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Depersonalization & Derealization?


A change in an individuals self-awareness such that they feel detached from their own experience, with the self, the body and mind seeming alien.

Terms commonly used to describe depersonalization: detached from self, puppet like, cotton woolish, robot-like, removed from self, like an automotron, two-dimensional, empty, dead.


A change in an individual's experience of the environment, where the world around him/her feels unreal and unfamiliar.

Terms commonly used to describe derealization: unreal, dreaminess, haziness, dulling of senses, dulled senses, a veil over reality, life through misted glass, nightmarish, day dream state, cartoon state


DP and DR are mind states that developed in humans to assist during flight or fight.

The functions of both depersonalization and derealization during the anxiety repsonse are to focus the sufferer on the appropriate risk and prevent them from being distracted by other environmental factors.

Both DP and DR can become quickly apparent when an anxiety disorder develops as the result of smoking cannabis (marijuana) - sufferers then worry that they have done permanent damage to their minds. This is not the case. Read more about anxiety and cannabis

Depersonalization and derealization subdue some brain function and are both an integral and vital element of the anxiety response.

Derealization and depersonalization fade away with the anxiety disorder.


There are solutions though - many of which don't use drug therapy.