What Is Derealization?

By kevin
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You are talking to your best friend during your standing lunch date one Friday. Everything seems fine, and then her facial expressions seem to change the texture of her skin. She almost looks like she’s made of clay. You look around, and everything seems brighter. Colors are more vibrant as if you are watching what’s going on around you play out on the big screen. The noise is suddenly overwhelming.

What you are going through is not all that unusual. Derealization is marked by the sense that whatever is going on around you isn’t real. When triggered, your brain distorts reality and makes it more difficult to know if what you’re seeing is actually happening. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, up to half of the world’s population will experience some form of derealization at least once in their lives. If the problem occurs frequently, however, there may be underlying factors.

1. What Is Derealization?

Derealization is a type of dissociation. Generally speaking, dissociation happens when people do not experience the world around them as it exists and have no control over the matter. It’s an involuntary escape from reality.

You may often decide to temporarily take a mental escape in order to relax. There are many ways that people do this, such as reading, watching TV and daydreaming. When you stop having control over your perception and you start to hear or see things that you know can’t be right, that’s when it becomes a problem. You realize something is wrong, but your senses are so overloaded that stimuli are either muted or magnified in your perception. Then you are likely experiencing derealization.


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