Difference between Derealization and Depersonalization

Key Difference:  Depersonalization is a disorder in which one feels detached from oneself. A person also observes oneself as a viewer in this condition. On the other hand, derealization is a disorder in which the exterior world seems to be strange and unfamiliar. It may also be coupled with perceptual anomalies.

Depersonalization and derealization are two different conditions. Depersonalization is concerned with a feeling when one gets detached from his own personality. A person feels a different or no connection with his own body and mind.

In depersonalization, the person feels detached from his own body and mind. It includes many different types of sensations like – one might feel invisible or inhuman. A person may also be not able to recognize himself. In depersonalization, one tends to feel that body is unreal or changing.  An example of this condition would be a person seeing himself as if watching a movie.

On the other hand, in derealization the perception towards the external world gets affected. A person feels as if the outside world is a strange entity. Therefore, a person suffering from derealization is not able to connect with the exterior world.

Thus, both derealization and depersonalization are examples of dissociative disorders. People mostly experience these conditions due to PTSD or some traumatic events. The body tends to take these kinds of step for self-preservation. The cases can differ from mild to severe.

They are generally treated by talk and cognitive behavioral therapy. Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications may also be prescribed if a person is suffering from anxiety, depression, etc. These feelings are commonly found in types of anxiety disorders, sleep deprivation, clinical depression and panic disorders. Chronic derealization is often seen as a symptom of depersonalization disorder.

Comparison between Derealization and Depersonalization:       

                                           

Derealization

Depersonalization

Definition

A disorder in which the exterior world seems to be strange and unfamiliar. It may also be coupled with perceptual anomalies

A disorder in which one feels detached from oneself. A person also observes oneself as a viewer

Commonly used terms for description

Dreaminess, dulled senses, day dream state, etc.

Puppet like, robot like, empty, two-dimensional

Some Symptoms

  • Exterior world seems to be unfamiliar or unreal
  • The world may seem to be dissolving or may appear visually flat
  • Things are seen not in their actual sizes and dimensions
  • Other people seems to be robots
  • A sense of having no will
  • Feeling like an outside observer of one’s own mental processes
  • Fear of going insane or not having any kind of control
  • Feeling not in control of speech or actions

Image Courtesy: artio.us, philipchircop.com

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