductive features is thinking people aren’t real or that objects aren’t.

      Digest it as long as it takes :). I don’t take like ‘mental illness drugs’ (sorry cant think of a better name). So none really help. On a regular basis I take iron pills, vitamin D and melatonin. Iron pills and vitamin D work. Melatonin is useless at the moment.

  2. Ahh…nods on iron … a lack of it can lead to lethargy nod nods … I try to eat a lot of green veggies to get my iron uptake. Is the reason you are taking iron due to lack of energy? As for vitamin D….nods …sunshine gives that too … but I know of some others how have to take supplements … (it works well with calcium intake btw *smiles*). And I read the two blog posts about the melatonin too.

    Ok…for me it is now 5:30am … and almost time to get ready for work! Ack.

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