Depersonalization is like having amnesia. You don’t know who you are, you’ve “lost” yourself– your identity or your personality. You try to jump-start yourself. You pray, make deals with God, but it doesn’t help. You are stuck.
There is a pervading feeling, like doom. It saturates your thinking, flavoring everything with a sense of finality. It is as difficult as you can imagine, to lose yourself– to become unreal to yourself.
Depersonalization is a symptom of an anxiety disorder and not a stand alone condition. How do we know this? Because depersonalization cannot exist without anxiety BUT anxiety can exist without depersonalization.
Depersonalization is caused by a shift in the part of the brain that provides us with a ‘real’ awareness of our environment; this part of the brain is directly linked to the Amygdala, the organ in the brain responsible for anxiety.
Terms commonly used to describe the symptoms and sensations of Depersonalization:
- divorced from oneself
- apart from everything
- acting a part
- like a lifeless person
- two dimensional
- ‘cardboard’ figure
- made of cotton-wool
- having mechanical actions
- automated, a robot
- a spectator
- witnessing ones own actions as if in a film or on a TV program
- not doing one’s own thinking
- observing the flow of ideas in the mind as independent.
Treatment is to deal with the anxiety, depersonalization, although disturbing in itself, is not harmful. [Although the experts have never had to go through it].
As a Christian believer I reach out for the presence of God in this mental state. Even though it is hard, I reach out in faith on the basis of His word; He will never leave or forsake me, He has forgiven me and not abandoned me. That He understands my thinking from afar off. These truths all strengthen me.
- Depersonalization in the ER (psychologytoday.com)
- Speaking of Depersonalization and Derealization … (dontcallmesybil.com)
- Delusions Understood (Sort Of) (brokenbelievers.com)