Depersonalization disorder is a dissociative disorder is characterized by periods of feeling disconnected or detached from one’s body and thoughts (depersonalization or derealization). Experiencing depersonalization disorder has been described as observing yourself from outside your body or being in a dream. Though these people do not lose contact with reality, depersonalization does cause significant distress and impairment in daily functioning. An episode of depersonalization can last anywhere from a few minutes to many years. For the diagnoses of depersonalization disorder to be made, symptoms cannot exist exclusively alongside another disorder (such as schizophrenia) or a medical condition (for example, epilepsy).
Symptoms can vary in intensity and duration from case to case
- Distorted perception of the body (feeling out of body or in a dream-like state)
- Feelings of anxiety, depression, and panic can result.
- Symptoms can lead to problems with daily functioning and possibly disability.