The London Anxiety Clinic

Harley Street and Wimpole Street

0203 752 4258

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How is derealisation different from depersonalisation?

Derealisation and depersonalisation are both forms of dissociation, but they focus on different aspects of perception and identity.

Depersonalisation specifically refers to a detachment within the self. People experiencing depersonalization feel detached from aspects of their identity or bodily self, as if they are an external observer of their own thoughts, feelings, behaviours, or body. They might describe feeling robotic, emotionally numb, or as though they are not in control of their speech or movements.

Derealisation, on the other hand, involves a sense of detachment from the external world rather than from oneself. People experiencing derealisation perceive the environment around them as unreal, dreamlike, foggy, lifeless, or visually distorted. Buildings, objects, and even other people can seem unreal, artificial, or distant.

Both experiences can occur together or separately and can vary in intensity. They are often associated with significant distress and impairment, and can occur as part of a range of psychological conditions, including anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, and other dissociative disorders. Treatment generally focuses on addressing the root cause of the dissociative symptoms through therapy and, when appropriate, medication. It is important to note that whilst treatments are similar for both of these dissociative symptoms, there are fundamental treatment differences for each one. To understand more about the treatments you can arrange a complimentray consultation with Mike. 


ncs mike ward

vitl london anxiety clinic