I remember, at the funeral of a loved one, shaking hands, accepting hugs, saying “thank you” – when suddenly my brain gave way. I couldn’t speak, couldn’t think, had forgotten how to respond to comfort. It was the lowering of The Bell Jar, a glass wall between me and the rest of the world (including my husband and children), and lasted sporadically for about 8 months.
For me at that time, and at occasional stressful times since, depersonalization has descended. I felt numb and separate. I felt no joy, no connection, and no interest. For me it was a part of grief or depression – for others it can be a part of panic or anxiety disorder. Some develop depersonalization as a result of trauma. Most inexplicable are those instances in which depersonalization begins for no apparent reason, and stays for weeks, months, or years.
- Derealization – feeling like you’re living in a dream or that everything is 2-dimensional
- Detachment from surroundings – feeling indifferent to situations and people around you
- Detachment from personal relationships – feeling emotionless towards others
- Robotic – feeling like you are a robot, like your body isn’t your own
- Body distortion – feeling like your body or parts are distorted (smaller or larger)
- Fear of going crazy – having a phobia or constant fear of “going crazy” or “losing your mind”
- Lack of sensation – lacking normal feelings of sensation and pain
- Spontaneous OBEs – having spontaneous moments of “floating above one’s own body” and seeing oneself act without having control over one’s actions