If you have ever felt that a situation in your life was happening before your eyes, but you did not feel part of it, you may have experienced depersonalization disorder. This feeling is considered one of the symptoms that can present anxiety and is very unpleasant.
It does not matter where you are, not even if you are aware of if you are in a circumstance that can cause you anxiety. Depersonalization disorder appears by surprise causing you to feel disoriented and not knowing very well what to do.
Imagine that you are playing soccer with your friends. Suddenly, you stop in your tracks because you start to see them as if you were in front of a movie. You are not part of that moment, you are like out of that “movie”. Everything seems like a dream, you even feel disconnected from yourself. This is also known as dissociation and causes much anguish.
Depersonalization disorder when does it appear?
As we have said, depersonalization disorder appears, sometimes, as a symptom of anxiety. In a situation that unconsciously removes certain feelings from within this may appear as a reaction to something that we are unable to manage.
But, this disorder can appear, also, when we suffer some attack of panic, depression or suffer some bipolar disorder. In all these cases, the depersonalization disorder may appear. What we have to take into account is that as it appears, it disappears.
The feeling of being like in a movie is not something that lasts for days or even many hours. It is an episode that lasts a few minutes but eventually disappears as suddenly as it has emerged. This can generate in the individual who suffers a certain sensation of insanity.
It must be made clear that this disorder does not appear due to the consumption of any substance, although this may be believed at first by the symptoms it manifests.
A defense mechanism
People who tend to suffer from depersonalization disorder have usually gone through very traumatic experiences in their lives. In this way, they unconsciously develop this defense mechanism in similar situations that activate the memory of those experiences.
According to the NHS (National Health Service of the United Kingdom) dissociating is a normal defense mechanism that allows the person to deny what is happening to them. But, this becomes dysfunctional when the situation that activates depersonalization is not traumatic.
This means that there is a deep trauma that the person has not overcome, but that is strongly anchored in his unconscious. Once it is overcome, the depersonalization disorder should disappear.
It is a sensation, not a reality
It must be clear that all the symptoms surrounding the disorder of depersonalization are not a reality. It is only a sensation that, after a few minutes, ends up disappearing. Some of the symptoms that may appear and that we have not yet treated are the following:
- A sensation that you are an external observer of your thoughts, feelings, and parts of your body.
- You think you are on automatic pilot, that you can not control what you are saying or how you are moving. You feel like you are a robot.
- You can see and even notice or perceive how some parts of your body get bigger. For example, a foot that suddenly seems to have increased in size. You may try to put the other hand or hand to check that what you are perceiving is real.
- Your senses and emotions seem to be numbed making you feel like you are inside a bubble.
- You feel that the memories you have do not cause you any emotion or that they are not even yours.
Going to a psychologist is essential to end the disorder of depersonalization. The professional will focus on finding what is the trauma that is causing this situation and solves it so that, thus, it does not affect the person’s life at present.
Everything that we live when we are small and that causes us a deep emotional wound can continue to affect us even though many years have passed. Depersonalization disorder is like a wake-up call to something that still removes us from within and that we have to attend to.