Depersonalization refers to the experience of observing yourself from outside the body. It may also occur with derealization, in which you feel like the world around you is no longer real. Depersonalization can be a fleeting feeling that occurs as a result of extreme stress or it can be a disorder on its own. In some cases, depersonalization is a symptom of depression or drug use.1 Find out what causes depersonalization, symptoms and signs of the disorder, and how the condition relates to anxiety.
What is Depersonalization Disorder?
Depersonalization disorder in a mental health condition in which one feels detached from their thoughts, feelings, and body. Unlike psychosis, people with this disorder are aware that their feelings of detachment are not real. The Cleveland Clinic calls depersonalization a “dissociative condition” that typically emerges around 16 years old.2 According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, up to 75 percent of people experience at least one depersonalization/derealization episode in their lives, but only two percent meet the criteria for chronic episodes, or depersonalization disorder. Women are also more likely than men to be diagnosed with a dissociative disorder like depersonalization.3
Symptoms & Causes
Common symptoms of depersonalization include:
- Feeling as though you are observing yourself from outside the body
- Feeling detached from yourself; lack of self-identity
- Emotional numbness
- Significant memory loss
- Feeling like you are out of control or “going crazy”
While the exact cause of depersonalization is unknown, there are factors that may increase the risk of depersonalization disorder:
- Maltreatment as a child4
- Traumatic events such as war, natural disasters, accidents, or the sudden death of a loved one5
- Periods of severe stress, depression, or anxiety6
- Use of recreational drugs like cannabis and hallucinogens7
- Sleep deprivation8
No harmful side effects.
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Depersonalization & Anxiety
Many individuals with an anxiety disorder experience depersonalization as one of their symptoms. In fact, studies have shown that of all emotional states, anxiety is the strongest predictor of depersonalization.9 And of all anxiety manifestations that occur with depersonalization/derealization, research conveys that social anxiety and panic attacks are the most common.10
Helpful Treatment Options
The primary treatment for depersonalization disorder is talk therapy, in which patients learn to gain control over their symptoms until they lessen or go away. And since depersonalization is aggravated by anxiety, finding ways to reduce anxiety is another effective plan of action. One way to reduce anxiety is by taking medication, though no medications have been specifically approved to treat depersonalization or derealization. And commonly-prescribed medications for anxiety may cause undesirable side effects in users such as headache, nausea, insomnia, weight changes, and more.
An alternative to prescription medication is Brillia, a homeopathic medication which uses antibodies in place of synthetic chemicals to target anxiety at the source of symptoms. Without causing any harmful side effects and without risk of dependency, Brillia regulates the activity of the brain-specific S100B protein to reduce stress and anxiety in the most gentle and impactful way possible. If you are already taking a medication prescribed by your doctor, Brillia can be safely added to your regimen, or used in lieu of increasing your dosage, as there are no contraindications. In fact, Brilia is so gentle that it is approved for use in children as well as adults.
To make even more of an impact on your anxiety, Brillia is part of a holistic 5-Pillar program, which helps users integrate healthy lifestyle habits into their lives to target anxiety from multiple angles. This includes following a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, minimizing screen time, and practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
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