Depersonalization And Anxiety

I wanted to shed a little light on this symptom that destroyed my life for 6 years, before finally overcoming it. Personally I don't think that Depersonalization Disorder exists and believe that this is just another symptom of anxiety that can in time be overcome. Depersonalization can be described as a recurring feeling of detachment from ones own body, as if being in a dream like state and not really ever in touch with reality. Many people complain of a fogy or hazy view of the world through their own eyes with depersonalization, and this symptom can not exist without anxiety. Depersonalization is caused by a mental shift in the part of the brain that is linked to the amygdala, which is the main organ responsible for anxiety. Cannabis, hallucinogens, antidepressants, caffeine and nicotine can all produce feelings resembling depersonalization, especially when taken in excess, It can also result from alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Recovery comes by losing interest in your fear of the world and by trying to force recovery instead of accepting, understanding how you are adding to your depersonalization feelings, and letting time pass as you slowly let go of your tight grip on it which adds to the tension in your mind and body. Letting go of what you think peoples judgements of you are, will also take a lot of the pressures of trying to please people off of your shoulders, this will then translate into a big self esteem boost!


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40 Replies

  • Thank you for this post. When you had DP did you get really weird feelings/emotions? Just like dreamy feelings that you can't explain? For me that's the hardest. It makes me feel like I'm going crazy when I tell people I just feel "weird" and they have no idea what I'm talking about.

  • Yes. Sometimes I feel like I am losing control over my behavior and I'm losing my mind. However, I know that I am not that it's just my anxiety, running overtime. When I am focusing (concentrating) on something else, I am not aware of this feeling. However, if I am on the phone and for some reason, I start feeling that I am going to lose control and start babbling. Then I have to tell my that it won't happen. Also, I pray a lot and trust God that nothing can happen to me unless he permits it.

  • I'm a devoted Christian, that is number one priority in my life. Yes I pray as well. But I have finally decided to let it take its course. If I die I do. But I've found that it never happenes so that's where I am.

  • I am a godly woman who loves the Lord. If it weren't for Him, I would be probably in an asylum. Seeing a Christian therapist helped me a lot. I am very active and a published writer (nothing big); therefore, I put most of my thoughts from anxiety on paper. However, I didn't know it was anxiety when I expressed (on paper) some of my feelings. Thanks for responding. It's encouraging to hear from someone who thinks the way I do.

  • Sister in Christ, could you beso kind to call me one day??  928-9612463.  I have some questions from you. I'm happy to meet believers for Christ JESUS. Thanks

  • Are you in the United States?

  • Yes I am

  • Thanks, I will try to call tonight. I am in NC.

  • Something came up and now it's a little late; however, I will try to contact you soon. Sorry for the change in plans. Thanks, again.

  • I am a Christian lady too who is suffering at the moment with acute anxiety.i have just been prescribed 2mg diazepam today and am hoping that helps my symptoms x

  • Hello to my sister in Christ I hope an abundance of blessings over you. If you don't mind me asking at what age did you start with the anxiety or and panic attacks???  

  • See my reply below

  • I think they started about 20 years ago.....I can go a while and I'm fine and then bang it comes back with a vengeance .....which it has at the moment.

  • I forgot to ask?? What kind of books or writing do you do?? Is it biblical??

  • I write memoirs and poetry. Currently, I am working on a book, for a few years now, a non-fiction. It's not a profession nor hobby...just sharing. I like putting my thoughts on paper. All of my writing is from a biblical perspective since I don't know how to write any other way. God bless you G


  • Thank you young lady. Many blessings to you as well

  • Thanks...and God bless you too. Far from young...far from old.

  • My doctor at VA said thank it.....  Its bubble wrap for the brain is all... Panic causes traumatic event which causes this.....  Ignore it and it will go away.....  Thank it, make it your friend, but don't push away or fear it.

  • Dreamy, spaced out feelings almost like living in a bubble, touching something but not really feeling, seeing something but not really believing it's there, yep. Anxiety comes with many faces, but thankfully I gave my nervous system the break it was craving and have recovered from it.

  • Well said! Don't think about others, think about recovery. Its really hard to explain and understand DP and anxiety.

    I have anxiety for many years now, got horrible feeling so many time that I can't explain to anyone.

    Now I am feeling better with the proper medication and therapy.

  • Congrats Heather.

  • Hello there.

    Thank you for explaining something that many people suffer from but can't adequately explain.

    I first experienced it a years ago, and couldn't figure out what was happening or how to treat it. Because it wasn't something that was openly discussed, I thought I was just imagining it.

    Thank you for your post detailing how best to deal with this bizarre anxiety-related symptom.

  • WOW So right hit a lot of what I have been experiencing over these past years.

  • Thanks so much Guy! I haven't heard anyone discuss depersonalization on this site in a long time. I needed to hear that. Yes, I told mine comes from what I think people are saying about me and what they have actually said...about an issue I could do nothing about. Then family members who might have heard something that I said and misunderstood and obvious avoiding me. I think today I will ask a particular family member if I have said or done something that offended least it will be out in the open. Thanks so much. You post is very encouraging. What else are you doing to cope with depersonalization?

  • Thanks for your post. I have DP, panic, ptsd, and major depression (half from DP) and anxiety from panic. How/what tips did you take to help?

  • Hey everyone instead of trying to respond for each, I think it's important to go a little deeper into this symptom so everyone gains a deeper understanding, and some solutions for it. We experience it and assign an awful and horrible outcome to it, assuming it is a "sign" of impending insanity and loss of control. What is the best way to approach these awful sensations? Since we know that it is certainly related to stress, Would you feel "unreal" while lying on the beach next to a supermodel (male or female - your choice) who was totally attracted to you?

