Emotional, Physical, and Psychological Effects often associated or accompanying Depersonalisation and Derealisation:
Many of these bizarre and morbid sensations listed below might be classed as pseudohallucination, that is, they are not concrete. Instead they are attempts to describe inner subjective experiences and therefore have an 'as if' quality. Although strictly speaking some of these experiences lie outside the definitions of derealisation and depersonalisation, they are often described alongside them.
If the person has induced derealisation deliberately and in a controlled way, (I.e. through meditation or drug usage), then the experience can be one of detached calmness and enlightenment.
Who experiences these feelings?
As a transient phenomena, to different extents, just about everybody, including healthy adults and children, will encounter these odd feelings. Anyone who is emotionally disturbed, fatigued, frightened or stressed is also prone to derealisation in particular.
Others who often experience derealisation and depersonalisation include:
Sufferers of neurotic mental illnesses, such as anxiety, panic-attacks, agoraphobia, phobias, depression, obsessional thinking, compulsive behaviour (OCD).
Sufferers of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, often survivors of major accidents or other trauma, i.e. prisoners of war, test pilots and astronauts, war veterans, people recently bereaved.
Sufferers of psychotic mental illnesses, such as Schizophrenia and Manic-Depression.
People who experience an 'aura' before an epileptic fit, reportedly common in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).
Users of LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), alcohol, cannabis and other hallucinogenic or psycho-active drugs. Abuse of these drugs may lead to Hallucination Persisting Perceptual Disorder, of which derealisation and its co-morbid symptoms can be a component.
Consumers of many prescription drugs, but mainly antidepressants and painkillers can also experience these sensations.
Repetition can elicit depersonalisation, for instance; meditation involving repeating a mantra or concentrating on an object, certain kinds of dancing, and even Yoga. Some research conducted into depersonalisation has apparently used these activities to cue episodes of derealisation. Consequently, people who practice repetitive rituals and meditation in order to achieve 'enlightenment' or 'cosmic ecstasy', may actually be triggering depersonalisation as opposed to transcending an Earthly paradise.
Similarly, sleep or sensory deprivation can lead to depersonalisation, and is it also a common component of near death and out-of-body experiences.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website was not compiled by a doctor or anyone with medical training. The advice contained herein should not be substituted for the advice of a physician who is well-informed in the subject matter discussed. Before making any decisions about your health or treatment you should always confer with your physician and it is always assumed that you will do so.
Last updated 22 July 2015