The London Anxiety Clinic

Harley Street and Wimpole Street

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Understanding derealisation

Derealisation is a mental state often described as feeling detached or disconnected from one's surroundings, as if things around are not real.

It is a form of dissociation, a mental process that causes a lack of connection in a person's thoughts, memory, and sense of identity. During episodes of derealisation, the world may seem like it's distorted, foggy, colorless, or artificial, almost as if one is observing it through a veil or watching a movie.

Derealisation can occur as a symptom of several conditions, including anxiety disorders, depression, severe stress, trauma, or certain physical illnesses. It can also be triggered by sleep deprivation, substance use, or neurological disorders. Often, it appears in conjunction with depersonalisation, which involves feeling detached from one's body or self.

People experiencing derealisation usually retain the understanding that their perception is altered, which differentiates this condition from psychotic disorders where such insight might be absent.

Treatment for derealisation often involves addressing the underlying cause, such as managing anxiety or depression, through therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these approaches. Mindfulness practices and grounding techniques can also help manage symptoms by helping individuals reconnect with the present moment.


ncs mike ward

vitl london anxiety clinic