This disorder is characterized by a sudden sense of being outside yourself, observing your actions from a distance as though watching a movie. It may be accompanied by a perceived distortion of the size and shape of your body or of other people and objects around you. Time may seem to slow down, and the world may seem unreal. Symptoms may last only a few moments or may come and go over many years.

The following is a list of terms commonly used to describe the symptoms and sensations of Depersonalization:

  • detached observer
  • unreal
  • numb
  • walking dead
  • divorced from oneself
  • apart from everything
  • unattached
  • alone
  • strange
  • weird
  • foreign
  • unfamiliar
  • unable to feel
  • puppet-like
  • robot-like
  • acting a part
  • two-dimensional
  • able to hear my own voice
  • having mechanical actions
  • remote
  • automated
  • a spectator
  • taken over
  • 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

In my experience with depersonalization, I felt disconnected from the world, as if almost in another dimension. It was almost as if my body shut down from the immense anxiety I was experiencing. I got to the point where I knew I had to “bridge” myself back into the world.

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