Understanding Depersonalization Disorder: Causes And Treatment

Depersonalization disorder is a psychiatric problem and it is one of the various other dissociative disorders. The condition is characterized by a persistent or recurring alteration in perception of self. It is to the extent that the feeling of one’s reality is temporarily lost.

The person suffering from this disorder has an experience of feeling mechanical, being in dream or feeling detached from his body. Patient suffering from this disorder feels that some parts of the body do not belong to him.

Many people may have experienced temporary depersonalization at some point in their life.

However, when the problem persists recurrently or remains for a long time than it is considered as depersonalization disorder. Even though depersonalization disorder does not harm the body, a person experiencing it feels extremely disturbed. Psychotherapy is the treatment of choice.

Possible Causes Of Depersonalization Disorder

The exact etiology of depersonalization is not clearly understood. But it is believed to be caused due to imbalance in brain chemical. Similar to other dissociative disorders, depersonalization disorder may arise from extreme stressful and fearful situation that a person may have faced.

It may be a traumatic mental or verbal abuse during childhood, death of close family member, stress in relationship, stress related to financial problems, a child having mentally challenged parent or a traumatic injury for example a car injury.

The associated risk is more in people who are reluctant to face difficult situations. People who have witnessed abuses and violence to others often suffer from depersonalization disorder.

The condition is usually seen in early adulthood. Children and old aged are least affected. There are several triggering factors such as substance abuse, especially cannabis, benzodiazepines, and hallucinogens. People suffering from other psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or traumatic injury to head can suffer from depersonalization disorder.

How To Treat Depersonalisation Disorder?

Depersonalization disorder is a psychiatric condition and it is difficult for common man to diagnose it. Only a psychiatrist is able to diagnose the condition, it may take one or two visits before coming to a conclusion. Before the diagnosis, psychiatrist will rule out organic lesions or other mental illnesses.

There are no medications that have been known to for treating depolarization disorder. However, often doctors prescribe drugs used to treat anxiety and depression. Medications have been found effective for a short while, but their usefulness for long term is yet to be known clearly.

Psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy has helped significantly in many people suffering from this problem. In this therapy patient is counseled to stop worrying about his symptoms. The two psychological counseling techniques are cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy. Patient is advised to remain in connection with people who support and care them. This may include family members, friends etc.

Depersonalization disorder is a mental state of a person which results in anxiety. In fact there are many people suffering from this problem who do not exhibit anxiety. Many people opine the same state may occur even while meditating. However, in meditation there is no anxiety factor while in depersonalization apparent or overt anxiety is always underlying.