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Hi everyone! This video is going to be about depersonalization and derealization. Both of these are forms of dissociation where the individual is disconnected from themselves and/or the world around them. Often times one may feel like they are living in a dream and/or observing themselves as a different person or outside source. Both depersonalization and derealization are different experiences, but they can often be experienced together.
Usually individuals with a dissociative disorder will experience these. However, dissociation is a common occurrence amongst all of us. We all dissociate to various degrees. However, those with dissociative disorder including depersonalization and derealization will dissociate as a coping mechanism for day-to-day stress, often times to the point of it becoming detrimental to their life.
One of the main causes of this severity of dissociation is trauma. When we experience a traumatic event, we will dissociate from the event since it is overbearing to deal with at the given time. Usually during routine abuse and trauma, dissociation becomes conditioned. So then, as the individual ages, dealing with low levels of stress and anxiety will cause dissociation because that is their coping mechanism. It can be caused by a thought that comes to mind, perhaps of a person, a location, or even a word. Anything that would trigger the individual to dissociate.
Dealing with dissociation can be a tricky task as well since the way to deal with it is to face the negative memories that are triggering it, that are causing the individual to dissociate. In order to do this, the individual would need to develop better ways of coping with the stress and anxiety. Once they are able to properly cope and find better ways of dealing with the dissociation, then they can tackle the past memories that caused them to develop those negative coping methods in the first place. As they work through this, it can be extremely difficult going back and resurfacing those past memories as they will often feel like they are reliving themselves. Things may seem even more difficult for them during this period. But in the long term, they are addressing the deep rooted problems that have been with them their entire lives and are learning to bring them out and release them.
So, now I will discuss just what depersonalization and derealization is.
Depersonalization is when you are disconnected from yourself. In other words an individual may feel as though they are observing themselves, but are not themselves. It can even be like an out-of-body experience which is another thing that many individuals can be intimidated about and fear, especially when it happens when they were not planning on it or know anything about it. Often those that experience depersonalization will feel as though they are not in control of themselves or that they are a different person. They may look in the mirror and see a person that is just not them. They may have different memories of that which they should have. These memories can come as false memories, in that the individual’s brain believes things that didn’t happen. Or even the memories could be from outside influences, such as friends, family, even abusers. Whatever the case, depersonalization is a disconnect from the individual and their consciousness.
Derealization is when you are disconnected from the world around you. In other words, it is when an individual feels they are in an unfamiliar location or surroundings. Sometimes a person may not know the people they are close to, such as their family and friends, and view them as strangers and not remember conversations. They may not recognize their possessions or belongings and feel as though they are separated from the world around them, perhaps like everything is moving too fast or too slow. Often those that experience derealization will feel as though they are almost in a dream where things do not seem real. Perhaps things will seem distant or distorted, like the world around them is shifting or changing. Whatever the case, derealization is a disconnect from the individual and their environment.
So in conclusion, depersonalization and derealization are forms of dissociation, which all of us experience to a degree. Depersonalization is a disconnect from the individual and their consciousness. While derealization is a disconnect from the individual and their environment. Dealing with dissociation that has been conditioned as a coping mechanism can be a tricky task. But, by learning to find alternative coping mechanisms and then dealing with any trauma or abuse that caused the individual to developing the negative coping mechanisms in the first place, then one can learn to let go and release those negative attachments and habits that have been conditioned within them. I hope this video was informative and helpful. Thanks for watching!
I primarily experienced both depersonalization and derealization the strongest before I started to love and accept myself. It was a negative point in my life where I hated myself so much and wanted nothing more then to be someone else and disconnect myself from everyone and everything else. And as a result, I would dissociate and be someone that simply wasn’t myself and not really know who I was. I remember countless times looking in the mirror and seeing someone I just wasn’t, even after I transitioned, being in unfamiliar surroundings and not knowing people or places I’ve been or how I got there.