    I highly doubt it, Your "unreality" would not exist in that situation would it, You would forget about it and not be focusing so intensely on it. You can HATE the "unreal" feeling but acceptance is a must to break the habit of adding more stress to it. In my own experiences with the feeling of being detached to the world with no one to turn to, I had a very hard time competing at sports I loved due to the feeling of being off balanced while walking, running, jumping everything, funny thing was when I wasn't focused on it I felt complete relief and escape from it completely. The two biggest factors that lead to the continuation of feelings of depersonalization are doubt and tension, hiding from it and consciously doing everything you can to STOP it adds greatly to the doubt and tension you experience because as you probably know already TRYING to stop symptoms of anxiety most of the time just doesn't work.

    The feeling of being isolated is extremely common as well and you may feel a complete disconnection from family and friends, you may wonder why the heck you don't FEEL anything towards some of your closest family members, friends, pets etc but remember that you're not alone. I invite everyone to get caught up on my podcast. More of my experiences and solutions that worked :) Be well everyone hope this post gets out there...

  • I always wondered if I had depersonalization . It feels as if there is a veil or a window between me and the world. Almost like looking at everything out of a dirty window. At times I feel as if I am going deep within myself and getting further away from everything. While I am experiencing this I can speak normally, act normal and no one around me could ever tell that I am so uncomfortable. My first experience was when I was 9 years old. It lasted only for a few months and than returned at 17 . Since the age of 17 I have had it off and on over the years. More on than off. I started taken antidepressants and it disappeared for years until just last year and I can't seem to get rid of it, not even with antidepressant medication.

    For years I explained this feeling to many , many psychiatrists and they never mentioned depersonalization. In fact they never said anything when I explained my symptoms. I asked if theses symptoms was from depression and did other patients complained of theses symptoms, and their answer was " no " I just do not know wether this feeling I am getting is from depression or is it a form of depersonalization.

    I would appreciate any thought about my symptoms.

    Thank you, Jen 1983


  • Definitely sounds like depersonalization I can't believe that so many therapists dont know about it, it's Such a common symptom of anxiety every anxiety book talks about it yet a lot of therapists don't know much about it. I think just like what anxiety guy said accept it and don't fear it and it should pass. I notice mine gets worse the more secluded I am, I'm a stay at home mum so I am alone with my kids a lot, when I'm with people or my husband has his monthly 5 days off it gets better as I'm interacting more and I forget about it and sort of come back to reality.

  • Good input Aazz.

  • It's so uncomfortable and strips away all the joy in my life. I find there are times the more I do the worse it gets. I feel myself getting further away and spacey and my vision becomes so blurry I feel as though I am living behind a dirty glass window and in the evening the lights become very bright and everything seems as if it's far away and strange. I feel exhausted from it as well. On a beautiful days I see the ocean trees people all though this window of haze. Nothing looks clear and bright. My life is lived through a window and my surrounds are far away and hazy.

    Life is short and I have spent most of my life living through this dirty window. It has ruined my life. I also suffer with depression but sometimes I have this feeling without being depressed and when I am depressed and have this wired feelings it's hell on earth . I have been going through this now for over a year 24/7 Sometimes more intense than other times.

    I have a psychiatrist that is so expensive and when I bring this subject up to her she doesn't even answer me.

    Most mornings I don't even want to get out of bed. I do because of my husband. I don't want his life to be miserable because of my illness so I never discuss how horrible I feel to him. I would be having the worse feeling going on in my head and he never knows it. I try to act like all is well with me and at time that is painful to fake it as I am walking through hell. I always want others to be happy even though I am not.

    I wish I could find a support group in my area so I could just vent how horrible I feel and to have support from others who go though the same thing.

    I thank you for you're reply to me. I appreciate it.

  • Thanks. I know this is true. I have been so wrapped and influenced by what I perceive people/family think of me until it has caused such anxiety which only now am I getting a whole of. Going to see a Christian therapist helped me a lot to get on my way to recovery. And you encourage me greatly. I printed your last statement and put it on my wall in my study. Thanks so much!

  • What a great idea.

  • Thanks again. You have been helpful reminding me.  I have been so tense lately and having feelings of losing control at a higher level.  I know I need to relax and focus on letting go.  My self awareness is at a frightening stage but I know it will pass. Thank God.

  • Im a 28 year old woman who feels these feelings almost everyday.   Its due to fears I have and yes one of them is being insecure and thinking people are judging me 24.7 so I stopped socialising stopped seeing my family as much I hate that feeling of not being in control and having no feelings for loved ones it takes over your life and start to lose interest in things you might enjoy doing. Cannot connect with reality is the most horrible feeling ever. This is what makes me feel low and unmotivated in life. Ive felt this social akwardness since I can remember. 

  • You're certainly not alone.

  • Thanks for what you do Anxiety Guy.!  ☺

  • Just started to listen to your podcasts and you are really helping me to recovery thanks 

  • I'm so happy for you Sammie that's great news!

  • This is so encouraging. Any more suggestions. My biggest problem is letting go of perceived people's judgements of me and thinking about myself too much and relationships with others. I feel that I am going to lose control of my speech and that my mind is going to shut down. Yet, I know this is not likely to happen. This is a miserable existence. Thanks for your post.

  • Did you ever recover? Any tips?

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