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Experiencing Derealization/Depersonalization


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I experience many times when I feel that the world isn't real, that I'm not real, and I never believe I am who I am when I look in the mirror. I also sometimes get lost and can't figure out where I am even if it's in a familiar place. I was wondering if this sounds like it might be depersonalization disorder and something I should bring up with my psychiatrist. The thing is, I have psychosis. So I'm not sure if this is a part of psychosis or if it's depersonalization.

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I think that's a really great question to bring up to your psychiatrist - distinguishing between different disorders can be hard because symptoms can come from a variety of sources.  Discussing it with someone who knows you is probably your best bet.

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I asked a similar question right after I joined here, just from the opposite perspective. I'm primarily dissociated, with concerns about psychosis. That thread is here, if you wanted to read it. http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php/topic/72974-can-depersonalization-look-like-psychosis/

 

Not recognizing myself in the mirror, and getting turned around even in familiar locations like my own house, happen to me frequently. I never feel fully real, but sometimes I interact with the world better than other times. I take the things i see and hear at face value a lot because I forget to test if they're part of consensus reality or not. Reality is a mushy concept for me with a lot of elasticity. I no longer think that what I have is psychosis, so much as coming gently dissociated/unmoored from bodily reality worse than usual, but I think they can look similar.

 

Have you tried grounding techniques for when you feel disconnected? Sometimes that can help. Some that I've tried: carrying a tea bag in my pocket; putting vanilla or another strong scented extract on a handkerchief and putting that in my pocket; snapping a rubber band against one wrist; eating something cold; putting my hands in cold water or ice water. A mild shock to the senses can sometimes help me place myself back at baseline. I'm still not totally present, but at least I know that my baseline reality is still there and the body is still in it. If that makes any sense. I think maybe I am badly dissociated, though. These techniques seem to work more completely for others from what I've read. 

 

It could be worth a mention to your doctors too. You know yourself best. If you think it's something that needs looked into, I think you should.

Edited by The Dead Guy
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