Will it go away?

Within the last year I have developed depersonalization. Very recently I've been able to lessen most of the symptoms and regain some level of normalcy. Is it possible or likely to completely rid myself of this recent form of anxiety?
Asked by LostInSpace

If you are feeling detached from your thoughts, feelings and possibly having an out of body experience or you are disconnected from your surrounding environment, but realize your perceptions aren't real, these are symptoms for depersonalization and derealization.  Before you can get to an answer, it is necessary to perform a differential diagnosis so as not to miss other key pathologies such as physical disorders such as a seizure disorders or even brain diseases.

To put your mind at ease, this type of disorder occurs in young adults and rarely occurs after about age 40.  Having out of body experiences, for instance is very common, occuring in about half of the population. Typically stress or trauma of an intense nature can bring this on.  Anything from an accident you witness or being exposed to violence or war are precepitating factors.  Even sleep deprivation can be a cause. The actual origins of the pathology remain unknown.

Associated anxiety may become a larger issue than the actual disorder and likewise depression over thinking there is something wrong with you often surfaces and causes even more alarm to the person experiencing it.

So, to more directly answer your question, "will it go away", the answer is it depends on the severity and frequency and the modes of treatment available to you.  Clearly, the recommended course would be interventional psychotherapy which could include anything from cognitive behavioral therapy to dialectic -behavior therapy or techniques such as meditation and relaxation tehniques, clinical hypnosis or medications to treat depression and anxiety caused by the symptoms.  If treated early the prognoisis is better than if left to fester.   Recognizing the onset of the symptoms to catch it before it becomes anxiety producing should help mitigate the risks of reoccurance.  Having a support group to help you when you start manifesting the symptoms can also lead to a favorable outcome. So, if it never goes away, at least you can keep it in check.

Knowing how to recognize the symptoms, making every attempt to control the unset, and finally knowing the available treatment options will result in great self-confidence that this set of issues can be treated successfully.



(M.S., Ph.D.)