You may have never heard of this before, or maybe you have. Depersonalization in my eyes is one of the most unheard mental health issues but it's also one of the deadliest. The official definition of depersonalization is ,'Depersonalization or depersonalisation can consist of a reality or detachment within the self, regarding one's mind or body, or being a detached observer of oneself. Subjects feel they have changed and that the world has become vague, dreamlike, less real, or lacking in significance.'
From experience, I would say that this is a pretty accurate summary, however it's not all of it. What I aim to achieve from writing this article is to shed some light on the name and the feeling of depersonalization. This is because of the fact that it took me several months to put a label on what I had and why I was feeling like this. I'm hoping that if there is anyone following this page that has had feelings like this before, then hopefully I can try and help them and give advice on how to cope.
In early autumn 2015, I started feeling like I was watching life play out through a TV screen ; it was like I had no real control over my actions, thoughts or speech. Even when I was telling my close friends about these feelings I was getting, I would have no control over anything I was saying to them. I felt like a weak puppet for so long, I still feel this way but I'm learning to deal with it.
Even now I get confused about how I can love someone if I don't even know who I am.
It's hard to talk to your loved ones about this because I think it's one of the most difficult sensations to explain. People confuse this with depression because it's often described as feeling 'numb' and 'emotionless', I personally think that it's closely linked.
My advice for anyone who is dealing with this, there are certain things that you can do to pull you back into reality.
Firstly, widening my eyes and focusing on the tiny details of certain things like fur, fabric and leaves helps me to focus and have slight control over myself. I used to do this with my friend's dog when I first started to lose control.
Secondly, controlling your breathing always helps, despite people always saying that if you focus too hard then you can find it difficult to actually breathe. I find that it helps you to feel your body and crack that numbness for a few, sweet seconds.
Lastly, don't be afraid to tell your friends or family. I left it too late once and it just builds up and affects your relationships with everyone. It's an extremely tough thing to speak about but if your friends and family know what you're going through, then they can try to understand and help you fight this.
There is no cure for depersonalization, however it can get better by avoiding certain things (if you can). From experience, I say to avoid stress, fights, arguments and anything traumatic.
Thank you and good luck.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.