How to Feel Real Again: Tackling Depersonalization

  • 27 days ago
4 minute read.
How to Feel Real Again: Tackling Depersonalization

Depersonalization is a common anxiety symptom that can make you feel disconnected from yourself like you're watching your life from the outside. It often happens when you're stressed or anxious, and while it's not harmful, it can be unsettling.


Understanding depersonalization is essential. It's your mind's way of protecting you from overwhelming feelings. It's like a defense mechanism that kicks in when things get too intense.

Depersonalization often goes hand in hand with anxiety disorders like panic disorder or PTSD. It can also show up during stressful times in your life. While it doesn't hurt you physically, it can make life feel strange and confusing.

The good news is, there are ways to manage depersonalization and lessen its impact. Grounding exercises, mindfulness, and stress-relief techniques can help you feel more connected to reality. Getting support from mental health professionals and loved ones can also make a big difference.

In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at depersonalization. We'll talk about why it happens, what it feels like, and importantly, how you can cope with it and start feeling more like yourself again.

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What is Depersonalization?

Depersonalization is a mental health symptom characterized by feeling detached from one's thoughts, feelings, and sensations. People experiencing depersonalization may describe feeling like an outside observer of their own body or like they are in a dream-like state. It can occur as a result of various factors, including anxiety, stress, trauma, or substance use.

Why Does Depersonalization Happen?

Depersonalization often occurs in response to intense stress or anxiety. When the body is under stress, it releases hormones like adrenaline, which can affect perception and the sense of self. Depersonalization may also be a coping mechanism to protect individuals from overwhelming emotions or traumatic experiences.



Understanding Depersonalization in Depth

Depersonalization can manifest in different ways for different people. Some may experience it occasionally, while others may experience it more frequently or intensely. It can be a temporary response to a stressful situation or a more persistent symptom of an underlying mental health condition, such as anxiety disorders or trauma-related disorders.

Symptoms of Depersonalization

Feeling Disconnected from One's Body or Thoughts: Individuals may describe feeling like they are watching themselves from outside their body or as if their body is a separate entity. It can lead to unreality or detachment from one's physical self.

  • Feeling like an Outside Observer of One's Thoughts or Sensations: People experiencing depersonalization may feel like their thoughts are not their own or that they are observing their thoughts from a distance. It can create a sense of detachment from one's internal experiences.
  • Perception of the World as Dream-like or Unreal: The external world may appear distorted, flat, or lacking in detail. Colors may seem muted, sounds may be dulled, and objects may appear two-dimensional or artificial.
  • Emotional Numbness or Detachment: Individuals may feel emotionally numb or disconnected from their emotions. They may have difficulty experiencing pleasure or may feel as though their emotions are muted or distant.
  • Distorted Sense of Time or Space: Time may feel distorted, with minutes or hours passing by in what feels like moments, or conversely, moments may feel stretched out and prolonged. Space may also feel distorted, with objects appearing closer or farther away than they are.

These symptoms can be distressing and may interfere with daily functioning. It's essential for individuals experiencing depersonalization to seek support from a mental health professional to understand the underlying causes and develop coping strategies.

online-therapy-session

10 Ways to Relieve Depersonalization

  • Practice Grounding Techniques: Grounding techniques can help bring you back to the present moment and reduce feelings of detachment. Try focusing on your senses by describing things around you in detail or holding onto a grounding object.
  • Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness meditation can help you stay present and reduce anxiety. Focus on your breath or body sensations to anchor yourself in the moment.
  • Engage in Physical Activity: Regular exercise can improve your mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depersonalization. Aim for activities you enjoy, such as walking, yoga, or dancing.
  • Maintain a Routine: Establishing a daily routine can provide a sense of structure and stability, which can be comforting when experiencing depersonalization.
  • Limit Stimulants: Caffeine and nicotine can increase anxiety and worsen depersonalization symptoms. Limiting or avoiding these substances can help manage symptoms.
  • Get Adequate Sleep: Lack of sleep can exacerbate anxiety and depersonalization. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support your mental health.
  • Connect with Others: Talking to friends, family, or a therapist about your experiences can help you feel less alone and more connected to others.
  • Practice Relaxation Techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery can help reduce anxiety and depersonalization.
  • Limit Media Consumption: Watching or reading distressing news or content can increase anxiety and depersonalization. Limit your exposure to these sources and focus on uplifting or calming media instead.

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Conclusion

Depersonalization can be a challenging symptom to deal with, but it is possible to overcome it with the right strategies and support. By practicing grounding techniques, engaging in mindfulness meditation, maintaining a routine, and seeking professional help if needed, you can take steps towards relieving depersonalization and reclaiming your sense of self.

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