By: Jadon Webb, M.D., Ph.D.
Depersonalization-derealization disorder (DP/DR) is a group of symptoms and feelings in which the person feels disconnected from themselves or the outside world. Those suffering from it can feel frightened and wonder if they are “going crazy.” This fear can make it harder and more embarrassing to want to reach out and get help. It is also a lonely illness, and it can seem like you are one of the only people experiencing this.
But DP/DR is actually very common. A survey of the general population in 2020 found that almost 9% were experiencing these symptoms, and were bothered by it.
DP/DR is extremely common - every bit as much as well-known troubles such as depression and anxiety. Yet, because the symptoms are often hard to explain, and can sound like more frightening disorders (e.g. psychosis), it seems to often get ignored. This is a shame, as many of the underlying causes are very treatable! Many cases of DP/DR are caused by stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, borderline personality, trauma, and other very treatable problems.
If you are experiencing feelings of numbness, feel like you are in a dream-like state, or feel unreal, consider getting an evaluation. It may be your body’s way of trying to cope with stress or other problems that can be helped.
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about the authorS
Jadon Webb, M.D., Ph.D.
Bloom Mental Health
Disclaimer: this blog is NOT intended as medical advice and does not imply any kind of specific guidance or treatment recommendations, and should NOT be used to guide a treatment protocol. (read full disclaimer)
DNP, MSN, FNP-BC
Family Nurse Practitioner