Derealization Disorder


What is Derealization Disorder?

Derealization disorder had been combined with depersonalization disorder which happens when the person feels disconnected from the body or that something is off from reality and the surrounding seems surreal. It may also be like you yourself, who is observing your body from the outside and it somehow looks like a dream.

Derealization Disorder


This can be very disturbing especially if it happens too often or never goes away at all. Although this type of disorder is present, people who have it do not completely lose reality since somewhere in their mind, they know that things are not how they should appear.

Derealization disorder usually happens to people with traumatic experiences or it can also be a symptom of other brain diseases. Depersonalization disorder is under a group called dissociative disorders and these are mental illnesses that are connected with the brain. This disorder may become severe to the point where daily activities, work, and relationships get affected.


What are the Causes of Derealization Disorder?

Derealization Disorder is a form of an anxiety symptom which is very complicated. Only little information had been gathered about the causes of this disorder. Nevertheless, it is still connected to environmental factory, biological factors, and the variation of certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters wherein it makes the brain susceptible so that intense periods of anxiety will lead to the disorder.

It is still not clear as to how people seem to get lost or escape from reality, but it is suspected that it is a natural coping mechanism of the body. Since the brain tunes out for the coping, it does not stop working which will make the surroundings turn surreal. Depersonalization is prompted by extreme stress like accidents, war, violence, and abuse that the individual had seen or experienced.

What are the Symptoms of Derealization Disorder?

Constant episodes of derealization can have a serious problem of functioning daily since the person tends to worry which one is real or not. Some may also fear and think that they are going insane because of the detachment. Symptoms can either be mild and may last for hours or weeks, or chronic and last for years.

Symptoms may include:


  • A feeling that you are mainly outside of the body and observing whatever is that’s happening to one’s self
  • A perception of the body being distorted
  • The feeling that you are not in control of your own movements or with the words you speak
  • A sense that the memories you have are not yours since it lacks certain emotions that should have been felt
  • Feeling disconnected with the people you love and care about
  • Surroundings and the things you see are also distorted

How to Treat Derealization Disorder?

Most individuals who ask for treatment are those who are usually concerned about the symptoms. In some cases, the symptoms fade as time passes by, but when the disorder or the symptoms happens repeatedly, treatment is then needed. The treatment depends on how severe the case is.

Possible treatment methods include:

  • Psychotherapy – This type of therapy will let the patient understand why such disorder occurred and it uses techniques to help the patient gain control so that the symptoms will go away.
  • Family Therapy – This therapy is done with the help of the family by educating them how to help the family member with the disorder.
  • Medications – Derealization disorder has no specific medications yet, but there are other medications to treat anxiety and depression.
  • Creative Therapies – This can either be music or art therapy and it helps the patient express thoughts in a safe way.
  • Clinical Hypnosis

References:

  1. Derealization = Anxiety?, Causes of Derealization From Anxiety, How to Stop Derealization at http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/derealization
  2. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/depersonalization-disorder-mental-health
  3. Depersonalization-derealization disorder -> complications, treatment at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depersonalization-derealization-disorder/basics/definition/con-20033401
  4. Hunter EC, Sierra M, David AS (2004). “The epidemiology of depersonalization and derealisation. A systematic review”. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology 39 (1): 9–18.
  5. Radovic F., Radovic S. (2002). “Feelings of Unreality: A Conceptual and Phenomenological Analysis of the Language of Depersonalization”. Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology 9: 271–9.
  6. Lambert MV, Sierra M, Phillips ML, David AS (2002). “The spectrum of organic depersonalization: a review plus four new cases”. The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences 14 (2): 141–54.

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