First I think it’s important to understand the difference between depersonalization and derealization. Depersonalization is when we feel we have lost touch with ourselves. This could feel like we are watching ourselves do something or act in a certain way and we don’t have control over it at all. Derealization is when we lose touch with our surroundings. It could feel foggy or sort of dream-like as if we are in a dream and cannot wake ourselves up.
This can be very difficult to properly diagnose. Therefore it is important that you see a professional who understands dissociative disorders to ensure you are properly diagnosed and treated.
We link this disorder and other forms of dissociative disorders to trauma. I believe this too is because in order for us to survive and keep living after the trauma our brain has to take us out of ourselves and the situation. That way we can get some mental distance between ourselves and the scary or life-threatening situation. But don’t worry! There are treatment options available!
1. Anxiety medication may help with this because dissociation has been linked to anxiety levels rising.
2. Talk therapy! I know it’s terribly difficult but we find that talking through the trauma in detail to be the most successful way for us to process it and move on.
3. Grounding techniques! These can be used in any treatment situation and they simply help us fight our mind’s urge to dissociate so that we can stay present and work through it.
Please be patient with your process! You can overcome it and it will get better! Please share and leave comments with your experiences.
I’m Kati Morton, a licensed therapist making Mental Health videos!
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